Location: 4500 Enterprise Dr., Bartonville, Illinos 61607
Owners: Insane Women Productions, 4501 Pfeiffer Rd, Bartonville, IL 61607
asylum was completed in 1902 under the direction of Dr. George Zeller who was
truly a pioneer of the mental health institution of the day. He revolutionized
the humane treatment of the sick and elderly. It was opened up as Peoria State
Hospital, as Peoria was the largest nearby city. In total there were
thirty-three buildings to serve the community.
Hospital was added to the complex in 1949 and was used to treat the many
tuberculosis patients. The northern wing was for the female patients while the
southern wing house the many male patients. Many people came down with this
incurable disease and the deaths sometimes numbered 4-5 a day. The bulk of the
patients were eventually housed in tents to try to stem the spread of this very
contagious disease. These “tent colonies,” as they were called, remained
until Dr. Zeller left this facility in 1913.
1937 both patients and employees were tested by a Dr. M. Pollak of the Peoria
County Tuberculosis Sanatorium and more than half were diagnosed with TB.
Eventually Pollak was closed down in 1973, making it one of the few
remaining buildings from this massive complex. The last part of the building
used to house patients was the female death ward where elderly patients were
kept for the last three years of the hospital’s usage.
the cafeteria area there has been the sound of whispering, crying and female
voices. The possible reason for the crying could be due to the fact that all
female patients had their hair cut off when they were admitted to the asylum. TB
was thought to have been passed around from patient’s body hair. In the female
death ward the apparition of a 95-year-old woman, nick-named “The Dirty
Girl” has been known to grab the private parts of male investigators in the
past. She would often strip naked and run through the hospital.
the X-Ray Room giggling has been encountered and numerous EVPs. It’s
considered to be a very active room. Other reports of doors slamming on their
own, singing, shadow figures, full-bodied apparitions and the sound of heavy
boots has been heard in the men’s death ward. The basement could be perhaps
the most haunted area of the building but, during our visit, we weren’t able
to go down there and investigate because of safety issues at the time.
The Ghost Research Society investigated Pollak Hospital September 5, 2015. Team members included: Stan Suho, Marge Sucha, Kathie Para, Michael Wright, Katherine Meagher and Dale Kaczmarek
setup: Our Command Center was set up in
the first room on the left upon entering the building. It was the only
“cool” spot in the building as the temperatures inside were almost
unbearable at times. The CC was cooled by several large fans so occasional
breaks were taken to cool off! A static IR camcorder, additional IR light and a
REM Epod was set up in the room with the bathtubs. Stan had set up an additional
IR camera in the X-Ray room where many voices and giggles had been heard in the
performed: Ghost Box, Ovilus X,
EVP and dowsing rods sessions were conducted in the men’s and women’s death
wards, X-ray room, the room with the stage and the room with the bathtubs.
Stan Suho: This was a campus of
historic old buildings located on top of a low hill. This was our first
investigation of the old Hospital. We arrived in after
which we took our equipment inside and were met by our hostess for the
evening. She conducted us on our walk through and pointed out all the active
places which I tapped. Thus began our first paranormal experience??? While
seated in a small meeting room, listening to her lecture, a small (sock puppet)
(my words) appeared over her shoulder. As I was busy tapping her, I did not
notice it, however our ever alert Kathy picked up on it and stopped the music.
It only appeared for about a few seconds then
disappeared back into the darkness. After some discussion we proceeded with the tour.
My setup consisted of 1 IR Camera and Ghost Microphone located in an old x-ray room. The Camera was recorded on a DVR and the Microphone on an Audacity Laptop. After setup I wandered the corridors taking pictures.
More on the aforementioned apparition. The group seemed to be dived on the authenticity of it. After reviewing it many times, I remain skeptical. I would hate to think this was staged, but it was just too artificial. I can see Vincent Price pulling the strings. Others not sure. However it is up for viewing on our website. Take a look and let us know what you think.
Nothing to report from my experiments. Without all the shenanigans this is still an interesting place. Maybe next time our cameras should be focused on the live spirts instead of the dead ones.
Sucha: On the day we investigated it was
extremely hot and muggy. We
arrived early so we could get pictures outside.
At 7:00 PM the walk through started with a slide show presentation.
