Ghost Stories: Waverly Hills Sanatorium

19 Oct

31 Days Of Ghosts

waverly-hills-sanatoriumWhen Tuberculosis was in full throttle during the late 1800’s – early 1900’s people believed that the best cure for it was fresh air, healthy foods and plenty of rest. Still hundreds of thousands of people died from this disease.

In 1924, hospitals were overcrowded with those trying to get well, donations were made in large quantities and a new hospital was built in Louisville Kentucky. Waverly Hills was know as the most advanced tuberculosis hospital in the country, though patients still succumbed to Tuberculosis.

Many of the practices at Waverly Hills were experimental at times, often seeming barbaric to today’s medical technologies. It was believed that fresh air was a key cure to TB; old photographs show patients getting their fresh air while literally being covered in snow. Though coming across such pictures are difficult to find. Other methods of treatment were by expanding the lungs with a balloon or removing muscles and ribs. Most didn’t survive these operations.

aerial1Those that survived these grim and brutal treatments as well as TB itself left through the fronts door. Most on the however, left usually down the underground tunnel which has become known as the body chute. This tunnel was utilized for a variety of things from transporting supplies and coal into the hospital to removing bodies from the hospital for burial or cremation. The thinking behind this was so that people didn’t see the hearse or the body which could lower morale and make people worse off. Architecturally, this tunnel was also big enough to fit everyone in the hospital in should WWII make it to American soil.

ky-waverly-hills-4052By 1931 TB was declining and by the 1940’s it was all but eradicated. In 1961 the facility was closed down but re-opened a year later as a geriatrics center. Due to accusations of patients being mistreated and abused, Waverly closed it’s doors for good in 1982.

Over the years it became a landmark for the homeless, drug addicts and graffiti artists. Today Waverly Hills is under restorations by it’s current owners Charlie and Tina Mattingly. They offer a variety of tours and stays at the Sanitorium. For more information check out The Real Waverly Hills.

ky-waverly-hills-4072The hospital has gained a reputation for being haunted and stories began to circulate of resident ghosts like the little girl who was seen running up and down the third floor solarium, the little boy who was spotted with a leather ball, the hearse that appeared in the back of the building dropping off coffins, the woman with the bleeding wrists who cried for help and others. Visitors told of slamming doors, lights in the windows as if power was still running through the building, strange sounds and eerie footsteps in empty rooms.

waverlyOn the fifth floor, there is room 502 which is notorious for two supposed suicides. It is said that a nurse hung herself at the age of 29 because she was pregnant and not married. How long she hung there before she was found is determined. Another nurse several years later is said to have jumped from the window to her death below. There hasn’t been any proof of these death.

WHS_May1935People have stated that they have seen a man walk across the hall of the fourth floor, wearing a white coat. There have been other accounts of ghosts on this floor. The fourth floor is well known for its extreme paranormal activities.

Waverly Hills is probably haunted. Perhaps next year I will make plans to spend the night and decided for myself if it’s truly haunted or not.

Keep it real and rockin’


Posted by on October 19, 2009 in 31 Days Of Ghosts, Ghost Stories, Weird facts


Tags: , , , ,

20 responses to “Ghost Stories: Waverly Hills Sanatorium

  1. Ray Onativia

    October 20, 2009 at 8:54 am

    I am in awe that you research these as thoroughly as you do and keep the reader at the edge of their seat from beginning to end. I am a TERRIBLE researcher!

    The pictures that you include in each entry make a huge difference. I found myself looking at them and imagining these ghost meandering about and I can imagine the suffering that occurred when patients were cared for there.

    I hope you get a chance to visit there and write about it. I’m too much of a scaredy cat to join you!

  2. heaven

    December 19, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    yall are crap if yall are scared cause i am super super scared

  3. Zodi

    December 20, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    *laughs* Well Heaven, I’m a total sissy pants. I want to go, and then I don’t want to go. You should check out my blog post on Stepp Cemetery; also apart of the 31 days of Ghosts Stories. There is another post following that a few days later when I actually face my fear and venture to Stepp.

    I had some pretty wild experiences there.

    Keep it real and rockin’

  4. Phills

    February 12, 2010 at 10:11 am

    GOD DO NOT DO THAT!!! ive heard a lot about this hospital and if you dont want to get traumatised then dont go there! seriusly im not kiding!!

  5. Kristen

    February 26, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    i so want to go there just to see what its like

  6. Savi

    March 12, 2010 at 11:07 am

    so its still there?

  7. scared life

    March 13, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    i have never been and i live here

  8. Nick

    August 23, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I just went on a tour…very interesting…did not see anything

    did not see ghosts that is….

