Night at the Pollak Hospital
Peoria State Hospital -- Bartonville, Illinois
November 16, 2013
Night at the Pollak Hospital
Peoria State Hospital
4500 Enterprise Drive
November 16, 2013 – 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Are you brave enough to spend
the night at a place that is rapidly becoming known as one of
the most haunted places in Illinois?
Join American Hauntings and Rep Loren Hamilton as we
explore the haunted confines of the Pollak Tuberculosis Hospital
on the grounds of the infamous Peoria State Hospital in
Bartonville, Illinois. Known for the restless spirits that now
roam the abandoned wards, halls and corridors of the old
building -- you have to decide if you're brave enough to join us
for this nighttime investigation!
$75 Per Person
Here to Make Reservations for this Event!
|Pollak Hospital was
built on the grounds of the Peoria State Hospital in Bartonville
in 1949 to serve the needs of patients at the state asylum that
were suffering from tuberculosis. The asylum itself was
completed in 1902 under the direction of Dr. George A Zeller, a
pioneer in the mental health field of the day. Prior to this
time, mental health care barely existed. In those days, anyone
suffering from a mental disorder was simply locked away from
society in an asylum. Many of these hospitals were filthy places
of confinement where patients were often left in straitjackets,
locked in restraint chairs, or even placed in crates or cages if
they were especially disturbed. Many of them spent every day in
shackles and chains and even the so-called "treatments" were
barbaric. Most mental patients spent their entire lives locked
up inside of an asylum. Soon, though, men like Dr. Zeller began
promoting the fact that the mentally ill could be helped, not
just locked away and forgotten.
When the new state asylum opened, it was called the Peoria State
Hospital, named for the closest large town. The hospital
implemented what was called the "cottage system" and 33
different buildings were used to house patients. There was also
a dorm for the nursing staff, a store, a power house and a
domestic building with a laundry, bakery and kitchen.
Dr. George Zeller
One of the hospital's
tuberculosis tent colonies
|The asylum was eventually closed down
in 1973 and many buildings were destroyed or sold at auction.
Most of the buildings on the old hospital property have been
torn down but many of those that remain are rumored to be
haunted by spirits of the past.
The Pollak Hospital was added to the state hospital campus in
1949, although tuberculosis deaths on the grounds dated back to
the earliest days of the asylum. By 1906, it was the leading
cause of death at the hospital and during a single year, 64
patients succumbed to the disease. The high number of deaths
convinced Dr. Zeller to try and control the spread of the
illness by segregating the sick in tent colonies.
The first colony at the hospital was a large porch on one of the
cottages that was enclosed by heavy canvas. The canvas could be
rolled up during fair weather to allow patients to take in fresh
air, one of the earliest treatments for consumption. The
experiment was largely successful, so more tent colonies were
added to the grounds. The tent colonies remained in use until
Dr. Zeller left the hospital in 1913.
Tuberculosis, though, continued to be a problem. In 1937,
patients and employees of the asylum were tested by Dr. M.
Pollak, director of the Peoria County Tuberculosis Sanatorium,
and it was discovered that more than half of all of them tested
positive for tuberculosis.
In 1949, the Pollak Hospital and Infirmary Building was built to
care for patients with tuberculosis. The northern wing was for
female patients and the southern wing was for male patients. It
was named in honor of Dr. Pollak, who carried out the exhaustive
research at the asylum in 1937.
By 1973, the Pollak Hospital was one of the last buildings on
the grounds of the asylum that were still in use.
During the hospitals years of operation, hundreds died within
its walls and according to stories and eyewitness accounts,
scores of their spirits stayed behind to walk the wards and
hallways of the crumbling building.
Are you ready to spend the night searching for evidence of the
ghosts that remain? Join American Hauntings at the Pollak
Hospital for a night that you won’t soon forget!
The Pollak Hospital in 1973