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Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanatorium

Listed under Paranormal in Louisville, United States.

  • Photo of Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanatorium
  • Photo of Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanatorium
  • Photo of Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanatorium
  • Photo of Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanatorium
  • Photo of Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanatorium
  • Photo of Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanatorium
  • Photo of Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanatorium
Photo of Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanatorium
Photo by flickr user ConspiracyofHappiness
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If parapsychologists beliefs that negative energy leaves an indelible mark on an environment are correct then the thousands of souls who died of illness or madness within the walls of the Waverly Hills Sanatorium have certainly infected these bricks and mortar.

Built as a very nice state of the art hospital for TB sufferers, with a large solarium porch and upstairs conservatory, the building, even when newly opened in 1926 complete with school, chapel and playground looked creepy (it’s just the style of the period, nothing sinister, but it does add to the legend and hospitals are always ripe for haunting.). After closing as a TB facility it re-opened as Woodhaven Geriatric Facility which had a far less friendly outlook; rumors circulated about electric shock therapy and patient mistreatment and it was eventually closed because of improper patient care in the early 1980s. After this the building was sold privately and was left to vandals and squatters to abuse, it was around this time that stories about satanic rituals and strange happenings started to spread. Locals began to report hearses driving by to DROP OFF coffins, peculiar noises, children who looked real then appeared to vanish (the most common sighting is of a boy in old fashioned clothes playing with a ball.) and the malfunction of electrical equipment (electricity was cut off when the geriatric facility closed.).

Paranormal investigations of Waverly have reported shadowy figures, flying orbs and other strange lights, the smell of food, unexplained falling objects and baffling noises. The strongest paranormal activity seems to center around the Death Tunnel or the body chute (it even has two suitably grizzly names), where the cadavers were removed from the hospital. The TB death rate peaked at around one an hour and the tunnel was actually built to prevent patients from seeing the all too regular hearse pick ups, but a lot of people believe the tunnel is a hive of ghostly goings-on. Another room popular with psychics and ghost hunters is Room 502, originally a nurses station. A translucent woman in a white nightgown has been seen running screaming from this room towards the front of the hospital and while hearsay says it is a crazed patient who stabbed a nurse to death in this room, the only recorded death of a nurse in Room 502 was a suicide by hanging, but it is worth saying that mentally unstable patients were housed in this part of the hospital and apparently continued to use Room 502 while the body hung. As well as the woman in white people have also experienced rapid temperature decreases, heard strange sounds and felt sudden unexplainable drafts in 502.

Waverly has a reputation of being one of America’s most haunted buildings but a lot of its reputation has been built up by haunted tours and television specials, however I have visited several times and felt several strange presences including a tingling in my fingers and arms while on the fifth floor and an eerie feeling of calm in the Death Tunnel so I would have to say that I am inclined to agree with the chorus and say that there is something definitely not right about this building. My most extreme experience happened in a room off one of the operating theaters: walking into the room I feel quite ill and my face and hands became clammy. I later discovered that this could have been one of the rooms where corpses were drained of their toxic mucus, a long incision was made from neck to pelvic bone and the bodies were strung up like meat, supposedly reducing the risk of further infection. A colleague stayed here overnight in a group and reported feeling an intense chill while in one of the rooms and the forth floor and while the group looked for the source two people saw a blond boy pass in front of the window, but when they went looking for him the corridor was empty. While the group was waiting in the courtyard he said he saw curtains move on the second and forth floors and a shadowy presence behind one of the windows which came out as a bright blur in a photo he took…

Written by  Jon Falkes.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

waverly hills

okay i researched waverly hills and the guy who owned waverly hills his house was on the property of waverly hills and now all that is left is the stone steps. it's true. also when you go to waverly hills there is a chance you may see a man in a white coat walking up and down the halls.

The Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Originally the site of a school, which was named after Walter Scott's Waverley novels, the Waverly Hills Sanitorium land was purchased by the Board of Tuberculosis Hospitals and opened its doors to patients in 1910.

Tuberculosis was by far the biggest killer in Jefferson County at the time, and a number of hospitals were built in an attempt to contain it. A horrific, ravaging disease, it was contagious and deadly, and affected people of all ages and from all walks of life.

Those infected died painful, protracted deaths and this, along with the stories of bloody, agonising experimental cures and the horror story of the 'draining room', a place where, rumour had it, the bodies of the dead patients were slit from top to bottom to empty them of fluid, making them lighter to transport, probably led to the development of the numerous ghost stories associated with the building.

Aside from the ghosts of the suffering patients, two nurses are believed to have committed suicide in the same room, 502 - one hanging herself on discovering that she was pregnant out of wedlock and the other throwing herself from the balcony with an unknown motive.

There have been reports of considerable poltergeist activity as well as full apparitions, particularly of a small boy leaning on a crutch, though the building is now very open to the elements, which may explain some of the noises and movement often attributed to paranormal activity.

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