  9. Zodi

    August 23, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    If you have any pictures that you would like to share, we would be more than willing to post them up or at least link to a blog that has them.

  10. Darlene Steelman

    November 14, 2011 at 8:09 am

    I love creepy old buildings.. especially ones with a creepy history.

    We used to have a place in Philly called Philadelphia State Hospital aka Byberry.. but it has since been torn down and there is now an Over 55 community on the grounds.

    Great read. 😀


  11. Percy Kalinksky

    March 25, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Do people really truly believe in ghosts?
    I cannot understand folks who think there are ghosts.
    The only way I can justify their mental condition is that they must have been raised in a religion such as christianity which forces children to grow up believing in ghosts such as gods and angels and of course the boogyman, satan … bit silly I think for an adult to believe such nonsense.
    I’m assuming that the majority of believers are still very young and immature.
    I do agree that it is a good scam tho’ and makes a ton of money for the con artists catering to the ‘ghost hunters’ crowd.

  12. Tim

    March 25, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    I honestly don’t think religion has anything to do with it. I know a few atheists who believe in ghosts. I don’t think it’s a wish for spirituality, or being raised on it. I know my own parents, who are very devote with their faith, don’t believe in ghosts what so ever. I feel it has everything with a wish to believe in the unknown. It’s no different than believing in life on other planets.

    Age also has zero to do with believers either. Both young and old have a belief in ghosts. Just as young and old believe in UFOs, the Loch Ness, Bigfoot or anything else that we see as the unknown.

    I also don’t think it’s a scam. Oh sure, there’s lots of people that do scams, no different than telemarketers, or those emails that say that some Nigerian prince wants to transfer money to a bank account.

    Saying that there is no interest in ghosts, or saying that there is no reason for them to exist, is no different than saying a distant nebula in a far off galaxy has no purpose either.

  13. Ray

    May 16, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    I Know that some of you think that you know what you are talking about. Its a shame you do not believe. I was a patient there as a child in 1958. The ghosts are real and so are the stories that are told. If you do not believe the spend the night there.

  14. Dave H.

    August 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I’d been there with my cousin in 1967 , my aunt stayed there . uncle had a yellow
    plymouth fury. we were to pick up my aunt. we waitedfor over a hour. so i walked around
    even then as a 10 yr old :it seemed like daucau or other facilaty.
    but latley my dreams right before dusk , reveil, I had died there as a former sailor
    around spring of 50. admiral king showed up ,even though i was a regular seaman
    a nobody . , i recall him well. and me there. the girls did cheer me.
    the admiral said what are you thinking of? i said of all things “disney cartoons”
    he said, good man. stay like that for now .. H layed his hand on me and i slipped
    into the next relm. there i met sylvia brown and she knows of me from
    even the other side We both recall our trips back here they have clock wise
    spin to it. God bless you albert beilek. you are true history i’ll miss you .

  15. GREG

    December 16, 2012 at 8:25 am

    habitant de france par curiosite tomber sur ce site et je je vous envie d avoir de tel endroit charger d histoire plus ou moins terrible. j’espere une reponse de votre part greg de la ville du MANS 72000

  16. Tim

    December 16, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Well, sadly, I don’t speak French. And when I translate it in Google Translate, it comes out horribly, so… thanks, I guess, for reading my different blog entries. I hope that they are informative, and if they are not complete, feel free to inform me of any mistakes or corrections.

  17. John

    February 8, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    The procedures that you mention were actually widely accepted worldwide.
    Thoracoplasty: the removal of ribs and using chest muscles to permanently collapse a lung that was too far gone to save for example was done all over the world. Yes, several people went home somewhat deformed with many of the ribs on one side missing but they went home. Remember, the lung was too far gone to save… without the surgery they were dead. Even if 90% of patients died ( I seriously doubt the number is that high) it still means that 1 in 10 lives were saved that would certainly have died without it.
    Waverly actually opened in 1910 as a hospital for early stage cases and grew from there.
    Also, you stated that by the 40s tb was all but eradicated but I think it was 1945 that was the worst year for deaths in the history of Waverly Hills. This was due to many troops coming back from WWII with far advanced cases.
    Also, don’t believe half of what you hear so far as the legends. Haunted locations are breeding grounds for outlandish tales that kids tell to impress one another or to scare their girlfriends so the brave b/fs can “comfort” them.
    A huge majority of legends don’t stand up to actual historical facts.
    Nice article though.

  18. Pamela Tincky

    July 26, 2013 at 5:00 am

    Je ne crois pas au fantômes, ce sont des bobard.

  19. Tim

    July 26, 2013 at 5:56 am

    Chacun a droit à cette opinion. Pour la plupart, ce sont vraiment de bonnes histoires.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: