Bath MI Massacre and Eloise Mental Hospital, Westland, MI

Random Michigan and mayhem. You know you want it.

This show, “Michigan and other Mayhem”, is a sort of factual, slightly comical, always earnest podcast about interesting stuff in Michigan and around the world. It is done by two sisters-in-law (Ali and Jenn) that like to talk about random interesting stories.  Expect cults, mysteries, murder, fast-talking, and a couple of mental palate cleansers… and cuss words.  Those happen on this show, a lot.

Episode 7: Bath MI, Massacre and Eloise Mental Hospital, Westland, MI

Click Here to Listen to Episode 7

Warning: This podcast occasionally contains strong language which may be unsuitable for children.

  • Alerts:
    • Pretend podcast music (because we couldn’t find any we liked enough for a theme song)
    • Ali has a weird laugh. It is often loud.
    • Ali and Jenn talk about what is scary, movies verses haunted houses
    • Want to know how podcasting works? Ask Jenn.  To Ali, it has something to do with magic.  Read the show notes… oh, wait, you are.

 

  • Bath MI, Massacre
    • Andrew Kehoe moved in with his dad when his mom died in the early 1900’s
      • In 1911, when his stepmom was lighting their oil stove it blew up
      • She was caught on fire during the explosion and Andrew threw water on her
        • It worsened the injuries as the water spread the oil fire around
        • She died of her wounds
        • Some people in town suggested he tampered with the stove to cause the explosion
    • In 1912, Andrew marries Ellen
      • Jenn and Ali talk about women in marriage in the early 1910’s
      • They move to Bath, MI in 1918
        • A town of about 300 residents
    • He had a bad temper
      • He shot and killed a neighbor’s dog that came on his property
      • Andrew killed his own horse for not listening
    • Andrew became a trustee on the school board
      • He was considered to be difficult to deal with
      • Consequently, in 1926, he loses his seat on the school board
    • At the same time Andrea loses his seat, his house was foreclosed on
      • His wife was stricken with an illness (most likely tuberculosis)
      • He begins to dismantle his farm
      • He buys a firearm and bomb supplies
    • The local school, in the summer of 1926, ask Andrew to do electrical work in the school, as he is an electrical engineer
      • He planted bombs throughout the basement while doing the work
    • Then Andrew really went crazy and killed his wife, then blew up his own farm
      • While he was driving to the school, it blows up
      • When Andrew gets to the school he calls the superintendent over to his truck
        • When the superintendent gets there, Andrew blows up the truck
        • He killed more people with his truck, even some that survived the original blast
    • The toll was 45 deaths and 50 nonfatal injuries
      • All but four deaths were children
    • Later, they find more explosives in the school, for some reason, half of his bomb did not detonate

 

  • Eloise Mental Hospital, Westland, MI
    • It started out as a poorhouse/ farm in Detroit
      • A poorhouse is a government-run building which would kind of be like a permanent homeless shelter
    • Eloise goes through a lot of changes, from a poorhouse to a hospital and asylum in 1894
      • Named after a Detroit postmaster’s daughter
    • By 1913, it had 3 divisions:
      • Eloise Hospital
        • Mental hospital
      • Eloise Infirmary
        • Poorhouse
      • Eloise Sanitarium
        • TB (tuberculosis) hospital
    • Never trust a hospital with its own graveyard(s)
      • the first person was buried 1910, and the last person was buried January 1948
      • 7,100 burials, with number markers for tombstones
        • Gravesites were open for 38 years with 7,100 burials
        • 8 deaths/year-15.5 deaths/month, which equals about a death every two days give or take, if the  numbers were consistent each month, no peaks or valleys
    • After the burials stopped, they started using the bodies for dissection and medical training
      • People didn’t stop dying, they stopped being buried… which means more than 7,100 deaths happened on the grounds
    • It peaked during the Great Depression, 1929-1939
      • Started growing and became almost a self-sufficient city
      • It had its own fire/police department, railroad, trolley stations, sewage plant, bakery, barns, crops, etc.
        • A schoolyard, for the children whose parents died of cholera and the county house, was their home
      • Its own zip code
      • It was the largest asylum in the country
      • It provided x-rays to the community
      • Had the 1st kidney dialysis unit in the state of MI
      • Pioneered music therapy (later in the 50’s)
      • In its prime, Eloise had 78 buildings and 902 acres of land
    • Something else it had: a reputation for violence, questionable conditions, misconduct and neglect of patients
      • There were patients who fashioned shanks, either for offense or defense, I don’t know, I just saw pictures of them
        • Possibly defense as the staff was known to beat unruly patients and people were placed in large groups with other mentally ill
      • Some approved treatments were electrotherapy, lobotomies, and insulin shock therapy, sensory deprivation and twirling chairs
        • What is twirling chairs?
        • It is a form of therapy that is often called rotation therapy and was created by Charles Darwin’s grandfather
        • He would spin a patient in a chair until they were sick, everything in their body voided, and they were so sick and messed up that they slept for a long time
        • His focus was on sleeping and rest, and these sick people wanted to lay down and rest after losing control of their bodily functions
      • Television therapy, which is like neglect
        • Its where you put someone in front of a TV and leave them there
      • Eloise was overcrowded, which meant some patients to slept on the floor
        • Some had to bring their own mattress
        • 125 women would have to share 5 toilets—25 people per toilet
        • unsanitary conditions
      • People were not separated by their illness
        • A depressed housewife, a delusional paranoid schizophrenic, and a downs syndrome teen would all be together
      • Nurses/doctors often used leather restraints
        • Inmates were chained to the wall
      • Some patients were given passes to leave the grounds, sometimes they were picked up and fined by the police, some disappeared
    • The hospital changed names again and in 1977 the Wayne County Psychiatric Hospital closed
      • 1979 the remaining hospital was officially called Wayne Country General Hospital
      • 1986 the general hospital closed
    • The grounds were up for sale, $1.5 mil, but was sold for $1 to make housing complexes
      • Don’t live there if you’ve ever seen a scary movie
    • Why it is of interest: Considered haunted
      • Creepy abandoned psych hospitals are terrifying
        • Especially when you know the people that lived there were tormented by mental illness, abuse, and neglect
        • Tunnels underground for employees to use to transfer patients to different buildings
          • When I was a teen, my cousins and other guys used to dare each other to go in the tunnels at night
      • People reported finding medical waste, such as body parts in jars
        • Creepy snapshots of patients
      • Claims that people can hear moaning, screams, and roars
      • A building employee recently claimed children in the building had seen a man in shorts sitting in the staircase
      • A woman wearing white has been seen on the roof
      • Frequented by ghost hunters
      • A horror movie was filmed there in 2014
        • All the reports I read said that the movie was unreleased, but I was talking to a coworker during the break the other day and she said saw the movie that was filmed there as she also has an interest in Eloise
        • Unfortunately, she not a fan. It didn’t meet her expectations
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3 comments

  1. I’m about close-in to the area, so I drive by Eloise somewhat often. My mom has stories of visiting my grandma in there in the 60s or 70s when she was in for alcoholism. Like you guys said, they didn’t separate people so my mom recalls some fucking weirdos like giving her letters to smuggle to the president and shit. Ah, those fond family memories lol

    Like

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