Michigan's most haunted: Eloise Psychiatric Hospital

DETROITNote: The above report from Paula Tutman is from a newscast that originally aired in 2001.

The history of the Eloise hospital is more like Michigan folklore.

At its peak in the 1920s, the Eloise complex was a small city with a hospital and mental asylum housing 10,000 patients and a staff of 2,000.

Related update: Wayne County sells 'haunted' Eloise complex to developers for $1

The legend of Eloise is still talked about around Metro Detroit, and is even known outside of Michigan as one of the creepiest places around.

History of Eloise

The Eloise began as the Wayne County Poorhouse, which opened in 1839 in the now defunct Nankin Township.

Nankin was a part of Wayne County, originally named Bucklin Township, and it included what are now the cities of Livonia, Inkster, Dearborn, Redford, Wayne and Westland.

The complex had its own police and fire department, bakery and railroad.

Eloise was one of the first hospitals to use x-rays for diagnosis. It was also home to the first kidney dialysis unit in Michigan.

The complex eventually expanded - spanning 902 acres, with more than 70 buildings.

The facility had a radium treatment for cancer patients, and the sanitarium was one of the first to use "open air" treatment for tuberculosis patients.

Psychiatric patients underwent electroshock and insulin shock therapy.

After the Great Depression, the population of the complex started to decrease, as reports of violence, questionable conditions, misconduct and overall neglect surfaced.

Farm operations ceased in 1958, and the psychiatric division began to close in 1977 when the state took over.

The main hospital closed in 1984.

Today, the hospital is only made up of about eight buildings, while the vast land around it has been converted to strip malls, golf courses and condos.

Haunted Eloise

Visitors have reported odd occurrences on the hospital grounds for years after it was closed.

There have been reports of people finding medical waste and other strange items. Some have reported finding jars containing human body parts, as well as documents outlining strange medical procedures.

Paranormal investigators have conducted numerous investigations on the grounds. A group recently claimed to have seen a spirit of a woman wearing white, often seen on the upper floors and roof.

Others have claimed to hear moaning, screams and roars throughout the old grounds - some believe they are the souls of tormented patients.

The old Eloise graveyard is also said to be haunted.

The Guardian featured Eloise in an article last year. A building employee detailed her experience with the paranormal.

“I’m serious,” the employee says with a hearty laugh, recalling an incident where a couple of children trotted up the nearby staircase only to turn around and report that a “guy was sitting on the steps”.

“He was in bermuda shorts, and he was just sitting there,” the employee says. “They saw him, we didn’t see him. But there has been some shadows, you know – that’s it. I would love to talk to them.”

The Dearborn Paranormal Research Society of Michigan conducted investigations at Eloise. Check them out below.

Watch more Feature Stories from ClickOnDetroit: 

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.