Smith's Grove Warren County Sanitarium is a fictional Illinois state hospital and psychiatric care facility named after the real-life town of Smith's Grove in Warren County, Kentucky. It was the location of treatment and incarceration of now-serial killer, Michael Myers from November 1963 to October 30, 1978.
Along with the City of Haddonfield, Illinois, it is one of the most important story settings in the Halloween motion picture saga (Except for Halloween III: Season of the Witch). While it was featured on-screen in two Halloween installments (I & VI) and explained or simply implied in five (I, II, IV, VI, & VII), it continues to be a mysterious place among many fans of the series.
John Carpenter attended Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky where his father was a Music Professor (Carpenter also wrote the famous Halloween theme song), and Smith's Grove was a nearby town. Carpenter actually peppers Bowling Green references throughout Halloween as well as some of his other movies.
Halloween[edit | edit source]
Dr. Loomis received six-year-old Michael Audrey Myers. For the rest of his natural life, Loomis would adopt unconventional obsession in trying to solve the enigma of his patient's relentless rage and remorseless violent behavior.
For a period of six months, the genuine psychiatrist was ordered to spend four hours each day in therapy sessions with the young boy. Finally, on Friday May 1, 1964, Loomis tried convincing two superior doctors that Michael's state of catatonia was a farce, "a conscious act." He believed that there was "an instinctive force within him." Michael was keeping himself silent, but still alert as if waiting for something; but Loomis did not know what it was.
On the stormy night of Monday October 30, 1978, after fifteen years of confinement, the now-21-year-old Michael Myers "awakened" from his fictitious catatonia. In his cell, he scrawled the word "sister" onto the back of his door, and trashed the bed, walls, and windows. Succeeding in breaking one of the windows, he freed himself from the room. He opened the doors in the corridor releasing other patients and pushed them all outside. Bernardi, the night watchman, was not present during his regular duty at around 10:00 P.M. Michael had wanted to create chaos to keep from being detected by the facility's staff.
Also that night, Dr. Loomis and his assistant Nurse Marion Chambers arrived at Smith's Grove to pick up Michael for his scheduled court date. While driving up, they noticed a few patients, wearing only nightgowns, were "wandering around" the grounds of the sanitarium even while the storm raged on. Loomis instructed Marion to "pull up to the main gate" so he could telephone the hospital about the released patients. When Loomis was on the telephone, Michael appeared, frightened Marion, and hijacked the station-wagon. Michael's destination was Haddonfield, Illinois, his childhood hometown.
The next morning, a nurse of the sanitarium explained to Dr. Loomis that it took most of the night to round up the released patients. In fact, "one of them was way over in the Morgantown Road." She escorted Loomis to Michael's cell revealing what his patient wrote on the door. Loomis knew that Michael was on his way home to Haddonfield.
Halloween II[edit | edit source]
When the death of three teenagers is revealed on Haddonfield's WWAR news broadcast, Reporter Robert Mundy explains that the perpetrator is "a mental patient who escaped last night from the Smith's Grove - Warren County Sanitarium. He is now believed to be at large in Haddonfield." This is the first time in the series that the sanitarium is referred to by its complete name.
Immediately after discovering "Samhain" written in blood in an elementary school classroom, Loomis speaks with his colleague Marion. She had just arrived in Haddonfield directly from Smith's Grove. She was charged with telling Loomis that he is ordered by their superiors back to the sanitarium. When news of the night's events reached all over the state, the Illinois governor demanded that Dr. Rogers send a marshal to retrieve Loomis with Marion's help.
Dr. Rogers wanted Loomis out of Haddonfield to reduce the possibility of a city and state-wide panic. Apparently, he did not want any person who was a member of the Mental Health Department anywhere near Haddonfield. If widespread panic erupted and Michael Myers was not captured, the sanitarium's public image and rehabilitation program could be jeopardized.
Much to his dismay, Loomis soon after reluctantly agreed to go back to Smith's Grove with Marion. While traveling out of the city, Marion explained that the governor had a bigger role in the evening's events. When news of Michael's actions reached the capital city of Springfield, the governor ordered Dr. Rogers to open a sealed file about Michael. The file revealed that Michael was the second of three children. Laurie Strode, the young woman who was Myers' quintessential target, was his younger sister. Loomis realized much to his shock that "he killed one sister fifteen years ago, now he's trying to kill the other." Michael Myers came home to relive the crime that caused him to be incarcerated in the first place.
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers[edit | edit source]
Because the Smith's Grove sanitarium was a minimum security facility, Michael was instead held in a federal prison. For ten years, while in a coma, Myers was held at the Ridgemont Federal Sanitarium in southern Illinois, four hours by car from Haddonfield.Dr Loomis found Micheael within 4 hours hiding at the gas station but Michael escaped in a truck after Loomis shot at Myers but he missed.The gas station blew up but Loomis survived and the chase was on.The above happened after the two paramedics were butchered in the ambulance.
