Case File – Waverly Hills Sanatorium


“The Waverly Hills Sanatorium is a closed sanatorium located in southwestern Louisville/Jefferson County, Kentucky.

It opened in 1910 as a two-story hospital to accommodate 40 to 50 tuberculosis patients. In the early 1900’s Jefferson County was ravaged by an outbreak of tuberculosis (the “White Plague”) which prompted the construction of a new hospital. The hospital closed in 1961, due to the antibiotic drug streptomycin that lowered the need for such a hospital. Plans have been developed to convert the sanatorium into a hotel and conference center.”



While death estimates vary greatly, it is known that at least 6,000 people died during its 50 years in operation. With treatments such as electroshock therapy and experimental surgeries like collapsing a lung, it is believed that suffering was high.

Waverly Hills is often referred to as one of the most haunted locations in America and has appeared on numerous television shows over the years. Currently, the Waverly Hills Historical Society runs tours and offers a haunted house and a laser show, in an effort to raise money to preserve the building.

Alleged ghost of former patient, Mary Lee


The paranormal claims surfacing from the closed sanatorium come in droves like the bats often found in its halls. Everything from disembodied screams, to light anomalies, and shadow men. We’ve personally investigated numerous times, and the location never seems to disappoint.

Our most recent investigation was in March of 2017. Lead Investigators Michael Biery, Michael Hoover, and I worked together the entire evening and had numerous personal experiences of paranormal activity throughout the night. The most remarkable of those was our witness of a shadow man apparition in the death tunnel. Shadows are a repeated report at the old sanatorium and one such shadow is said to be quite large and malicious. It is believed, we happened upon this particular entity.

With claims of a shadow man being seen in the death tunnel by other investigators present that night, the three of us went down to checkĀ it out. We descended about a third of the way down the tunnel at which point a shadow was seen moving from left to right, at the bottom. When it met the tunnel wall on the right side, it seemed to vanish into it. We descended a bit more at which point the shadow man looked to almost materialize closer than before and appeared to move up the steps towards us. Then, it simply fell to the ground as if it was made of sand and continued to move up the cement stairs in a fluid-like fashion. It is quite dark in the death tunnel but this shadow man was blacker than black as if it was the source of darkness itself. Just like that, it vanished completely. We were all quite shocked by the experience and in sharing the details of what we had witnessed, came to the conclusion we had all shared in the exact same experience.

The death tunnel at Waverly Hills is 490 feet into darkness, originally built to transport supplies during inclement weather. It is frequently reported to have also been used as a means to move out dead bodies of patients during the height of the tuberculosis epidemic; dubbed the body chute.



The death tunnel is known for being paranormally active and we’ve captured numerous EVP’s including a giggle and one with a voice yelling out from the darkness. Listen below to both clips captured by Michael Hoover.


Morgue Cabinet
Picture Credit – Michael Hoover


Another very active spot within the sanatorium is the morgue. While investigating this particular area, Michael Hoover decided to climb inside the mortuary cabinet at which point he attempted to engage any spirits that may have been present by asking that they knock in response to his cues. Listen below to what was captured on Michael Hoover’s audio recorder.


Waverly apparition
Mist-like anomaly w/ a humanly shaped apparition captured by Michael Hoover on the 3rd floor


The 5th floor is most noted for its room 502. It is said that a nurse, pregnant out of wed-lock committed suicide in this room and is often the location of reported activity.

Rm 502 Waverly
Picture Credit – Michael Hoover


While we didn’t capture any evidence in this room, we did capture the voice of a child on a static IR cam that was recording just across the hall.


Two other phenomenal EVP’s, captured by Michael Hoover came from the auditorium and the 3rd floor. You can listen to both of those below.


Ultimately, it was the 4th floor that presented itself as the most active during our investigation. In the full-spectrum clip below, captured by Michael Biery, a loud slam can be heard followed by what sounded like foot-steps rushing up behind us.


Below are 2 audio clips also captured on the 4th floor. One of a male saying ‘Hello’ during a spirit box session and the other of a female disembodied voice speaking during another separate spirit box session.


Why or how Waverly Hills Sanatorium continues to produce high levels of paranormal activity is unknown although one can assume that high levels of trauma and suffering, coupled with an extreme death toll, has left its mark on the building. One thing is for certain, it deserves its high-rank of America’s most haunted.

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