Kalamazoo Sanitarium

More From Michigan

Suffering experienced while alive, doesn’t always allow an easy exit.

Death can be a release from it all, but sometimes it isn’t.



Before this creepy building was torn down in 2011, Tom and I were able to visit a few years earlier.

After hunting down this address, Tom and I looked through the surrounding security heavy duty chain-linked fence, topped with barbed wire, and studied this four story, 45,000 sq foot institutional facility made up of a variety of brick buildings, and marveled at its woe be gone appearance of neglect, complete with broken windows.

There it sat, on a prime piece of real estate of several “rolling acres”,; a huge red elephant located in a slightly run-down, yet clean, well-kept neighborhood. If this was located in an upscale neighborhood, the homeowners association, not to mention the art jury would be screaming bloody murder!

Not only was it a huge eyesore, but it also gives off a really creepy aura, giving us both the feeling that something was watching us from one of is many broken windows.

On this property as of 2013,  the land has been repurposed to be Prairie Gardens housing units for low-income seniors.  According to google maps, there are seven new houses built there with a nice big grassy area for the residents to enjoy. The  sanitarium building may be gone completely, but not the spirits.


The shell of Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital was an abandoned eye sore, and it was only matter of time before it would be torn down.

This wasn’t always the case. In 1954, this 2.5 million dollar facility was once the home of the state of the art Southwest Michigan Tuberculosis Sanitarium, offering the latest treatments known, for the once deadly killer, Tuberculosis, including the newest antibiotics developed which were quickly kicking the disease in the pants, curing people who would’ve died if they had lived in the 1920s and early ’30s.

Their successful program changed the future of this building, as patients were actually cured and sent home. Even with all the mental patients with TB from all over Michigan in its care, by 1966, there were only 69 patients. So, 108 long time care, elderly patients, who no longer needed to be treated for mental illness were transferred from the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital to spend the rest of their years under the care of this facility.

It was no surprise, then, that the Sanitarium as a Tuberculosis care center was shut down in 1969, and turned over to the Michigan Department of Mental Health, who gave it to Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital.

From 1969 through 1990, this institution kept up the proud tradition of offering the best to its patients, including a varied gerontology program for seniors battling senility and other geriatric patients, who were in various states of physical decline. They were treated well by the staff and there was no evidence of abuse.

By 1990, the numbers again had fallen to the lowest level ever, and the hospital was closed for good. It was in great shape, and just needed the right organization to move in. The Department of Mental Health & The Department of Management and Budget were in charge of finding the right party. At first, several organizations were interested, but “no action was taken.”

One serious offer came in 1990, from the K-PEP organization, which offers a private, non-profit program alternative to jail for non-violent offenders, 17-25 years old. Many in the surrounding community were not pleased, fearing the invasion of shady influences at a time when their neighborhood was fighting to stay ahead of urban decline, and undesirables entering their streets for illegal activities. This plan was nuked.

Another serious offer didn’t come until 7 years later, by Western Michigan University, but the deal fell through because of the huge asbestos problem which exists throughout this 1954 structure. No one wanted to fork over the money to fix the problem, which would of been expensive.

Finally, the city moved to get rid of this menace. “In 2010, the city decided to use federal grant money to eliminate the eyesore. The old hospital was finally demolished in late 2011. Title was transferred to the Kalamazoo County Land Bank, which used the site to construct Prairie Gardens housing units for low-income seniors. The first phase of the project was completed in February 2013As of 2016, this rotting building was torn down and new homes were built on this acreage. “

Each residence “offers spacious one & two bedroom apartments with open floor plans. Each home is equipped with many amenities and safety features including upgraded kitchens with deluxe countertops and cabinetry. We also provide a washer/dryer, covered front porches, and a one-car attached garage. Our complex is located in a quiet and peaceful area with amenities including a covered pavilion for activities, an exercise room and on-site maintenance.”

Sounds like a lovely place to live or haunt!

This wasn’t the end of the hauntings. No one try to help the spirits who were trapped there, so now they still are restless and watching.



