Tours set before Westland asylum is redeveloped
Westland — If you’re curious about the Eloise Hospital Complex in Westland, you’ll have a monthlong window to tour part of the former psychiatric facility before it’s redeveloped.
Detroit Paranormal Expeditions will host the first of their two-hour tours Sept. 28-30, with other weekend visits scheduled through Halloween. The tours will guide three groups of 25 people through the Kay Beard Building, said Jeff Adkins, one of the founders and lead investigator of Detroit Paranormal Expeditions.
“Eloise is a place that’s been of interest but has been off-limits since its closure, and we wanted to take the opportunity to showcase its history and imagine what it looked like when it was operational,” said Adkins.
Tickets are $65. Part of the proceeds will be donated to Gleaners Food Bank and Spina Bifida Association.
The blighted complex in Westland that once housed a psychiatric hospital that some believe to be haunted was sold in June by Wayne County officials.
Developers purchased the 28acre property from the county for $1 with plans to invest $20 million in creating affordable senior homes and emergency housing for families in need.
The majority of the buildings are too hazardous to visit, but developer John Hambrick said he hopes the tours will prevent others from breaking in, especially during Halloween.
“A big problem we’ve been having is people breaking in all the time,” Hambrick said. “We thought maybe if we offer up tours, people will stop breaking in and causing more damage.”
Hambrick said the property has a stunning grand lobby but has been spray-painted over the years. Adkins wouldn’t give away too many highlights of the tour but said guests would be fascinated.
“There have been urban explorers and damage, some parts are more well-preserved than you would think,” said Adkins. “In a lot of bathrooms where they had patients, they still have soap and paper towels in the dispensers that have been there longer than I’ve been alive, and I think that’s fascinating.”
The Detroit Paranormal Expedition conducted its own investigation and Adkins says he was shocked by how much they recovered.
“There’s some audio on our website and video we are still reviewing, but Eloise met our expectations,” said Adkins, who has been working with the paranormal team for six years. “While going through... (we heard) a loud clear voice of a woman, not any distinguishable words more like babbling ... hopefully, we have some encounters with our groups.”
Tickets were to be sold starting at 10 p.m. Friday on the Detroit Paranormal Expedition’s website. Atkins said additional October dates are to be determined and will be announced through the group’s website and Facebook page.