For New Bedford’s Stephanie Burke, ghosts have always been a big part of her life.

Burke was born with both psychic and mediumship abilities, something that ran in her family. From a very young age, she was seeing and interacting with spirits, but it wasn’t something she was comfortable sharing with people until much later in her life.

Now, she is sharing her gifts with the world as the star of the new paranormal television series Secrets of the Asylum, which is now available through the FOX Nation streaming service.

“Our experiences that we had were just completely mind-blowing,” Burke said in an appearance on WBSM.

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The asylum in the title refers to Eloise Asylum, located outside of Detroit, Michigan. It first opened as a poorhouse in 1839 and operated in different capacities until 1986.

At one point, it was one of the largest medical facilities in the country, with over 10,000 patients – including many that were subjected to medical testing.

“It became notorious for testing the first x-rays on people,” Burke said. “I’m sure you can imagine what that was possibly like for people to be a guinea pig for something like that, just absolutely horrific.”

Courtesy FOX Nation
Courtesy FOX Nation
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Burke said the history of the asylum is “very dark,” and that still permeates through today. She and her boyfriend and fellow investigator/historian Scott Porter spent “about six or seven weeks” at Eloise, investigating its hauntings and absorbing that darkness.

“I was immersed in it for so long, it really affected me while we were filming,” she said. “It affected Scott. It started to affect our crew, too. It was rough to hear some of the stories and to realize what these people had gone through.”

However, being able to go in as a psychic medium and apply her gifts to the long-dead patients of Eloise was the light in that darkness.

“It was very rewarding to be able to tell these stories, because they were either lost, forgotten or told incorrectly,” Burke said.

Burke said that she and Porter had been approached by production companies and potential television projects in the past, but they never seemed to be the right fit for their approach. Both were television veterans; Burke had made appearances on Kindred Spirits and Ghost Hunters, while Porter was one of the stars of Ghost Asylum, Haunted Towns and Haunted Live.

“Scott and I had talked about it for a long time, we just wanted people to be able to follow our journey in the way that we were experiencing it,” she said.

When a call came from producer and paranormal TV veteran Rob Saffi, Burke and Porter knew they had found the right fit.

“We thought, ‘This is too good to be true. This is something we really want to do,’” Burke said. “We want to be authentic, we want to go in without a script, and just investigate the way we investigate and do what we do and really get down deeper into the story – the haunting, the spirits that are there – and we were really able to accomplish that with this show.”

Courtesy FOX Nation
Courtesy FOX Nation
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Unlike other paranormal investigation shows, which typically just spend a few days at a location, Secrets of the Asylum has the advantage of allowing the investigators to spend multiple weeks exploring its history and its haunts.

“We were able to completely immerse ourselves in there and really dive deep into the who, what, when, where, why and how of this particular building, the hauntings,” Burke said. “What we found, I have to say, blew my mind, and I’ve been doing this for a long time.”

All six episodes of the first season of Secrets of the Asylum were released today, so viewers can do an uninterrupted deep dive into Eloise along with Burke and Porter.

Burke and Porter will also be holding a very special watch party event next week in Middleboro, Massachusetts. Dubbed the “Spooky Soiree,” it will take place at the Alley Theatre on Thursday, October 26.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the event kicks off at 6:30, featuring a talk with the stars of the show as well as a special screening of the debut episode of Secrets of the Asylum. Tickets are available online.

On November 17, Burke and Porter are returning to Eloise Asylum for the first time since filming the series for an event entitled "Evenfall at Eloise," in which people can purchase tickets and join them in a paranormal investigation of the asylum.

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