In mid August agents of Fringe Paranormal ventured to Louisville, Kentucky to investigate claims of strange activity taking place at an abandoned sanatorium. Did the team survive the night or are they forever trapped wandering the endless halls with the phantoms of the past?
Investigation Date: August 15, 2009
Investigation Duration: 11:00pm-7:00am
History and Claims
Long before Waverly Hills Sanatorium came into being, the plot of land it sits upon served as the site for a small one room schoolhouse. The schoolhouse was built by Major Thomas H. Hayes in 1883 as a means of educating his children. The school was named “Waverly School” after the historical novel “Waverly” by Sir Walter Scott. Major Hayes liked the name so much that he named his property “Waverly Hill”. In 1908, the land was purchased and construction began on the Waverly Hills Sanatorium. The purpose of the sanatorium was the treatment of tuberculosis patients. The original construction could house 40-50 patients. Due to a tuberculosis outbreak in the early 1920s a new hospital had to be constructed. This construction was able to accommodate 400 patients. In 1961 the hospital was closed and reopened in 1962 as a geriatric ward. In 1982 the ward was shut down by the state. This structure still stands and is the subject of this investigation by Fringe Paranormal.
Claims of possible paranormal activity are numerous. Estimates put the death toll in the old TB clinic at around 60,000. Reports include disembodied voices and unexplained noises, Visitors have reported seeing strange lights and shadows moving around inside the building’s many rooms and hallways. Visitors report seeing phantom children. One in particular has been named Mary. She is described as a young girl with no eyes. Others have seen a homeless man and his dog. It is rumored that the bodies of both were found in an abandoned elevator during the time that the site was closed. There are reports of a woman running from the building bleeding profusely while wearing wrist restraints and crying for help. The most common activity reported seems to be that of EVP phenomena and shadow people.
Avg. Temperature 81°
Dew Point 65°
Avg. Humidity 63
Barometric Pressure 30.09 in.
Wind 4mph SSE
Solar X-rays normal
Geomagnetic Field quiet
Moon waning crescent, 32% of full
The former Waverly Hills Sanatorium rests atop a hill accessible by a winding road which cuts through a forest dotted with private homes. As we approached the front entrance driveway to the property we were directed to the large parking area in front of the building. Waverly hosts group tours throughout the year so FPI had to wait a short time for the previous tour group to finish. Tonight our team would be sharing the location with others who had reserved this date to investigate the sprawling complex. The sheer size of the building insured that our activities would not be impinged upon. At our appointed time we were ushered into the front entrance and into the greeting area/gift shop. The Waverly staff then went through a history of the site and led attendees on a tour of all the floors. Common practice at the site is to break each tour group into teams. Each team then rotates amongst the floors, with around one hour on each level. This worked well as the Fringe team usually rotates among areas during investigations. Fringe was stationed with a small group of people. (henceforth referred to as Beta team) We worked out a system whereby the Beta team took one section of each level we were on and FPI took the other; switching sections about each half hour or so. This plan seemed to work well as there was hardly, if any, interference with either team’s investigation. It should be noted for informational purposes that there is no lighting available in the building other than “exit” signs posted above certain doorways.
At 1:00 am the Fringe team began the night on the fourth floor. Members of the Beta team reported seeing a shadow figure in a window at the end of a hallway. Looking out the window from a different angle showed that there were tree branches that could be seen from the window in question. A slight breeze moving the branches could in darkness look like a shadowy figure. The team continued on, observing and performing EVP sessions.
After a while it was time to move up to the fifth floor. The fifth floor is the location of the infamous “Room 502”. It was at this spot that a nurse allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling rafter. Some have reported seeing the apparition of the departed nurse. This floor also hosts claims of apparitions of children; most notably that of a small child playing with a leather ball. During our time on this floor we conducted EVP sessions inside room 502 and in the open air solariums which are situated at both ends of the level. Nothing of note was reported on this floor. Things were about to get more interesting as the night wore on however.
