Waverly Hills Sanatorium – Haunted Kentucky Database

Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Type: previously a tuberculosis hospital, now open to the public

By: Michelle McKay (founder of Cold Spot Paranormal Research™)
Written: January 19, 2014

For the longest time I just assumed that this location was likely all just a bunch of rumours, and that likely nothing of any real sustenance was going on here. However, after speaking to many locals in the area over the years, I believe there has got to be something to the stories told about this place. Many an adult who grew up in Louisville can recall sneaking into the site through the supposed “body chute”. The reports of activity at this site seem endless. I will mention the more popular well-known reports..

Built in 1926, this imposing large fortress of a building was a hospital for tuberculosis for 35 years. The photo above is just a portion of the building, the front entrance. After that the sanatorium was a nursing home for another 18 years until the state shut it down due to inhumane conditions. It is said to be one of the most haunted buildings in the United States, if not the most haunted.

Experiments were conducted on the patients in hopes of relieving them of their tuberculosis. These treatments were quite unpleasant, and often caused disfigurement. Balloons were placed inside the patients’ lungs, than filled with air to expand them, causing enormous pain to the patient. Doctors would also remove ribs and muscles from the patient’s chest in hopes that the lungs would hold more oxygen. Most died as a result of these experiments. It is rumoured that the death toll was in the thousands. Although it is more likely that the death toll was actually in the hundreds. Either way, is it any wonder that their spirits still wander the halls of Waverly Hills?

The surgeries were conducted on the fourth floor, which many didn’t survive. It is said that shadows have been seen on the fourth floor peeking around corners and moving along the hallway. The silhouette of a man can be seen walking passed the treatment room on the fourth floor. Four teenagers locked in a closet by an unseen force on the fourth floor had to be rescued by security guards. You can still see the markings on the door to this day from where they tried to escape.

The head nurse committed suicide by hanging herself in room 502 on the fifth floor of the hospital. Nobody knows how long she was hanging there before her body was found. Four years later another nurse jumped from the balcony of room 502 to her death. Ghostly spectres have since been seen through the windows, moving along on the 5th floor. And people have heard disembodied voices telling them to “get out”.

Not all the patients at Waverly Hills were adults. Some were children. A little girl has often been seen running around and peeking through windows on the third floor. And a little boy playing with a ball has been seen on the fourth floor. Shadow children have also been seen throughout the hospital.

A man wearing a white coat has been often seen in the kitchen area, along with the smell of food cooking and fresh-baked bread. Voices, footsteps and doors closing have also been heard in the kitchen area. Are the cooks still preparing warm meals for the ghostly patients in Waverly Hills?

At the main entrance of the hospital the ghostly wraith of a crying woman is often seen running out the front door with her bloody hands and legs wrapped in chains. She begs for help only to disappear into thin air. Is she still being terrorized by her tormentor? Who, or what, keeps her locked in chains?

And finally, I saved the best for last, we have what many call “the Crawler”. This dark, evil, threatening figure is often seen crawling on the walls and ceilings. It moves from floor to floor, and straight through floors and walls of the hospital with ease.

Today the hospital operates as a tourist attraction where you can spend the night — if you dare!

WARNING: Do not trespass! Permission from the location owner must be granted to investigate this location!

 If you have experienced any activity at Waverly Hills, or at any other location anywhere else in the world , please tell us about it here

interviews with locals from Louisville, Kentucky