If you're from Southeast Michigan, you've probably driven by that old, dilapidated psychiatric hospital on Michigan Avenue a million times.
The large Kay Beard building - or "D" Building, as it was called - sits closest to the road, distinguished and imposing, despite years of neglect. Behind it are remnants of Eloise's past, all in varying states of decay. These include the powerhouse, which is probably the second-best (although still very poorly) preserved building, the bakery, which was totally destroyed by arson, and the firehouse, which is standing, but has a roof that has rotted out in several places.
Eloise Psychiatric Hospital dates back to 1839, and operated until 1982. In its day, it was an incredible facility. Seventy eight buildings covered its 902 acres. Eloise had its own post office, police force, fire department, trolley stations, farm, cannery, bakery, employee housing, cemetery, and much more. It was almost completely self sufficient, and at its peak, it sustained nearly 10,000 patients and 2,000 staff, who offered the very best medical treatments available for the time. It housed the first kidney dialysis unit in the State of Michigan, pioneered the field of Music Therapy and the use of X-rays for diagnostic purposes, and was one of the largest healthcare facilities in the U.S.
Despite all of that medical achievement, for more than 7,100 people, Eloise was where life in the physical sense would end.
For a few years, Wayne County used the lower floors of the Kay Beard building for administrative purposes, but they have since moved out. All life has left a once bustling facility so grand that those who worked there likely thought it would never die. Today, its residents are of a different form, or so we hypothesize.
While there are plenty of reports of paranormal activity there, no one has ever done an overnight paranormal investigation in Eloise.
In our experience, the places that have never been investigated tend to have the strongest activity. Is it because the spirits there have something to communicate, and they finally have the chance? We think that may be part of the reason. If spirits are still present in Eloise, as we expect, my hope is we are able to help them find peace and move on in some way.
Because this is a huge first, we are going to do a lot of live-streaming on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages, starting at 8 p.m. EST on Aug. 31. The number of people out there who have always wanted to see inside Eloise is not lost on us. We want to make that possible for every one of those people. I am actually going to buy a flood light for this walk-through video, specifically for those who share our fascination and want to see every little detail possible. We know this opportunity may never come along again.
And on that note, we can't thank our friend Russ Robinson enough. This truly would not be possible without him and the generosity of the gentleman who purchased the building, a friend of Russ. They are pulling the veil back and making it possible for many to see something they've wanted to see for decades.
We hope you'll join us via social media on Aug. 31. Watch the cams, listen to the audio, and let us know if you see or hear something that you believe is spiritual. If you'd like to get a better feel for the property, check out our outside walkthrough video below.
For a more in-depth history of Eloise, visit the Tales of Eloise website.