Hillcrest Sanatorium


Location: Howell, Michigan, USA
Built: 1906
Operation Time: September 7th, 1907 – 1982
Type: Not Kirkbride Plan
Status: Mostly demolished

History

The Michigan State Sanatorium’s construction began in the city of Howell in 1906. By September 7th of the following year, the sanatorium started admitting patients. From 1909 and 1930, the hospital grew from 16 beds to 500 beds in just 21 years. At that time, tuberculosis (also known as consumption and the white plague) had ravaged the United States, leading to millions of deaths as the result of the epidemic. Once antibiotics were developed, the death rate dropped significantly. Thusly, the hospital admitted patients with mental disabilities and was renamed to the Howell State Hospital. The name was changed again in 1978 to the Hillcrest Regional Center for the Developmentally Disabled.

During the 1980s, several mental hospitals in northern Michigan were closed due to a healthcare reform and new prescription drugs for mental disorders that revolutionized the care of individuals with disabilities; Hillcrest was no exception, shutting its doors in 1982.

The Hillcrest’s buildings have long since been demolished, with upscale homes being developed atop the property. The homeowners have made reports of paranormal activity on their property as result of the patients who died in the hospital, with the activity ranging from mysterious lights and noises to apparitions of ghost children.

Sources

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17 Comments Add yours

  1. Sure hope the owners of the new houses won’t mind some ghosts in their house… :/

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    1. Hopefully they won’t mind…especially since they’ll have mentally ill ghosts. At least it wasn’t the Boston Psychopathic Hospital…that would not be fun…

      Ghostly World
      Email At: ghostlyworldblog@gmail.com

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      1. I read the text but don’t get what’s actually “wrong” with the hospital. Can you help me out?x

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      2. I would find it creepier to be haunted by the criminally insane than just the mentally inbalanced. 😉

        Ghostly World
        Email At: ghostlyworldblog@gmail.com

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      3. Hmmm… that’s a good point you’ve got there…

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      4. It wouldn’t be a fun experience…

        Ghostly World
        Email At: ghostlyworldblog@gmail.com

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      5. not.at.all

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      6. Hmm, haven’t read that post yet. Surely will! x

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  2. Wow, the description — referencing TB and the tunnel — sounds like a basis for the fictional hospital in American Horror Story (season 2). Sad and depressing to know such a place existed. Though not surprising.

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    1. Very true. The 1800s has a lot dark tales (particularly the Dorea Asylum and Waverly Hills Sanatorium). Our history is a dark one…and it is too late to be fixed now. Oh well…at least it’s fascinating.

      Ghostly World
      Email At: ghostlyworldblog@gmail.com

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  3. Howellgirl says:

    Facts are wrong! The hospital was open in 1907 as a TB facility. In the 1950s it began to accept developmentally disabled patients. The hospital was closed on 1982 due to lack of state funding and torn down in 1985. Some outer buildings and tunnels still remain. Houses are being built on the site.

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    1. Hi Howellgirl,

      Thanks for the information! We’ll update the post now.

      Thanks!

      Ghostly World
      Email At: ghostlyworldblog@gmail.com

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  4. laura says:

    to howellgirl if you have anything to share about hillcrest i’d love to hear from you as i’m planning to write a book about it.

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  5. laura says:

    I’m planning on writing a book about Hillcrest and if you would like to share information i’d love to hear from you!

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    1. Hi Laura,
      If you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them. Sorry for the late response – the comment got lost.

      Ghostly World
      Email At: ghostlyworld@gmail.com

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  6. laura says:

    howellgirl, i’m a local and i’m planning on writing a book about hillcrest and if you would like to share any information i’d love to hear from you!

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  7. Robert says:

    They made a movie on this place called Sanatorium check it out

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