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

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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