Near the end of the presentation off to the side on the room several
investigators noticed what looked like a piece of a white sheet float up in the
air and drop down. Upon
investigating the area closer nothing unusual was found.
Dale & Stan were recording the presentation; they both got this on
film. Going over this we realized
this white sheet was actually up in the air for approximately 5-10 seconds
before it dropped down. We were
unable to determine what it was; however, I personally don't believe this was
paranormal. We decided to start our
investigation in the Men's sick room since this was the area the sheet incident
happed. Immediately Kathie's battery
in her camera drained. Kat was also
having problems with her equipment. I
didn't capture any EVPs in this room.
Ward - EVP session. We didn't get
anything with the Ovilus. Using the
SB-11, Spirit Box we did get some responses to our questions.
room Mike felt like someone was next to him.
Kat, Kathie and Mike heard something that sounded like a mechanical gust
of air come in the doorway. We
were unable to duplicate this or debunk.
I did pick it up on my recorder.
I'm wondering if we didn't pick up a residual sound from an old x-ray
investigated several other rooms. Got
some interesting responses on the Ovilus.
Hospital was partially decorated for the upcoming Haunted House (Halloween).
found this to be somewhat distracting from the investigation.
I would love to go back and investigate again (minus the decorations)
Para: GRS members Dale, Stan, Marge, Kat, Mike and I investigated this former
tuberculosis hospital September 5, 2015. I had been there once before and was
anxious to return.
We started in the men’s death ward with a slide
show and were given some history of the building and the area by Chris, who was
our guide. During her talk I was distracted by something that caught my eye,
which I then focused on. Trying to make sense of what I was seeing, I saw what
looked like a white piece of cloth in the air and it then seemed to float down
behind a board. I then noticed Kat looking at it and I then asked her if she saw
it too, which she did. A couple of us got up and looked behind the board and
didn’t find anything that could explain what we saw. The funny thing was that
this happened when Chris was explaining how some patients who died and were sent
to their hometowns for burial were tightly bound in sheets and put on the train.
What I saw looked like part of a sheet. Fortunately, we did catch this on video.
Frankly, the video reminds me of an old Vincent Price movie where someone pulls
a string and a ghost swoops down. We checked the area out but wish we had done
more extensive investigating of the area. I wish we could conclusively confirm
this as paranormal but it was exciting nonetheless.
Further investigation of the men’s death ward
during the night turned up noises that seemed to come from all around the room,
batteries draining, shadows, a whisper and a creeped out feeling.
In the women’s death ward we had very good luck
with responses out of the ghost box. We also heard some unexplained noises and
had some high Melmeter readings.
In another room that was set up for the Halloween
haunted house, with a stage and large spiders we had high Melmeter readings and
quite a few relevant responses from the Ovilus.
While investigating the X-ray room some of us heard
(and caught on our recorders) a loud whooshing noise that sounded like something
was coming from the hallway into the doorway of the room. A couple of our team
immediately ran to the hall but could not find any explanation for this sound.
It was almost sounded like a huge gust of wind. Mike, who was closest to the
door, had felt as though something was standing by him before this happened. He
also thought he saw something. We tried running the water in the bathroom and
flushing the toilet to find an explanation but we could not debunk this sound.
During the night we had several pieces of equipment
shut themselves off, batteries drained, shadows seen and unexplained noises.
I would be anxious to return to this building!
Meagher: Chris was giving us a presentation consisting of a slideshow with the
history of the buildings at The Top of the Hill at the Bartonville asylum. I do
like history of the places I'm investigating but, not necessarily anything that
is related to the spooky experiences that might happen to other people. We were
in the middle of the room watching the slideshow when I saw something. Behind me
was a roll window; in front of the windows was a mishmash of Halloween props.
About maybe 10 feet from where I was sitting I saw something I would have to
explain as a small sheet or possibly a large handkerchief drop between the
disarray of props. I was not the only one that saw it. Kathy had seen it too.
Stan was videotaping the presentation and believes he picked it up on tape. Our
group proceeded out of the room; I went over to where I thought I saw the sheet
or whatever I might have seen, had fallen. There was nothing there that
resembles what I saw. After view the tape after the investigation, I had
realized I was looking at least four feet away from where I had thought to see
the object fall. I was also looking on the floor and after reviewing the tape it
did not fall on the floor. I wish we had reviewed the tape right then and there
so we could have possibly debunk what had happened or try to see if it were
paranormal or not. In my mind the investigation started out interesting.