Staying in a hospital or institution until death isn’t the way most people want to spend their time on earth. Being unhappy because of suffering from disease or mental problems or being infirm while alive, isn’t an easy way to exist. Death can be a release from it all, but sometimes it isn’t, perhaps because the entities don’t realize that they are free to go to the other side. Or, perhaps they feel the need to haunt the place they suffered so much in, not willing to let it all go. Or, their mental illness is still trapping them here.

Alcatraz, CA (Several mentally unbalanced spirits here are still doing time).

Williamsburg  Ludwell-Paradise House ( Apparently, after killing herself in the insane asylum, Lucy has come back to her forever home, along with her mental illness: She is still exhibiting compulsive obsessive behavior by taking a lot of baths).

Even when the structure is torn down, spirits who are attached to the structure simply reattach to the land. They have been known to just move into the new structure or structures that are built on this land.

Kolb Court, Ga (Civil War soldiers who died in a battle here have moved into the homes foolishly built on the old battle ground).

Pittsburgh National Aviary, PA (Confederate prisoners  and other prisoners who died in Western State Penitentiary that once stood here, love to visit and reside in this beautiful Federal Aviary; enjoying the animals and finding some free peace and entertainment).

Capitol Records Building, TN (The spirits of two elderly sisters have moved into this building as their beloved home once stood there).

Houses found on the KALAMAZOO SANITARIUM land, MI (The tormented spirits bonded to the land. Once the building was torn down. Some have moved into the homes built there, or still wander around the property).



Disturbing Auditory Activity

Residents who live in the neighborhood around the buildings have heard the screams and cries of mentally tortured souls, coming from the buildings at night.

They still apparently do.

I’m Watching You

Sensitive people could feel something watching them from the windows of the place, which is very creepy indeed.

Tom and I definitely felt a disturbed spiritual energy and presence coming from the building, from just standing on the sidewalk when we visited the property way back in 2007. We are not particularly psychic, but if the aura is strong, we did feel it. (Franklin Castle).

Personal Appearances

Shadow people have been seen outside and inside the building  by neighbors and trespassers who had gotten inside.

Today, they may be appearing to residents as well inside the new homes.

Unexpected Guests

Spirits who have bonded to the grounds that once was the place of the Kalamazoo Sanitarium, have simply moved into the houses that were built on the land.Â

Their unseen presences watch the living go about life in the homes and probably appear and let them know of their presences.

Still Wander

Shadow people are still wandering outside on the old hospital outside spaces.

Tearing down the structure did not free these tortured souls.



People have experienced the full paranormal sports package during the years of abandonment and after this institution was torn down.

Neighbors definitely believe in spirits because they have seen them wandering around the property; inside and outside, and heard them as well expressing their torment.

Illegal paranormal investigations inside the structure  got more than they ever expected, as spirits probably had no fear in making personal appearances, making disembodied comments at their living guests, and may have even made physical contact.

Homeowners who now live on the property report spirits in their homes doing a variety of activity letting their living housemates that they co-occupy the space



Yes Indeed!

The huge structure may be gone, but the restless, tormented souls are still connected to the land and the homes that are built on the land.

They can be experienced outside as well.

A shaman or a medium should be called into help the stuck spirits cross over into a more peaceful place in the spirit world.

Perhaps some tenants have already done so.



1500 Blakeslee Avenue,
Kalamazoo, Michigan

The abandoned Southwest Michigan Tuberculosis Sanitarium building can be found on a hillside overlooking the city of Kalamazoo, in the Fairmont neighborhood. Blakeslee is located between Alamo Avenue and W. North Street and N. Prairie Avenue and Denner Street.



  • kpl.gov/collections
  • 99wfmk.com
  • prairiegardenskalamazoo.com

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Visit the memorable… Milwaukee Haunted Hotel



Kalamazoo Asylum

Kalamazoo, MI, Haunted Abandoned Asylum Movie Trailer

Haunts in Michigan