Saturday, February 11, 2012
Hello fellow ghost hunters! I apologize for this (and possibly a few upcoming blogs) running late. My computer has decided to get itself a virus, and the only thing Google now does for me is redirect to useless websites. So, until I can get it fixed, I'll be updating from my roommate's lovely old computer (whose keyboard doesn't seem to like the comma button). In any case, American Haunts will keep on running until someone pries technology from my cold, dead hands. Even then, I'm sure I'll be around enough to haunt them until they give it back.
Anyway! Onto today's featured haunted location. My roommate (the lovely CK Coburn who keeps a blog over here ) and I are moving from Ann Arbor a little closer to all of our friends. As it turns out, we're moving to Westland, one of the most haunted cities in the state. Who knew, right? As we were exploring things to do and see in that part of Michigan, CK found the Eloise Sanatorium. As you can imagine, we were sucked in immediately to the rich, dark history and hauntings Eloise has to offer. And while we do have plans to check out the asylum in person, I thought I'd do a little research and write a blog before we got there. And so, without further ado, welcome to Eloise.
Eloise got its beginnings as a poor farm near Detroit in 1832. In fact, it wasn't even located at its current address until 1839. It was still a Count Poor House, until it began accepting tuberculosis patients for outdoor therapy later in the century. Before it became Eloise, the Sanatorium was in the middle of nowhere. So far out that only 35 patients moved with the building when it relocated. By the time the building gained its unusual name, several other government services had sprung up around it. A post office (carrying the name Eloise) and the railroad soon made their homes adjacent to the Sanatorium.
Eloise got its name from the only living child of the President of the Board. When the post office was sent to the Sanatorium (to aid in the receiving of supplies to the area), it was on the stipulation that all new post offices were to have incredibly short names. So, the president tossed in his suggestion and got a resounding "sure, why not?" On July, 20 1894 the post office (and subsequently the sanatorium) became Eloise.
During its height, Eloise was a full-functioning poor farm, general hospital and insane asylum. In the 1830's it was also home to a school district for all the children of patients who had died from cholera or other diseases in the poor house. Additions and new buildings were constantly being added on from around 1840 until 1929. All in all, there were close to 78 buildings total. The hospital ran until 1979. Today the Kay Beard building and little museum are open to the public (but as far as we've found, there isn't much keeping anyone out of the property besides signs).
What goes on here?
Well, like with any asylum in the 1800's and early-mid 1900's, a lot of really bad things happened in Eloise. The standards apply here- patients were overcrowded. They were beaten and given rudimentary and often unsafe treatments. In the 50's electro-shock therapy was common, and patients were treated with a variety of chemicals. The conditions were unsanitary, and life in Eloise wasn't pleasant for anyone. Attached to the asylum is a cemetery, with over 7,000 patients buried next to the buildings they most likely resented the most. All in all, it's things like this that make for spectacular, if saddening, hauntings.
It seems that everything under the "haunting" umbrella happens here. Workers and thrill-seekers hear disembodied voices all over the property. Growls are heard by the playground set up for the patients' children. Lights turn on and off on their own. There are reports of a woman's apparition floating in the corridors of the upper floors, and on the roof of the Kay Beard building. Many people have captured photos of things they can't explain, voices on recorders and video of strange sights. In fact, go to Ghost Watchers for a sampling of strange pictures taken at Eloise.
I'm incredibly nervous and excited to try my hand at ghost hunting inside (or at least close to) Eloise. I hope to bring you much better detail on the activities inside Eloise, and maybe even a video or EVP recording. My adventure won't be a for a few months (the weather is still far too cold to be out at night. I'm a SoCal wimp), but hopefully I can wiggle my way in and take some great pictures for you! Until then, below I've posted a few places to learn more, see some videos and stills, and get the nerve up to exploring for yourself! Enjoy, and as always, thanks for reading!
The best place to start is here: Tales of Eloise
Pictures (seen on the blog):
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=C544C00AD17A399B (youtube videos about Eloise)