Thursday, May 9, 2019

Waverly Hills Sanatorium: One of the Most Haunted Places on Earth

Author: Jordan Ennis

Apparitions caught on camera in Waverly Hills
Waverly Hills Sanatorium started off as a small, wooden two-story building in Louisville, Kentucky and was known as the Louisville City Hospital. The hospital opened to treat the increasing number in tuberculosis patients. Space became limited very quickly and the hospital was so overcrowded that they had to expand. In 1926, the hospital re-opened as the Waverly Hills Sanatorium. The severity of the illness increased so badly that there are rumors of up to over 8,000 deaths, but stories vary in detail. However, there was such a significant amount of deaths that the hospital used a body chute known as the “death tunnel” to discretely dispose of bodies without other patients witnessing. There are many old ghost stories of the sanatorium, such as the little boy bouncing the ball, or the nurse who committed suicide in room 502. The hospital is a tourist site today and is very popular among paranormal activists.

The story of room 502 is a controversial subject. Some tales say that the nurse committed suicide by hanging herself off the balcony after falling pregnant out of wedlock. However, others say that she was pushed off the balcony. There is also a newer legend that says a homeless man was murdered over a drug conflict in room 502.

There were many forms of treatment doctors attempted for TB patients. One of the worst treatments was inserting a balloon into the lungs to expand them which killed many patients. Another way was an early form of a pneumothorax treatment, where air was injected into the lungs. Some patients surpassed the numbing because of the needles. Margaret Baugh tells stories of these treatments in her interview.

Interview of Margaret Baugh (patient from Waverly Hills)

Because of the discovery of a new antibiotic drug called streptomycin and the decline in severe TB cases, Waverly Hills was closed in 1961. The hospital turned into a tourist attraction after many failed attemptsin turning the building into other businesses. Ghost tours are now offered at the Sanatorium leading to shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures spending the night in the hospital to investigate all the rumored hauntings. In this clip from the Waverly Hills episode of Ghost Adventures, we see video footage of shadows lurking in the hallways of the hospital as the cast films.

Works Cited: 

Baugh, Margaret. “Living on the Porch”. YouTube. Personal Interview. 29 Aug. 2017.

“Creepy Picture of Death Tunnel”.

Goran, David. “Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Kentucky is considered to be one of the most haunted locations in the world”. Vintage News, 28 Jul., 2016.

“Shadow Figures Infest TB Ward.” Travel Channel,

“Waverly Hills Sanatorium”. Historic Mysteries,

Further research Information

This source tells many different ghost stories that have been recorded from Waverly Hills.

Prairie Ghosts
From this source we get a first-hand story told about a night spent in the terrifying hallways of the sanatorium.

True Ghost Stories
Not only does this source also give a first-hand look from the author’s point-of-view, but the report of shadows seen in from the rooftops of the sanatorium while investigation one night.

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