The third floor is the area where the bodies of the homeless man and his dog where found in the elevator shaft. In an area in front of the elevator I (Don) spotted a small rubber ball such as one would use to play fetch with a dog. I moved the ball out of the middle of the floor so no one would trip during their walk down the dark hallway. The ball was placed close to a corner between a wall and the closed elevator door. I then sat down to await my teammate Kelly who was a short ways down the hall. We then proceeded to conduct an EVP session. As we were in the area where the man and his dog were found, and as I had just come across the rubber ball, I decided to try something different. I attempted to include the “dog” in the EVP session; asking it to “fetch” or “sit”. My thought was to see if there would be any movement of the rubber ball from its spot. Hearing no noise or not feeling the ball come rolling to me I assumed that there was no action related to the rubber ball. The EVP session continued. Within a few moments of continuing the session Kelly and I both heard what sounded like a “click” or the dropping of a set of keys close by on our right. Beta team was far down the hall and was not responsible for the noise. We ended the EVP session shortly afterward and went down the hall to another part of the floor. Later, during our time on this floor I happened to shine a light down into the corner near the elevator where I had previously placed the rubber ball. To my surprise the ball was no longer there. Beta team confirmed that they had not noticed or touched the rubber ball. The ball was not to be found in any of the other rooms of the floor. It should be noted that looking into the elevator itself I did spot a ball lying in the middle of the elevator. It should also be noted that the elevator floor was littered with debris. There are several possibilities: one, the ball rolled BETWEEN the elevator doors and through the litter, winding up in the middle of the elevator; two, there was more than one ball in the area (the ball in the elevator and the ball I relocated earlier); three, someone else moved the ball.
Unable to solve this mystery to our satisfaction, Kelly and I moved out of the building and on to the body chute. The body chute is a 500 foot long which runs away from the building. The chute a.k.a the “death tunnel” served as a means of discretely transporting deceased patients away from the hospital. The tunnel terminates into a deserted area. We found no evidence in the chute to speak of.
Around 5 am the team moved back inside and onto the first floor. This floor served as the morgue for deceased patients and also as the intake area. During our stay on this floor the team performed EVP sessions as usual. Things got interesting as we moved toward one end of the floor. We were seated in two chairs against a wall. To our left was a stairwell which led out to an entrance; in front, the hallway; to our right and back another dead end with two closets. Kelly and I were the only persons in the area at the time. During an EVP session Kelly felt a cold spot. Shortly afterwards we both were startled by a loud rustling or moving of objects in one of the closets behind us. Upon checking the area, we discovered that one closet was locked shut and the other was not. The unlocked closet showed no signs of tipped boxes or unbalanced material. We continued the EVP session and asked for another sign of a presence. Nothing manifested.
At 6 am Kelly and I moved up to our last floor for this investigation. Most people who had been investigating the site had left by this time. Kelly and I had just entered this floor when we heard someone approaching from down the hall. Figuring it was a straggler on their way to the “exit” stairway we went to look around the corner (they would have to come by us to get to the stairway).
The hall was deserted. This prompted us to perform one last EVP session. At 7am we wrapped up the investigation and headed back home.
The site did not produce any EVPs during this investigation. We did experience some auditory anomalies however. We can find no explanation for the sound of the jingling or dropped keys on the third floor. Myself and Kelly were the only two investigators in the area at the time. There was no metal or other loose material in the area that could have swung or scraped against itself to produce said noise. The incident with the missing rubber ball must be discounted as evidence at this time. We are unable to determine whether the rubber ball in question could actually fit between the elevator doors (the ball in question was unable to be recovered to do so). Due to the fact that the ball was moved from its original location on the whim of an investigator and not fully documented, we can not verify the facts of this incident. We do, however, consider it to be an interesting experience. During our stay on the first floor the cold spot experienced by agent Kelly could have a natural explanation. The movement we both heard in the closet(s) is not so easy to explain away. No one could access the closets without passing by the two of us. That did not happen. The commotion could have been caused by rodents. We find this highly unlikely. There is no food source in the building and no rodents were spotted in any other part of the area. While there were bats at this location, we did not see any on the first floor and they were of a smaller variety. In our opinion they would have been too small to be responsible for the sounds we heard.
Disembodied footsteps on the second floor; this could go either way. There were people exiting the building below us during our time on this floor. However, the footsteps did sound as if they were coming from our floor and further down the hallway approaching us. The sound of the people exiting the building was coming from close by and down to our left, moving out towards the parking lot. So from our analysis we have several unexplained incidents and one incident which we must discount due to lack of verification.
It is our opinion that this location possibly presents paranormal activity. Research at this location should continue. To date, based upon this one investigation, Waverly Hills is one of the most active spots for unexplained phenomena.
For more information on Waverly hills please visit: http://www.therealwaverlyhills.com
Prepared for Fringe Paranormal by Don C