The Northville Psychiatric Hospital opened in 1952 in the Township of Northville, about 30-minutes from the City of Detroit. The massive structure was built on 453 wooded acres and had 20 buildings that included a movie theater, a swimming pool, gymnasium and even a bowling alley. It was once known as a premiere psychiatric hospital with top notch care that utilized art and music to aid in treatment.
By the 1970’s, budgets for such hospitals were drastically cut and Northville’s high standing in the medical world started to collapse. The number of patients soared from 650 to 1,000+. To make matters worse, the hospital was designed to hold only 650 beds, so the bowling alley and gymnasium looked like a shelter for storm victims by 1971 filled with cots.
As medical staff was cut, doctors ditched music and art related treatment for the mentally ill and focused only on medicine. The Detroit News reported in the early 1980’s that patients were found sleeping in hallways, rape and assaults were common and some patients even died while fighting with staff, other patients died from alleged medical malpractice, as seen in past lawsuits filed against Northville.
The facility eventually closed in the early 2000’s and has sat vacant ever since. Problems selling the property revolved around medical waste, arsenic, barium and lead being dumped on the once pristine 453 acres of land.
The hospital has been deemed as one of the most haunted places in Michigan by some.