Westland, Michigan is known for having a lot of parks. It is located west of downtown Detroit. Some of the spots that citizens and tourists visit in Westland are Hines Park, Holliday Nature Preserve, Sportway of Westland, Wayne County parks, Hush Haunted Attraction, Westland Historic Village Park, and many more.
Downtown Westland, Michigan. (Link: https://www.pinterest.at/pin/265008759308706533/)
However, Westland is not just known for its parks. It is also where the Eloise Psychiatric Hospital is located. It has been turned into a tourist spot because of the supposed spirits and ghosts that roam around the old building.
An old photo of the Eloise. (Link: https://www.pinterest.ph/pin/429812358165527354/)
The History Of Eloise Psychiatric Hospital
Eloise Psychiatric Hospital was constructed sometime in 1832. The area was not meant to house a psychiatric hospital in the beginning as it started out as a poor house and a farm. In 1832, the establishment in the area was referred to as Wayne County Poorhouse. In 1872, it became the Wayne County Alms House and in 1886, it was simply referred to as the Wayne County House.
In the year 1913, the building was divided into three – The Eloise Hospital, which catered to mentally challenged patients, the Eloise Infirmary, and the Eloise Sanatorium, which was a medical facility for long-term illness such as tuberculosis. It was named after Eloise Dickerson Davock, the daughter of Detroit’s postmaster. Collectively, the three divisions were referred to as Eloise.
An old photo showing patients at the Eloise. (Link: https://www.pinterest.ph/pin/438467713712899427/)
Later, it was renamed again and divided into two – the Wayne County General Hospital and the Wayne County Psychiatric Hospital. By the year 1982, the psychiatric wing of the hospital was officially closed. Four years later, the general hospital also closed down.
An old photo of some of the staff at the Eloise. (Link: https://www.michiganradio.org/post/photos-life-eloise-former-psychiatric-hospital)
During the years that the Eloise Psychiatric Hospital was in full swing, it housed 10,000 patients and 2,000 staff. It was the largest psychiatric facility in the whole of United States. It also had 78 buildings in its prime. Years ago, only five buildings remained, which are the bakery, the commissary, the D buildings, the firehouse, and the power plant. The firehouse and the power plant stand to this day but they are already in decay. As for the bakery, it was heavily damaged because of a fire in the year 2016. Its charred ruins can still be seen today.
Most of the land where the Eloise Psychiatric Hospital was built has been converted into a strip mall, a golf course, and condominiums.
The only remaining building of the whole Eloise is the D building. It is also referred to as the Kay Beard Building. The D Building was used to house 400 patients and had living quarters for some of the employees when the Eloise was still in operation. The lower floors were renovated in the past to serve as a family shelter. The top floors have never been touched ever since it closed down and now serves as a spot for having haunted tours.
The D Building today. (Link: https://www.hometownlife.com/story/news/local/westland/2020/08/07/former-eloise-asylum-westland-could-become-hotel-event-space/3305085001/)
The Ghosts At The Eloise Psychiatric Hospital
After the D building was purchased by developers, tours are being offered to those who believe they can experience something paranormal while in the building. The building has no power so whenever tours are conducted, people traverse through the pitch black darkness with only their flashlights.
In 2018, the Detroit Paranormal Expeditions partnered with the developers for a tour of the D Building. Many already toured the insides of the then-abandoned D building, but Detroit Paranormal Expeditions wanted to make the tours legal so they came up with the 2018 tour, which sold out in minutes!
During the tour, the co-founder of the Detroit Paranormal Expeditions, Todd Bonner, said that he had an encounter that he will never forget. He shared, “I was on the third floor by myself checking the camera monitors and talking with people on Facebook live when I heard footsteps behind me. I thought it was just the other people messing with me. It was the first time we were there investigating. I shined the flashlight and said hello. No one was there and it stopped. It started up again and it was louder and closer to me. I said hello again and shined my flashlight and nothing was there, so I took off.” He later found out that he was indeed alone and everyone else was outside.
One of the hallways inside the Eloise. (Link: https://www.nailhed.com/2014/01/eloise-asylum-2004.html)
They also recorded some audio at the D building. For a good five minutes, they heard footsteps, desks moving, and drawers shutting. Bonner continued, “We don’t know to this day what it was. There was nobody in the building, but somebody was walking around and moving stuff.”
A drawer left inside the Eloise. (Link: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/wayne/2019/10/16/halloween-haunted-tour-eloise-psychiatric-hospital-michigan/4001337002/)
Also recorded on their digital equipment was the sound of a woman humming at the same time that Bonner heard the footsteps.
If you want to visit the D building for a tour, check out the schedules that can be found on the internet. The tours last for two hours and guests will go through all the five floors of the D building. The basement is also accessible, which was not open to the public before as this was where electroshock therapy, hydrotherapy, and lobotomies were performed to the patients.
The basement at the Eloise. (Link: https://www.freep.com/picture-gallery/news/local/michigan/2019/03/19/flooding-eloise-psychiatric-hospital-closed-basement-off-decades/3211712002/)
A Man’s Experience When The D Building Was Used As A Family Shelter
During the time that it was a family shelter, one man shared, “Back in Dec 2010 to march 2011 my kids and i stayed at the family shelter located next to Eloise in one of the old buildings. I’ve seen things in the window’s of Eloise the top two floors. Things pass by the window or dim lights flashing.”
A bed inside the Eloise. (Link: https://www.mlive.com/news/2018/09/inside_the_haunted_and_abandon.html)
He added that there was one night when he was cleaning the women’s bathroom and he saw that one of the stalls was shut. He then said, “Time to finish up n go in your rooms so I can start my chore. After I said that the stall door opened slowly and stopped no one came out so I walked over opened it all the way n no one was there. I was completely alone.”
Some of the restrooms at the Eloise. (Link: https://www.reddit.com/r/urbanexploration/comments/bvyl33/explored_eloise_hospital_mi/)
The other families claimed that they heard children running and laughing at 2 or 3 in the morning. They also experienced paranormal activities while in the basement such as the radio turning on and off on its own and someone knocking on the delivery door but no one is on the other side.
A child also told them one time that she was talking to a woman by her window at night. When asked what the woman looked like, the child said she is a nurse wearing all white.
The D Building at night. (Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/eloise-haunted-tours-17828828258)
A Visitor’s Experience At The Tunnels
The Eloise had tunnels in the past. It is reportedly also haunted. One visitor shared that she went to the tunnels and rumors had it that some of the patients lived in the tunnels rather than being transferred to other establishment or living in the streets.
She shared of her experience at the tunnels, “One stands out to me to this day. I heard very faint laughs one time while in the tunnels. My flashlight went dark for what seemed like hours, but in reality were seconds. When it came back on I could make out a shape just outside the reach of the light. The closer I got, the shape would still be just out of the lights reach. I started to feel as though I was being led further into the labyrinth of tunnels so I decided to turn around. The faint laughs returned as I was retreating, and upon turning around with ‘that feeling’ somebody was following me, there was indeed somebody there. This man was laughing in a low tone, and had madness in his eyes. He never rushed towards me, just stayed about fifteen feet behind me until I reached the place where I entered. When I turned to get one last look he was gone. Was he a patient? Maybe just homeless? I don’t know to this day, but will never forget the man in the tunnel.”
The tunnels at the Eloise. (Link: https://www.nailhed.com/2014/01/one-snooped-under-cuckoos-nest-eloise.html