In the back of my mind, I always believed that the story of my second home, Eloise Asylum, would make a great film. And I just learned that’s it’s actually happening! Holy shit!
I want to tree-branch for a moment before I go into the film. I try to pay attention to which of my posts get the most views or searches. My posts on Eloise Asylum and Eloise Cemetery have consistently been at the top and I expect that to spike a lot higher once the film actually comes out. (Free promotion is never a bad thing. Sorry I’m not sorry.) I am not a historian or an expert on Eloise, but I have done extensive research on it. I have physically visited the asylum numerous times. Unlike most people who go there, I’m not really interested in the ghost stories or illegally breaking into the buildings for a good time. That’s not what Eloise should be known or remembered for. I only have positive intentions. I just wanted to make that clear before I continue because in the past people have believed my intentions were not pure. Honestly, I’m still upset about that.
Filming will soon begin for Eloise, a psychological thriller starring Eliza Dushku from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Chace Crawford from Gossip Girl. I actually love them both and I think they were perfect cast choices. The movie will be filmed in the old asylum (only one building of which is still used to this day) in Westland, Michigan. The subject matter aside, how rad is it that a movie is being filmed so close to where I’ve lived my whole life?! The premise of the film is that four friends break into Eloise to find a death certificate that would lead to a large inheritance for one of them. They don’t expect to discover the horrors that occurred here or to learn about their own unfortunate histories. Sadly, real-life break-ins are very common at Eloise. Dumb teenagers are curious and want to get a good scare. But, the remaining buildings from the massive complex are falling apart and not fit to walk around in.
I was happy to learn that the artifacts on display in the asylum museum have been removed prior to filming. I definitely didn’t want them to be damaged by a clumsy cameraman or special effects gone wrong. Some of the film will also be shot at the Masonic Temple in Detroit, which is right next door to where I attend meetings for work. A lady from the Westland Historical Commission is collaborating with crew members so that the positives of Eloise are highlighted. I think that’s very important because while horrible things happened here, the intent of the staff and creators was never malevolent. People just didn’t know what they do now about mental disorders. There’s no excuse for the horrid treatment that many patients received, but I’m just trying to give some perspective.
Of course, I have mixed feelings about this film. Eloise is very special to me. It’s become my secret place and a massive inspiration. I mean, the name of my blog and my name “Asylum Attendant” came directly off of a badge that the staff at Eloise wore. I almost don’t want people to find out about the asylum. That makes zero sense, as I’ve only tried to raise awareness about it since the start of this blog. I feel like a part of me is disappearing. Everyone will soon know about Eloise. It won’t make me unique anymore. My identity will be gone.
I know, I’m probably overreacting. Who knows, awesome things could come from the film. I just want the legacy of Eloise to be honored and cherished. I don’t want a crappy horror movie to destroy its image even more. Eliza and Chace are great actors and I trust them to take their roles seriously. The subject matter that will be addressed deserves respect. Many people were tortured, locked up and died here. It’s not a joke.
I look forward to seeing the final product. I will keep all of you posted. Whatever happens, please remember the original Asylum Attendant. They can’t take my home away from me. I’m here to stay.