Haunted Locations: Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Waverly Hills Sanatorium served as a tuberculosis treatment center from the 1920’s up to the 1960’s. During those years, over 60,000 people died in the hospital. This is why it’s easy to understand why the facility is considered one of the most haunted places in the world.

image via Paranormal Post

In the early 1900’s, there was an outbreak of tuberculosis in Louisville, Kentucky. There was no cure for the sickness at that time and patients had to be quarantined in order to stop the spread of the infectious disease. The hospital at Waverly Hills was not enough for all the patients and plans for expansion were soon carried out. In 1924, the construction for the 5-level hospital started. With the new buildings, Waverly Hills could accommodate 500 patients at a time.

children sun bathing on the roof image via WHS Memorial

The only known treatment for tuberculosis at that time was plenty of bed rest and exposure to fresh air. Patient beds were located on a balcony or porch. This is to allow them to breathe in fresh air. All throughout the year, patients would stay outside even during the winter. Aside from natural remedies, there were other experimental treatments done at Waverly. These included heliotherapy or sun therapy and sunlamp treatments. Procedures done to some patients include pneumothorax, where a part of the lung is deflated; and thoracoplasty, where some rib cages are removed.

images via WHS Memorial

One part of the hospital that is said to be a hotspot for paranormal activity is the body chute. The body chute was built in 1926 and served as a passageway to transport medical equipment and supplies easily in and out of the building. When there was an increase of deaths in Waverly, the body chute was then used as a tunnel to transport dead bodies out of the hospital. This was done to prevent other patients from seeing the corpses of their fellow tuberculosis patients. Cold spots and disembodied voices have been heard in the tunnel.

images via WHS Memorial and Paranormal Post

There were also some accusations of patient abuse at Waverly. Shock treatments were allegedly given to patients who showed signs of psychological disorders. The highly invasive experimental procedures only had a 5% success rate but this didn’t stop some doctors from doing the treatment. Waverly Hills Sanatorium was closed down in 1961 when an antibiotic for tuberculosis.

Other hauntings at the hospital include slamming of doors, flickering lights and footsteps. There are also reports of a boy and girl running around the 3rd floor of the building while chasing a ball. One of the popular tales is the one of a nurse who allegedly hung herself at room 502 in 1928.

Are the spirits of the dead reaching out for help from the afterlife? What do you think?

Here’s a short clip about Waverly Hills Sanatorium from 1931:

Additional Readings:
The Real Waverly Hills
WHS Memorial

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written by jeanmendoza on 2011-10-28 #lifestyle #ghosts #kentucky #louisville #sanatorium #haunted-locations #waverly-hills #tuberculosis

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