The Waverly Hills Sanatorium was built for tragedy, has a tragic past, and is one of the most reportedly haunted places in the world.
Opened in 1910, it was built with the intent of accommodating 40 to 50 tuberculosis patients. The area the hospital is located in, Jefferson County, had been severely stricken with an outbreak of tuberculosis. It was thought that the area was so rife with the ‘white plague’ due to the tuberculosis bacteria thriving in the wetlands along the Ohio River.
Two years after the opening of Waverly Hills, a further wing was added, for advanced cases of tuberculosis, and in 1914 a further pavilion was added, aimed at sick children and the children of tuberculosis patients.
Due to the constant need to repair the wooden structures, more durable structures were built, including a five-story building in 1924 that housed more than 400 patients.
The exact number of deaths that occurred at Waverly Hills is unknown, but it is estimated that over 9,000 occurred during its operation. The dead were transported by a rail car system through a “Death Tunnel”. The bodies at the end of the tunnel were then collected by their families, or cremated. The tunnel stretched 525 feet underground to the bottom of the hill.
The tunnel was originally constructed as a warmer way to visit the hill in winter, and an efficient way to supply the sanatorium with its food, and with coal. In time it then became the death tunnel, so as to not create mass panic when patients saw the number of fatalities being taken off the premises.
Waverly Hills operated for over 50 years, until an antibiotic was invented that better assisted tuberculosis. It closed its doors to patients in 1962 – but not all souls left…
The ghosts of Waverly Hills Sanatorium are numerous.
- There’s Timmy, a 6 or 7 year old boy who likes to play ball with the visitors
- Mary Lee, a pregnant nurse who allegedly suicided in room 502
- The Death Tunnel is said to be a vortex of some sort, and is a true paranormal hotspot with shadows, footsteps and disembodied voices.
Peet Banks is a paranormal investigator, ghost tour guide, events manager and documentary producer – she is also Cancerian, has blue eyes and likes walks on the beach…