The old state hospital in Traverse City was built in 1881 and was called the Northern Michigan Asylum. The hospital was established for the care of the mentally ill, its use expanded during outbreaks of tuberculosis, typhoid, diphtheria, influenza, and polio. It also cared for the elderly, served as a rehab for drug addicts, and was used to train nurses. The hospital closed in the 1990s and in 2000 was purchased by an investment group that has been renovating and repurposing the old buildings. The main building is now used for office space and the lower floor has some of Traverse Cities finest gift shops and restaurants.
Towards the back of the property sit some of the old dilapidated buildings still waiting to be renovated. Among the buildings, I saw this old abandoned house. I am not sure who lived there. Maybe one of the supervisors or doctors. It looked rather spooky sitting up on a hill. Some say the old asylum is one of the most haunted places in Michigan. I am sure Eugenics was practiced at the hospital, and over the years many patients have died in the buildings. One legend says that a priest had hung himself in the old chapel. Workers have said to see strange spirits and ghosts roaming the buildings. Hiking Trails meander through the woods next to the facility and some say the area surrounding the Hippie Tree is connected to the underworld.
I have visited the old asylum many times to get something to eat and browse its many gift shops. I don’t know if it’s haunted, but it sure is amazing the transformation of the buildings over the past 15 years.
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