Tours set be­fore Westland asy­lum is re­de­vel­oped

The Detroit News - - Metro - BY SARAH RAHAL The Detroit News

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.

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