NORTHVILLE STATE HOSPITAL SITE

(Northville Regional Psychiatric Hospital)

41001 West Seven Mile Road, Northville, MI

Status: Former Psychiatric Complex; Completely Demolished

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By <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Deedeebee" class="mw-redirect" title="User:Deedeebee">Dwight Burdette</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, CC BY 3.0Link


History

In the 1940’s all of Michigan’s psychiatric hospitals were either full or beyond capacity – 10,000 patients in Eloise alone (see below for our article on the Eloise Complex). The only solution was to build another one. Before the invention of anti-psychotic drugs these asylums were the only solution to the growing mental health issue.

In 1943 the State of Michigan bought 453 acres of forest in Northville with the intent of building a new psychiatric facility. When the hospital opened in 1952 it was state of the art with a power plant, recreation facilities, kitchen, employee housing and patient housing in both cottages and a 9-story building.

This new 650 bed facility was quickly overcrowded – just like its contemporaries – often housing over 1,000 patients in places like the gym.

With the advent of drugs, the population began to decline quickly in the 1970’s. A report by the Detroit News didn’t help accusing the hospital of leaving heavily drugged patients in a room all day watching tv. They also found evidence of assault, rape and further neglect.

However, with Northville being one of the most recently built facilities it survived the great closures of the 90’s. In 1995 the name was changed to the Northville Regional Psychiatric Hospital.

Nothing could stop the forward march of progress, though, and the days of giant psychiatric institutions was coming to an end. For Northville it was 2003 when the last patient moved out.

In 2006 the property was sold to a developer and a few buildings were demolished. All of the others – including the iconic 9 story building – were left to slowly fall apart and rot. Trespassing and vandalism became major issues.

There were a couple of lawsuits and general unhappiness with the developer so the township ended up buying a large part of the property back with a plan to redevelop the area into a large park with trails and a sled hill created from waste from the hospital.

All remaining buildings were completely demolished – including the basements and tunnel system – by November 2018.

 

Paranormal Activity

Apparitions of former patients and staff have been seen in the buildings – including standing in the shattered windows – and on the grounds.

Phantom voices and conversations have been heard. Phantom footsteps are reported and some people have been followed by them. Light anomalies, unexplained mists and temperature changes have been experienced along with electrical disturbances. Phantom screams, laughter and other unexplained noises and bangs are heard.

Feelings of unease, sadness, being watched, not being wanted and desperation are widely reported.

In the former tunnels people have reported being breathed on by an unseen presence.