There has been talk for years of the ghosts that haunt the Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, KY intriguing the public and the paranormal enthusiasts.
Waverly Hills was once a hospital for people who had fallen ill to the terrible disease, Tuberculosis. Thousands of people never recovered from the illness, and many believe their spirits still walk the halls.
"When you have that kind of death, you can't help but to think there might be a spirit lingering around that just isn't happy," said the owner of the building, Charlie Mattingly. "It's almost an everyday occurrence here when we have the overnighters come in, they all claim they see apparitions, ghosts, shadow movements, things like that."
According to the Waverly Hills official website, the building was originally built as a school house, but was later turned into a hospital for people with tuberculosis to be housed.
The sanatorium opened for business on July 26, 1910. The building was designed to safely accommodate 40-50 tuberculosis patients. At the time, tuberculosis was a very serious disease. People who were afflicted with tuberculosis were 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 becoming an epidemic in Valley Station, Pleasure Ridge Park, and other parts of Jefferson County in Kentucky. The little TB clinic was filled with more than 140 people, and it was obvious that a much larger hospital was needed to treat those afflicted with the condition.
Three of the most popular spirits present in the hospital are a little boy known as Timmy, a nurse who committed suicide, and an unwelcome man. They say little Timmy plays with balls that are left throughout the hospital.
One of the tour guides, Mike Flickner, has seen the evidence himself. "I've locked doors before and watched them unlock themselves and open up. I've seen a tub of concrete slide by itself."
Flickner also explained the underground tunnel that was used to haul the dead bodies away. People referred to it as "the body chute". "The doctors felt that, with the amount of death that was happening here at Waverly Hills, more patients were probably dying from a lack of hope rather than TB itself, so they had to come up with a discreet way to dispose of the bodies," he said.
Once a skeptic, Mattingly says he now is a believer of the stories that have long been associated with the hospital. "When you're around it and you actually see this stuff, and people can't explain it — I mean, there's some things we can explain but many we can't — you start to wonder, Is there something about a spirit that stays around?" he said. "It could be true."
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Image via Wikimedia Commons