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Where technology meets history… Eloise Asylum is located in an actual abandoned asylum that is said to truly be haunted. In its prime, Eloise Psychiatric Hospital in Westland, MI consisted of 78 buildings on 902 acres and housed 10,000 patients along with 2,000 staff members. It was the largest psychiatric facility in the United States. Today, only five of the original 78 buildings and the adjacent Eloise Cemetery remain. They have converted 30,000 square ft of the old asylum into their haunted attractions, but Eloise Asylum also offers paranormal investigations, a history/photography tour, and an escape room! Cold spark pyrotechnic simulators, a Tesla coil, advanced projection mapping technologies…Eloise Asylum is implementing state-of-the-art, Disney-level technology in their haunted attraction walk-throughs.

There are two attractions, The Asylum and The Basement. Although they are separate, the asylum theming continues from one to the other but gets… crazier! Now, we’ve seen our fair share of haunts that incorporate asylum theming and even visited other asylums turned haunted attractions, but none have NAILED IT the way Eloise does! The Asylum sets were an asylum to a T and clearly designed with scares in mind! There were so many hidey holes and doors that offered places for “patients” to jump out from, and Eloise had actors popping out from EVERYWHERE! They did a masterful job of balancing their jump scares with animatronics, fx, and just an overall creepy atmosphere. They definitely kept us on our toes, wondering where the next scare was coming from!

The descent into The Basement also felt like a mental descent… WE WERE GOING CRAZY! Strobe lights got more intense, the flooring starting moving under our feet, sets had a distorted look, everything just gave us this feeling of becoming progressively more unbalanced and unhinged until the experimentation went completely off the rails!

What both of Eloise’s attractions did really well was stick to their theme without it getting old. You might expect going through two attractions with the same theme to start feeling repetitive, but the way they represented an asylum was so much more then just the typical hospital hallways, patient rooms, and padded cells. They incorporated incredibly disturbing scenes of controversial and experimental treatments like a brainwashing theater, lobotomy lab, and even gene-splicing in The Basement!

Costuming and make-up were simple throughout The Asylum, because all the scare actors were either patients or doctors. But what we really loved was that they weren't just wearing hospital gowns or lab coats over their visible street clothes. They weren't wearing new Nikes with their grungy gowns but were actually barefoot or had on socks or hospital booties, while the doctors wore simple shoes or Crocs. These small touches are actually really huge when it comes to keeping you fully immersed in the haunt. Character design got a little more complex in The Basement as the patients became experiments and some were in failed stages of transformation.

Eloise Asylum also featured a surprisingly large midway area. They had all the classic carnival foods like french fries, funnel cakes, and so much more. There was even a stage where freak show act Reverend B. Dangerous was performing some extremely cringe-inducing feats.

After Halloween, Eloise hosted a special event we wish we could have experienced called High Intensity. They explained this experience as “your own personal nightmare, very real nightmare” where you are asked to perform certain activities to move forward in the attraction. Right up our alley!

Eloise is one of the newer Michigan haunts, and what a great addition they’ve made to the scene! It fits in perfectly with the movie-quality set standard that all the haunts we visited had, and also like the other haunts, brings its own unique vibe. All of the technology they’ve incorporated is going to make it extremely easy for them to provide a scalable and consistent customer experience. This is a must see haunt, and we look forward to seeing their continued growth!

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