Is it possible to use the phrase ‘former mental asylum’ without including the word ‘haunted’? The real estate listing for the Eloise Complex in Westland, Michigan, mentions that it backs up to an 18-hole championship golf course but not that golfers might find their backswing interrupted by the moans and screams of the ghosts of former patients of this one-time mental hospital. Will anyone pay the $1.5 million asking price for one of the most haunted places in Michigan?
The facility opened in 1832 as the Wayne County Poorhouse. In 1872, it became the Wayne County Alms House. By 1913, Eloise was made up of the Eloise Hospital (the mental asylum), Eloise Infirmary (the original poorhouse) and the Eloise Sanitarium (for tuberculosis patients). The complex had 78 buildings at its peak. All that’s left today is the five-story Kay Beard Building (the only one still occupied), a fire station, decommissioned power plant and two maintenance buildings. And, of course, the ghosts.
As with many facilities from the 1800s that housed the poor, the sick and the mentally ill, many people were abandoned there, lived in pain and destitution and died horrible deaths alone, only to be buried in unmarked graves in the Eloise Cemetery. The buildings were connected by tunnels (now sealed shut) that were said to contain medical waste and the tools and results of strange medical experiments. As buildings were torn down in the 1970s, crews were said to have found jars containing human body parts, records of horrible medical procedures and photographs of patients.
Not surprisingly, screams and moans have been heard on the premises. The ghost of a man in Bermuda shorts was spotted on a stairway and a woman in white has been seen on the roof by the few remaining workers in the Kay Beard Building. Ghost hunters have deemed it one of the most haunted places in Michigan. A movie titled “Eloise” was shot there in 2014 but has not yet been released.
Interested in buying it? For a mere $1.5 million, you can own the five-story, 150,000-square-foot main building and 50 acres of “Beautiful land with almost a half mile of frontage along Michigan Avenue.” The listing calls it a “Phenomenal redevelopment opportunity” which the listing agent says can be turned into a senior living facility or a shopping center.
Just don’t shop there in Bermuda shorts.