The Scariest Place on Earth: The Waverly Hills Sanatorium

The Waverly Hills Sanatorium is said to be one of the scariest places on earth. The Waverly Hills Sanatorium opened in July 1910 and was designed to safely accommodate 40-50 tuberculosis (TB) patients, which was a very serious disease back before antibiotics were discovered. People who were afflicted with TB had to be 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. TB was reaching epidemic proportions among the public in Louisville, Kentucky. The little TB clinic was being filled with over 140 people and it was becoming very obvious that a much larger hospital would have to be built so a construction of a new sanatorium began in 1924 and it opened in October 1926. This new sanatorium could accommodate at least 400 patients and was considered to be one of the most modern and well equipped facilities when it opened. Waverly Hills Sanatorium functioned as a TB hospital until 1961. After antibiotics were invented, it was closed down to be quarantined and renovated to be opened again in 1962 as WoodHaven Medical Services. The facility remained a geriatrics center until 1980, when it was closed by the state.

One of the most talked about and famous aspects of the Waverly Hills Sanatorium is the Body Chute or Death Tunnel, which was once used to transport the bodies of deceased TB patients from the hospital to the bottom of the hill to waiting hearses or trains. At the peak of the TB epidemic, many patients died everyday and in order to keep morale up and not upset living patients, the hospital administration decided to use the Body Chute to discretely send bodies away from the hill. It is said that over 8,000 deaths occurred at the sanatorium. The logical step was to transport the bodies down the tunnel that was used to carry supplies and heat to the hospital. A motorized winch system was used to carry the bodies down the tunnel. Due to the lack of electricity, there was total darkness inside of the tunnel after about 30 feet down. The tunnel is approximately 500 feet long. During the winter months, the tunnel was also used by employees to get up and down the hill and keep warm at the same time.

Over the years, Waverly Hills has become quite famous in the world of paranormal research. Paranormal investigators from all over the country visit the sanatorium year round. With many different types of ghost hunting tools from infra-red cameras to digital thermometers, investigators have captured many un-explained events and images. Waverly Hills has been featured on ABC/FOX Family Channel's Scariest Places On Earth, VH1's Celebrity Paranormal Project, Syfy's Ghost Hunters, Zone Reality's Creepy, the British show Most Haunted, Paranormal Challenge, and Ghost Adventures on Travel Channel. Spooked: The Ghosts of Waverly Hills is a very interesting documentary about the ghosts still haunting Waverly Hills today.

After October 24th, you can book tours of Waverly Hills, including half night and full night paranormal investigations/ghost hunts, paranormal and historical guided tours, and private paranormal investigations/ghost hunts and historical tours. Right now though all tours are booked and the only way you can visit Waverly Hills is by visiting their annual haunted house, 10 Years of Fear, which is open every Friday and Saturday night from now until October 30th.

To find out more about the history of Waverly Hills and to see some pictures and videos, you can check out their site, or you can connect with them on Twitter or Facebook.

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