Eloise Psychiatric Hospital

In Westland, Michigan there is a former Psychiatric hospital that is so rich with history and paranormal activity there have been television episodes showcasing and even a movie made from the experiences. The infirmary was established in Detroit on March 8, 1832, by a vote of the people. It was established under the name of Wayne County Poor House, and kept its name until 1872, when it changed to Wayne County Alms-House. It then changed again to Wayne County house in 1886 due to popular use of the name. Then finally, changed one more time in June of 1913 to Eloise Infirmary.

Now because of state constitution Eloise had two parts. Eloise Sanatorium was used for the new hospital that had out-door treatment for tubercular patients. Eloise Hospital was used for the grouping of buildings devoted to treating the mental diseases, which used to be called Wayne County Asylum. But where did the name Eloise come from? It actually came from the Post Office. Because the only post office accessable to the location was far away in Wayne it was decided they would erect a post office on the property instead. This required proper naming of the post office and after some back and forth it was actually a photo of a littler girl that landed the name. Mr. Freeman B. Dickerson, postmaster of Detroit and president of the Board’s daughter Eloise’s picture hung in his office for 19 years. When suggested everyone seemed to like the name and easily decided in 1894 to make it official.

From their first mentally ill patient in 1841 to their last patient in 1979 Eloise Hospital saw a lot of interesting cases. They had patients who were deemed “violently insane” to long term care patients to treating tuberculosis, Eloise did not have a shortage of people on it’s grounds. Eventually it grew into a city unto itself. Its 78 buildings included a fire department, 15-man police force, powerhouses, a cannery, bakery and fruit cellar, a sewage disposal plant a morgue, laundry facilities; a library and low-rent employee lodgings. By the 50’s, the hospital was considered one of the best in the nation. Patients were benefiting from insulin and electric shock therapy, psychotherapy by psychiatrists and occupational and recreational therapy. Occupational therapy included farming, sewing, work in the hospital laundry and maintenance departments. Recreational therapy included classes in handiwork and a special division of music therapy.

Unfortunately funding and space issues for at one point nearly 10,000 residents deemed to be the downfall of Eloise as a functioning institution. By 1987, six years after the facility’s closing, Eloise had been reduced to eight buildings. Today, only a 5 buildings remain and all are empty. Or are they? Eloise has been investigated throughly state and national paranormal investigation teams. There have been multiple reports of Full body apparitions, shadow figures, something lurking in the basement. Not only that but people have also heard foot steps, Metal drawers and doors slamming, along with disembodied voices calling out. With rumors of something evil lurking in the old buildings of Eloise and a 12 year old patient dying in a hydrotherapy tub most are told not to venture to the hospital alone. Some of the evidence we’ve found has us leaning on the side of caution, but we’ll leave the final impression up to you.

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