OLLI members visit the Peoria State Hospital, but hauntings and the Halloween season were not the topic of this walking tour.
Bill Turner, former employee of the Peoria State Hospital, guided a walking tour of the Bartonville site that was established in 1895. The Hospital has been closed since 1972, but Bill Turner recalled memories of the hospital as if they were yesterday.
OLLI members walked on the grounds of the hospital, and visited the four cemeteries where 4128 patients were buried. The hospital tour took place during the Halloween season, and Bill was able to debunk the stigma of hauntings at the Bartonville site. Bill shared with OLLI members that Dr. Zeller himself would often debunk myths through a variety of stories that he wrote. Ultimately, the Peoria State Hospital brought mental health reform to the Peoria area. In Illinois, the Peoria State Hospital has sparked interest in the paranormal community, but for Bill Turner, the hospital remains a place of “bittersweet memories.”
OLLI would like to thank Bill for guiding a walking tour that was extremely interesting and informative.