Eloise Asylum: Unveiling the Forgotten City
At Eloise Asylum, there is more than just the chilling tales of a haunted mental hospital. Eloise, originally known as the Wayne County Poorhouse, was established in 1832 and expanded into a sprawling city-like complex with over 75 buildings spread across 900 acres. This self-sufficient community encompassed not only a general hospital but also its own police and fire departments, dairy and pig farms, bakery, and even a school for children. However, amidst the haunting memories of Eloise lies a hidden mystery that Ryan Eberhart, the president of the Westland Historic Village, and others have been tirelessly working on. They aim to identify the estimated 7,100 individuals buried in nameless graves near Eloise, in a place known as Potter’s Field.
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Potter’s Field, a generic name given to the burial site, served as the resting place for patients who had no next of kin or identity. Marked with simple numbered bricks, these graves have been a challenge to match with their respective names. Eberhart and his team have been studying ledgers dating from 1926 to 1948, hoping to uncover the names and locations of these forgotten souls buried in Potter’s Field. However, due to the crude burials, with bodies stacked one on top of another, and the presence of unidentified individuals, the task of identifying the majority of these graves remains a daunting one.
Despite the difficulties, Eberhart has managed to provide closure for some families. After receiving a request from a Local 4 viewer seeking information about her great grandmother and great-great-uncle, Eberhart was able to locate their death certificates. It was confirmed that both individuals had passed away at Eloise in 1936, just a month and a half apart. However, they were not buried in Potter’s Field. These death certificates have provided valuable information for genealogists and families searching for answers about their loved ones.
The history of Eloise extends beyond its haunting reputation. The complex, once a thriving city, played a significant role in medical advancements. It was the site of groundbreaking achievements such as the first x-rays, the establishment of the first kidney dialysis unit, and even the introduction of music therapy. Eloise was not just a place of horrors, but also a center for innovation and progress.
Today, Eloise Asylum continues to captivate visitors with its paranormal tours and haunting attractions. Desiree Harper, a manager at Eloise Asylum, leads paranormal investigations on the property and has witnessed unexplained phenomena, from shadowy figures to flickering lights. The property’s rich history can be felt in every corner, creating a sense of stepping back in time.
Owner John Hambrick recognized the immense potential of Eloise and transformed it into a highly acclaimed haunted attraction. With the help of a renowned haunted attraction builder from New Orleans, they have created chilling sets on-site, employing 100 actors to deliver a truly terrifying experience. In just two years, Eloise Asylum has gained recognition as the number one haunted attraction in Michigan and one of the top five in the nation.
While Eloise Asylum embraces its reputation as a haunted destination, it also acknowledges the positive contributions made within its walls. The hospital witnessed groundbreaking medical advancements and served as a home for those who needed care and support. Eloise holds a complex history that combines horror and beauty, reminding us that even in the darkest places, there can be moments of light.
To delve deeper into the fascinating history and haunting tales of Eloise, read the full article on WDIV ClickOnDetroit. Join us at Eloise Asylum to experience the spine-chilling atmosphere and unravel the secrets of this forgotten city.