If I could pick anywhere in the world to investigate, this place would be it.
Hidden away from the public eye down a long, meandering road lurks Waverley Hills Sanatorium, a vast tuberculosis sanatorium which opened in 1910. At that time, the residents of Kentucky were up to their eyeballs with victims of what they called ‘the White Plague’. The disease was incurable and treatments were pretty gruesome; in some cases they were considered worse than the disease itself.
All Part Of The Treatment – Patients at Waverly Hills
It is believed that between 60,000 to 63,000 people died at the sanatorium so it’s not surprising that the monstrous building is such a magnet for paranormal investigators and thrill seekers alike.
Scene of a suicide or urban legend?
There are various legends about Room 502 but most seem to centre around the idea that a nurse committed suicide there, either by hanging herself from a light fitting (would a light fitting support the weight of a body, I wonder) or in the doorway, depending on who you speak to. The rumours are she either suffered from depression or she killed herself because she fell pregnant out of wedlock. Yet another story goes that she was suffering from TB herself and didn’t want a long, lingering death. The fact that there are so many different versions of the nurse suicide story tends to beg the question did a nurse die in Room 502 at all or is it just a story to excite the masses. However, there are reports that people have seen the apparition of a nurse on this floor and some say a feeling despair descends when inside Room 502. Further reports have been made of a voice telling people to ‘get out!’
The Body Chute
The tunnel used to hide corpses from the patients…
A 500 foot tunnel was constructed at the same time as the main building, running from the sanatorium itself to the foot of the hill. It was originally designed to help convey supplies to the hospital as well as a nice warm route to work for the staff to take in the winter.
The tunnel took on a rather darker use as the TB epidemic got worse and people began to die on a frighteningly regular basis. The Directors at the sanatorium decided that seeing deceased patients being carted away didn’t do much for the morale of the other patients and so the tunnel took on another role and was also used to discreetly cart corpses away from the hospital.
Other Spectral Encounters
One story that seems to pop up on a regular basis is the sighting of an old woman at the main entrance. She is seen with blood running from wounds on her chained wrists and she begs for help before disappearing. Children have been heard playing within the sanatorium, particularly on the top floor where they were encouraged to play outside as part of their treatment. Strange lights have been seen in some rooms even though the building hasn’t had an electricity supply for quite some time…
Considering the sheer amount of misery Waverly Hills Sanatorium has seen over the years, perhaps it’s not surprising that some of its unfortunate earlier residents can’t move on.
©Nicola Kirk and http://www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com 2010