• Gaby Triana


Updated: Sep 22, 2018

The Haunt Files Presents…


Where in the World?

Waverly Hills Historical Society

4400 Paralee Drive,

Louisville, KY 40272


History of Haunted Location:

(Taken from website’s About Page)

Waverly Hills Sanatorium sits on land that was originally purchased by Major Thomas H. Hays in 1883. Major Hays was in need of a school for his daughters to attend, so he started a one room school house that was located on Pages Lane. He hired a woman named Lizzie Lee Harris to teach at the school. Her love for the tiny school in addition to her fondness for Scott’s “Waverley Novels” prompted her to name the little school house, “Waverley School.” Major Hays liked the name and chose to name his property “Waverley Hill.” The Board of Tuberculosis Hospital kept the name after purchasing the land and opening the Sanatorium.

Originally, Waverly Hills Sanatorium was a two-story frame building, with a hipped roof and half timbering. Construction on this building began in 1908 and 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 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. Because tuberculosis was so extremely contagious and at epidemic proportions, those living with it could not be allowed to live and exist among the general population. It was not known at the time that tuberculosis was an airborne disease.Waverly Hills was a self-contained community. A city in and of itself, complete with its own zip code.

Waverly Hills had its own post office, water treatment facility, grew its own fruits and vegetables, raised its own meat for slaughter and maintained many of the other necessities of everyday life. Everyone at Waverly – patients, nurses, doctors and other employees had to say goodbye to everything they knew on the outside world. Once you went to Waverly Hills, you became a permanent resident “on the hill.” Oddly enough, despite that fact, many patients received visits from loved ones on visiting day. When the visit was over, the visitors left Waverly and ventured back out into the community. 

The massive, collegiate, gothic style Sanatorium remains standing on Waverly Hill today. It could accommodate at least 400 + patients and was considered one of the most modern and well equipped facilities at the time. Construction of this Sanatorium began in March 1924 and opened for business on October 17, 1926. The facility served as a tuberculosis hospital until 1961, when the discovery of an antibiotic that successfully treated and cured TB rendered the facility obsolete. It was closed down and quarantined, then renovated. In 1962, the building reopened as WoodHaven Medical Services, a geriatric facility. WoodHaven Medical was closed by the state in 1981.

Famous Ghosts:

It is estimated that 60,000 people died at Wavery Hills during its more than 50 years of operation. Patients suffering from tuberculosis often suffered through agonizing treatments as well, everything from electroshock therapy to balloon placement inside of lungs, removal of ribs and muscles surrounding the lungs, and sand bag compression of chest. In most cases, the treatments were not effective.

As one can imagine, this spot is filled with sad, angry energy and is the home of numerous well-known ghosts. Witnesses have reported disembodied screams, moans, and shadow people are a common occurrence. One ghost is that of a child named Timmy who plays with a leather ball. It is believed that Timmy was about six years old at time of death, and reports indicated seeing a moving around on its own.

Another popular ghost tales involves a young nurse by the name of Mary Lee who was said to be impregnated by a residing doctor who wanted nothing to do with her or the baby. She hung herself from one of the pipes from the infamous Room 502. In a remarkable photo circulating the internet, she is seen on the right side in white clothing stepping into the room and looking right at the camera.

Another spot of interest is the underground tunnel where nurses and doctors disposed of the dead bodies in an effort to keep corpses hidden from living patients. It was important to keep the morale of existing patients up, so staff avoided transporting the dead out the front door where everyone could see them. The tunnel leads from Waverly’s main entrance down a steep hill about 500 feet. From there, the dead were whisked away by train to avoid spreading disease into the city. It was said that patients died by the hour during the height of the epidemic.

The “death tunnel” is now a paranormal hotspot, visitors say, complete with eerie shadows, unexplained footsteps, and disembodied voices. It’s also known among investigators for providing chilling EVPs.

It’s said that Charlie and Tina Mattingly, the current owners of Waverly Hills Sanatorium, have plans to turn the empty facility into a four-star hotel, but this has not been confirmed.

When to Visit:

No one is allowed on Waverly Hills property without a reservation. NO TRESPASSING ALLOWED. Waverly Hills does offers a variety of tours such as the 2-hour paranormal tour, 2-hour historical tour, and 6-hour investigations. They also hold a Haunted House Fund Raiser every Fall and a Christmas Laser Light Show. Check website for dates and times.


Waverly Hills has been popularized on the television show Ghost Hunters as being one of the "most haunted" hospitals in the eastern United States.

The sanatorium was 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 Adventureson Travel Channel. It was also featured on paranormal shows Ghost Asylum and Paranormal Lockdown; both on Destination America. It was also mentioned on The CW's show Supernatural in season 11, episode 23, "Alpha and Omega".

More Information:


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