Tuesday, September 30, 2008


This is one of the scariest, probably most haunted places in the United States. History has more to do with this fact than anything else.

There is so much misinformation on Waverly out in the public, perpetuated by the documentary Spooked, made as a companion to the movie Death Tunnel. Also, some people will always try to make it sound worse than it is - it isn't necessary with Waverly Hills. It's plenty scary all on it's own. The truth is, some of the facts are sketchy because records were lost or not kept as well as they should have been. I'm including links for you to go and investigate it online yourself. I am also including a thermal image video (in the first comment section) from the first time Ghost Hunter went to Waverly Hills Sanatorium.

Season 3, Episode 19


In 1900, Louisville, Kentucky had the highest tuberculosis death rate in the country. This was due to the fact Louisville is such a low valley area and before development, was basically all swampland and perfect breeding ground for the Tuberculosis bacteria. In 1910, a wooden, two-story hospital with 40 beds opened on one of the highest elevated hills in southern Jefferson County to try and contain this ravaging disease. Officials soon found that this small hospital was simply too small, as they were soon housing more than 130 cases of tuberculosis. Louisville needed a much larger facility and money began to be raised for its construction. Land was donated and $11 million was used to started construction on the new hospital in 1924. The hospital, known as Waverly Hills, was opened in 1926 and was considered to be the most advanced tuberculosis hospital in the country. Records have been lost, but it is estimated that tens of thousands died at Waverly. At the height of the tuberculosis epidemic, it is reported that one patient an hour died.

In many cases, entire families came to live at Waverly Hills. Some were cured but many others left the hospital through what was called the “body chute”. This was a tunnel that led from the hospital to the railroad tracks at the bottom of the hill. It consisted of a motorized rail and cable system where the bodies were placed and lowered down on one side of the tunnel and steps led up and down on the other. A small steam plant on the property heated the tunnel, as well as the hospital and provided warmth for the maintenance workers that lived off the property. This was their entrance and exit for work. The tunnel was totally enclosed from the Morgue wing of the hospital. The purpose of this was so that the patients couldn’t see how many bodies were leaving the hospital. It was believed this would negatively affect their morale as the doctors discovered early on that the mental health of the patients was just as important as their physical health.

By the mid 1950’s, tuberculosis had been largely eradicated because of an antibiotic discovered in the 30's. In 1961, Waverly Hills Sanatorium was closed because there was no longer a need for a tuberculosis facility. By 2001, this once regal and majestic hospital had been ravaged by time, the elements and vandals and was a shell of its former self. Waverly Hills had now become every town’s “haunted house”. Vagrants took to living here and kids broke in for the rush of finding a “ghost” or just to get high. It started to get the reputation of being haunted and rumors had it that satanic rituals were taking place within its walls. There were tales of a little girl running up and down the third floor solarium playing hide and seek with trespassers, of a little boy playing with his leather ball, of rooms lighting up as if there was still power to the building, doors slamming, disembodied voices, a hearse driving up and dropping off coffins and an old woman running from the front door with her wrists bleeding screaming “help me, somebody save me!”

The year the new owners took over was 2001. That very year the Louisville Ghost Hunters Society was asked to come to Waverly Hills to find the “hot spots” for Triage Entertainment, who were producing a segment of Fox Television’s “Worlds Scariest Places”. LGHS Vice President Jay Gravatte, founder Keith Age and several other members arrived in the early evening. Jay would be featured on the show as the Waverly “historian” and his task would be to guide the girls through the building.

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