We were in another part of the building where
people thought they heard something being dragged across the floor or some kind
of whooshing sound during an EVP session. Mike was standing by the door while
the rest of us were on the other side of the room. Not knowing what the sound
was Mike and I went out into the corridor to see what we could see. There was
nothing there. My tape recorder was in the hallway and after reviewing what I
captured, I couldn’t necessarily say it was totally unexplainable. The
corridors echo and right around the corner was command center. It is possible
that somebody at command center drug a chair or piece of equipment, which echoed
through the hallway. We did try to debunk it at the time.
All in all, it was a good investigation and as
always, I had a lot of fun.
Michael Wright: We investigated the Pollack Hospital on September 5th.
Was looking forward to this
investigation but was disappointed the way that the building was sent up, it was
like an amusement park ghost house. Had several things happen that were
interesting but did not trust any of the evidence from that night.
During the walk through we
were watching a slide show of the history of the building, when several people
in our group noticed a cloth or some type of textile that appeared to the side
of the projector screen. We looked around but did not notice anything at that
time, after going over the video evidence there was footage of the material that
stood up and continued standing even after a few minutes then it collapsed onto
the floor, if this would have happened somewhere else it would have been very
impressive, but there were so many Halloween props and gadgets in the building
that this might have been one of the props that turned on or malfunctioned.
We did hear something
interesting noises in the x-ray room but again was not sure if it was one of the
The building has a long
history of activity and I have been there in the past and have had some unique
experiences but sadly it is now like a commercial ghost house. This is my own
personal view point of the building and the investigation.
Kaczmarek: This location has
been on my wish list for quite some time. We have investigated the nearby Bowen
Building twice which is right down the road, but never here before. Smaller than
the Bowen building and basically confined to one floor and a basement which we
did not have the opportunity to investigate, it made the investigating a little
easier on the feet even though the inside temperatures were brutal!
investigating the room with the two tubs my Melmeter was picking up a steady .7
from no known natural cause. Three times my digital recorder turned on and
recorded in my pocket. My particular digital recorder has a switch which makes
it difficult to accidentally turn on unless a considerable pressure is used to
slide the on switch. My Melmeter picked up a 2.1 spike in the haunted house
tunnels near the female death ward.
names came through on the Ovilus in dictionary mode while we were conducting an
EVP session in the male death ward including; Lynn, Deborah, Frank and James and
the Ghost Radar produced the word, “struck.”
most amazing thing was a whitish sheet-like thing appeared in the men’s death
ward, while our host was finishing up the history of the location. While I
wasn’t privy to see this in “real-time”, Stan and I both caught it on
video. This was during the time that our guide was talking about wrapping some
deceased patients in sheets and temporarily storing them in the basement. On
review of the video, it almost looks like an arm or hand, wrapped in a white
sheet appears over a piece of plywood, remains for a good long time before
dropping out of sight behind the plywood board. Para, Sucha and Wright all saw
this in real time and it was just out of the peripheral vision of our guide.
Attack moan Pollak.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus X session in dictionary mode in the female death ward, the Ovilus says, “Attack” followed by a “Moan” in the background.
woman grasp Pollak.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus X session in dictionary
mode in the X-ray room, three words were produced in sequence, “Exit woman
grasp.” This is especially noteworthy a there is a female ghost that likes to
grab men’s private areas.
of air Pollak.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the X-ray room, a
strange gust of air or whooshing sound was heard by all. (See strange noise.MPG.)
scream Pollak.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the room with the two
bathtubs, there was a distant scream heard and recorded in the background.
Help you yeah help Pollak.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus X session in the room with the two bathtubs, the Ovilus says, “Help you.” A question was posed, “Help you?” to which the Ovilus says, “Yeah help.”
Pollak.MPG – while conducting a Ghost Box session in the Female death ward, a
high-pitched female voice comes through the Ghost Box and says. “Hi.”
Pollak.MPG – while conducting a Ghost Box session in the Female death ward, a
high-pitched female voice comes through the Ghost Box and again says. “Hi.”
