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Traverse City
Traverse City

Traverse City Asylum



Traverse City Asylum
 
 
1885 - 1989

The History:

Also known as the Traverse City State Hospital, Northern Michigan Asylum and the Traverse City Regional Psychiatric Hospital, the Traverse City Insane Asylum was established in 1885 and for over 100 years cared for the mentally ill until it closed its doors in 1989.
 
While the picture of the castle-like hospital building (most commonly known as Building 50) is probably the most common image most people think of when they think of the Traverse City Insane Asylum, it actually is a small part of the massive 135 acre hospital complex. The hospital also had 12 cottages and was built to be mostly self sustaining with its own power plant, shop for steam heat, greenhouses, a farm with 2 large barns, separate farm buildings and was even home to a world champion Milk cow named Traverse Colantha Walker (whose grave is still on the grounds). The hospital generally employed more than 200 workers at any time, its closure was a blow to Traverse City MI.
 
While the hospitals main goal was the care for the mentally ill, it also helped care for outbreaks of tuberculosis, epilepsy, typhoid, diphtheria, influenza and polio.


TODAY
While a scant few of the buildings have been lost to demolition over the years, there is currently a massive effort to preserve and restore those that are left. Deterioration and decay have been waging war against these historic buildings for years but in 2000 the Minervini Group secured an agreement to renovate the historic buildings, starting with Building 50. Wing by wing they are restoring and renovating the building and turning its upper levels into upscale condominiums, while its ground or lower levels house shops, boutiques, offices and restaurants. They are also starting work on some of the cottages to turn this area into THE VILLAGE AT GRAND TRAVERS COMMONS.
 
 
Bldg. 20 then
Bldg. 20 now

To see their before and after photo gallery please click the link below:
 



OUR INVESTIGATION
When we arrived it seemed very strange to pull into a parking lot of a long building wrapping around with signs for boutiques, apartments, coffee shops and bakeries on one end, construction in the middle and silent decay at the end. All we could do at first was stand in awe.
Most of the buildings on the 135 acres were undisturbed so we decided to walk around and check them out. They were marked NO TRESPASSING and we obey all laws but there was more than enough to see and satisfy our curiosity from the main roads winding between the buildings


Without permission to go into any of these buildings we could not do a full investigation but simply touring the grounds with the K2 meters, cameras and audio recorders was enough to make our hair stand on end. There were points where we got a feeling of being watched and chalked it up to probably a security guard somewhere but after checking our pictures we are not so sure.



Something in the window?


Looks like a woman standing in window.


Very bright orb.


Appears to be something walking.

 

The night ended when we heard the very audible sound of a scream coming from an area of the woods close to where the farm used to be. It was captured on audio but was at a distance and we were talking when we heard it so you may need headphones to hear it in the background. It occurs as Terri is saying "husbands". Teenagers playing, a female fox, a lady in distress or a voice from the past, what do you think that is?