Haunted Locations: Louisville, KY
Welcome back to Weird Wednesday where we like to explore the wild, weird, and dark side of life around the world. Today, we visit Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Kentucky.
Waverly Hills is a former tuberculosis sanatorium located in Louisville, Ky and it also happens to reportedly be one of the most haunted places in America. Waverly Hills is visited yearly by thousands of history buffs, thrill-seekers, and ghost hunters, both amateur and professional ones. The owners do offer a variety of tours for those just there for the history and special paranormal ones including two-hour and six-hour tours.
The activity at Waverly is so well-known that it has been featured on a multitude of paranormal shows such as Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Buzzfeed Unsolved and others. Waverly was established in 1883 when Major Thomas H. Hays purchased the land for his family home. He built a schoolhouse for his children and the teacher he hired for them, a Lizzie Lee Harris was a fan of the Waverly novels by Sir Walter Scott, which prompted her to ask if she could name the school, Waverly School. Hays agreed and the name stuck. Hays began calling the entire homestead Waverley Hill, though at some point, the name evolved to ‘Waverly’.
When the tuberculosis epidemic hit in the early 1900s, Waverly Hill was through to be a perfect location to build a hospital since it was far enough from the population to isolate the spread of the disease. Over the next several years, Waverly expanded to include rooms for up to 400 patients plus other buildings to house doctors, nurses, caretakers and other staff right on the grounds as well as buildings for laundry, cooking, crops, and animals.
The site became self-contained. One of the more gruesome features of the establishment was called The Body Chute, a tunnel that was used to cart the dead from the hospital down the hill to the road where trucks would pick them up for disposal. It is estimated that more than 8,000 patients died at Waverly.
This is, of course, where the paranormal comes in. With so much death and misery, one could only expect that not all the patients left when their bodies did. Over the years, many sightings of shadow people have been reported, mysterious footsteps, door slamming, and other such events. While the facility was closed as a hospital in 1982, it has since and still is been used as haunted attraction, naturally the most famous section being the body chute which hosts its own series of ghostly noises, sounds, and apparitions.
Incidentally, my parents and my oldest daughter went on a paranormal investigation here about 15 years ago and to say they had some experiences would be putting it lightly. There is a great picture that they took while there and perhaps I’ll post that one day and let you decide for yourselves what you see.
As always, if you go hunting for the spooky and spooktacular, respect the residents, respect the owners, and respect the property. Keep it uncomfortably dark out there! See you next time!