Hi3 Pollak.MPG – while conducting a Ghost Box session in the Female death ward, a high-pitched female voice comes through the Ghost Box and again says. “Hi.”
Pollak.MPG – while conducting a Ghost Box session in the Female death ward, a
question was asked, “My name in Marge. What’s yours?”
Box responds with, “Linda.”
death ward noise again Pollak.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the
Men’s death ward, another noise was heard.
death ward noise Pollak.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the Men’s
death ward, a noise is heard in the background.
death ward short whisper Pollak.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the
Men’s death ward, a short whisper is heard.
death ward whisper Pollak.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the Men’s
death ward, another whisper is heard.
Nurse Pollak.MPG – while conducting a Ghost Box session in the Women’s death ward, a question was asked, “Or are you a nurse?” The Ghost Box responds with, “Nurse.”
Pollak.MPG – while conducting a Ghost Box session in the Women’s death ward,
a question was asked, “Is there a patient here?” The Ghost Box responds
Pollak.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus X session in the Men’s death ward, a
question was asked, “Who’s in this room that we saw earlier peek up from
behind that board?” The Ovilus X responds with a response that could not be
there Marge Pollak.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus X session in the room with
the stage, a question was asked, “Can you show where we get x-rays?” The
Ovilus responds with, “Right there, Marge.”
Pollak.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus X session in the room with the stage,
a question was asked, “What was this room used for?” The Ovilus responds
noise Pollak.MPG – (see Gust of air.MPG.)
thing Pollak.MPG – a most incredible piece of footage! While our host was
lecturing to us about the history of the hospital, a white sheet-like appendage
suddenly pops up from behind a piece of pressed wood, stays in an erect position
for a number of seconds before disappearing behind it. Note: at the time of this
event our host was talking about how some patients were “tightly bound in
sheets.” It does appear to be wrapped in a sheet!
thing zoomed Pollak.MPG – zoomed in version of “The thing.”
Pollak.MPG – while conducting an EVP session, the group was talking about how
hot it was when a whisper is heard in the background that cannot be made out
talking in an entire sentence.
Pollak.MPG – while finishing up the Ovilus X session in the room with the
stage, a comment was made, “We’re going to go into the other room and talk
in there, if you’re not going to talk with us.” The Ovilus responds with,
2 voices Pollak.MPG - while
conducting a Ghost Box session in the Women’s death ward, two different female
voices come through the device.
death ward no Pollak.MPG – while conducting a Ghost Box session in the
women’s death ward, a question was asked, “Are you having trouble talking
through that?” The Ghost Box responds with, “No.”
death ward two Pollak.MPG – while conducting a Ghost Box session in the
Women’s death ward, a question was asked, “Can you tell us how many? Can you
give us a number?” The Ghost Box responds with, “Two.”
death ward yep Pollak.MPG – while conducting a Ghost Box session in the
Women’s death ward, a question was asked, “Can you talk really, really
loud?” The Ghost Box responds with, “Yep.”
whooshing Pollak.MPG – while (see Gust of air.MPG.)
The location was incredible! It was just one floor with several wings and a full
basement. The only suggestion I would make to other paranormal teams who might
wish to investigate this location is to bring plenty of cameras to set up in the
many haunted rooms, less you might miss something. Another good suggestion would
be to investigate this location in the early spring or late fall and not in the
heat of the summer, as the building is unbearable and you will sweat gallons of
our host, was very knowledgeable of not only the hauntings, but had a fantastic
grasp of the past history of the building and what all the rooms were used for
in the past. It is only with this complete knowledge of any building that future
paranormal teams will have a better chance of capturing evidence.
and her team basically left us the building to ourselves while sitting in nice
air-conditioned cars as security for possible intruders; kind of a job that I
would have enjoyed on that hot and muggy evening in September. They were also
very helpful in showing our team, working electrical outlets and light switches.
A necessity for a successful hunt!
I would greatly recommend this location to any serious paranormal team as we did collect of very relevant and intelligent responses during our visit to Pollak Hospital.
Ghost Research Society (www.ghostresearch.org)
© 2015 Dale Kaczmarek. All rights reserved.
Web site created by Dale Kaczmarek