Investigation: Waverly Hills Sanatorium
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Web resource: www.therealwaverlyhills.com
Team founders, Maritza and Dawn, and lead investigator, Sharon, made a trek to one of America’s most infamous haunted locations, Waverly Hill Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky. Opened in 1910 to 40 to 50 patients for the care of tuberculosis, the gothic building seen today received up to 400 patients starting in 1926.
The reports of paranormal activity within the estate is well known and has become a destination spot for many investigators and the curious alike. Thier April 2007 visit was eventful and one not to be forgotten.
Back before the sanatorium was ever thought of, the land was purchased by Major Thomas H. Hays in 1883. Major Hays needed a school for his daughters to go to, so he started a one room school house down on pages lane and hired a woman whose name was Lizzie Lee Harris as the teacher. Miss Harris loved her tiny school nestling against the hillside, and remembered her fondness for Scott’s Waverley novels, so she named her little school house “Waverley School”. Major Hays liked the peaceful sounding name so he named his property “Waverley Hill” and the Board of Tuberculosis Hospital kept the name when they bought the land and opened the sanatorium.
The Waverly Hills Sanatorium began with a two-story frame building, with a hipped roof and half timbering. Construction on this building began in 1908, and it opened on July 26, 1910. This building was only designed to safely accommodate 40-50 tuberculosis patients. Tuberculosis was a very serious disease back before antibiotics were discovered. People who were afflicted with tuberculosis had to be isolated from the general public and placed in an area where they could rest, stay calm, and have plenty of fresh air. Sanatoriums were built on high hills surrounded by peaceful woods to create a serene atmosphere to help the patients recover.
Tuberculosis was reaching epidemic proportions among the public in Pleasure Ridge Park, Kentucky. The little TB clinic was being filled with over 140 people, and it was becoming very obvious that a much larger hospital would have to be built.
The massive collegiate gothic style sanatorium that you see in the 1926 photo to the left still stands on Waverly Hill today. This sanatorium could accommodate at least 400 patients. It was considered to be one of the most modern and well equipped facilities when it opened. Construction of this sanatorium began in March of 1924. It opened on October 17, 1926 to administer patients. Waverly functioned as a tuberculosis hospital until 1961. After antibiotics were invented, it was closed down to be quarantined and renovated to be opened again in 1962 as WoodHaven Medical Services. The facility remained a geriatrics center until 1980, when it was closed by the state.
Courtesy of www.therealwaverlyhills.com
The back side of Waverly Hills main building.
One of the gargoyles on the property.
The Entrance into Waverly.
Another image of the entrance.
Maritza and Sharon walking up to the upper floors.
Hallways within the upper floors.
More upper floor hallways.
First floor artwork.
Wow! An impressive image when standing in the dark by yourself while taking a picture.
More spooky yet amazing artwork.
The many souls of Waverly Hills.
Someone or something knocked around the artwork when asked.
Joining up with Christopher Moon and his version of Frank’s Box, Telephone to the Dead!
Christopher Moon makes his way down a dust filled hallway.
Christopher Moon gives a demo of his version of Frank’s Box, the Telephone to the Dead.
The fourth floor: Some people were able to take pictures of shadow people within its hallways.
An open window in a fifthe story stairwell. Note the overgrown vegetation creeping in.
Atop the fifth floor.
One of the rooftop towers.
A patio-style balcony where hospital beds were lined up, giving patients fresh air and sunshine.
Another view of the patient balchony with Maritza standing in the distance.
A fifth floor swing set for the sanatorium’s children. Looks so lonely now.
Christopher Moon attempting communication with Waverly children using his Telephone to the Dead.
A hallway on the fifth floor.
Another angle of the rooftop ledge.
Spooky windows on the forth floor being invaded by foliage.
Another interior hallway.
A stairwell leading us down to the morgue.
An examination table left behing within the morgue.
A morgue body storage tray.
Doorway to the Solarium.
Back down on the first floor looking down a hallway.
The body shute: This tunnel was used to transport bodies of the deceased from the hospital to awaiting transportation. This kept a reminder of constant death at Waverly away from the patients and visiting public.
The body shute: Quite long and steep, and takes effort to walk.
The body shute: Maritza attempts an EVP session with their digital voice recorder.
The body shute: Making our way down.
The body shute: Almost to the bottom.