On the night of Sunday October 30, 1988, two Smith's Grove medical attendants were charged by Myers' primary superiors to transfer him back to the Warren County sanitarium. In the ten years since his 1978 escape, it is assumed that either the Smith's Grove facility had now become a maximum-security ward, or that it was decided that Michael's comatose state made him no longer a threat requiring maximum security. While in the back of a transfer ambulance, Michael was slowly coming to. The two attendants were discussing the fact that Michael Myers was now under state and federal watch. They also revealed that the only known living relative in his hometown was a young niece. Michael later learns that she is named Jamie Lloyd, whom had been adopted by a foster family after Laurie Strode was apparently killed in a car accident along with her husband Jimmy Lloyd, Jamie's father. Awakening just in time to hear their exposition, the deranged killer decided to escape once again, ten years to the date of his first breakout. On this trip, Michael Myers never made it back to the sanitarium.
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers[edit | edit source]
When Michael Myers is arrested (for the first time in the saga) by civilian police officials, Haddonfield's Sheriff Benjamin Meeker explains to Michael's niece Jamie that he will be transferred to "a maximum-security facility, where he'll stay until the day he dies."
It is assumed that neither the Smith's Grove - Warren County Sanitarium, Ridgemont Federal Sanitarium, nor the Litchfield ward (alluded to in the television version of Halloween) is this place. Based on the sheriff's tone of voice and his words, it is perhaps a facility more adapt to the indefinite confinement of dangerous criminals. It may be a prison controlled by the federal government. The Smith's Grove sanitarium is never mentioned by name in this Halloween installment.
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers[edit | edit source]
For the first time since the first Halloween film, (and last, within the original Halloween film franchise) the Smith's Grove - Warren County Sanitarium returns on-screen and plays a much larger role. According to this sixth installment, Dr. Terence Wynn was the reason Michael Myers was confined to Smith's Grove when he was age six. Apparently Michael had heard a voice compelling him to kill his promiscuous teenage sister Judith, resulting in his confinement.
In the preceding installment, a mysterious "man in black" was trailing Michael and Dr. Loomis on October 31, 1989. Six years later, on Halloween 1995, he is revealed as Dr. Wynn, who has secretly been the leader of a Druidic organization held in the subterranean levels of the sanitarium. The organization, testing and thus failing in DNA and in vitro fertilisation experiments, relied on physically impregnating Michael's niece Jamie, now age fifteen, in hopes of continuing Michael's bloodline. Their intent was to pass his "curse of Thorn"- the bizarre and (usually unaccepted) reason for his violent nature - onto the baby boy who was born on the night of Monday October 30, 1995. Michael returns to Haddonfield systematically murdering members of the Strode family: Laurie Strode's adoptive uncle John, aunt Debra, and cousin Timothy. Loomis had informed Debra Strode that Michael had returned and now seeks revenge against the new occupants of his childhood home. The concerned psychiatrist explains that the "house is sacred to him; he has all of his memories here, his rage." Apparently, the former Myers residence is Michael's sacred ground alongside his second home of the Smith's Grove sanitarium.
In the series, the sanitarium and its administrator are first seen as benevolent, but still ineffectual. In this installment, they both are now dark and malevolent having purely demonic ambitions.
Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later[edit | edit source]
In the prologue credits of this film, information in the form of documents typed under a "Warren County Sanitarium" letter-head are shown in the late Dr. Loomis' former bedchamber / office. In one of the documents, it reveals that 1605 Shady Lane is the sanitarium's Smith's Grove address.
A newspaper article that can also be seen reads as follows:
- Child Murderer Escapes Mental Hospital - Michael Myers, criminally insane killer, age 21, is reported missing from Warren County Sanitarium.
Laurie Strode as Keri Tate explains to her boyfriend / high school counselor Will Brennan that her brother "sat in a sanitarium for fifteen years, waiting for me." It is assumed that Michael was waiting for his younger sister to turn age seventeen. This phrasing of course refers to the sanitarium as seen in Halloween and known by its full name in Halloween II.
Halloween (2007 film)[edit | edit source]
10-year-old Michael (Daeg Faerch) is taken to said sanitarium under the care of Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) after the murders of his sister, her boyfriend, and his mother's abusive boyfriend. He spends many months there and finally goes into a state of catatonia, but when a nurse (Sybil Danning) says he couldn't possibly be related to baby Laurie because of a picture, he gruesomely stabs her with a fork. A guard, Ismael Cruz (Danny Trejo), attempts to genuinely pacify him during his seventeen years in captivity there. Finally, he is released, kills his guards, and goes searching for Laurie.
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