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Waverly Hills Sanatorium

October 16, 2011


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Is Waverly Hills Sanatorium Haunted?

Who are the spirits of Waverly Hills Sanatorium? Indeed with more than 6,000 deaths attributed to tuberculosis and patient abuse via attempts to eradicate the disease, as well as documented suicide behind the walls of Waverly, there could possibly be too many to name.

Waverly’s History is best researched by going to the source. The current owners have a site that explains how Waverly Hills came to be. After your read this blog perhaps you could visit their page at

 Some of the most well known spirits at Waverly Hills seems to be an old woman specter who greets you at the main entrance, sometimes  she briefly exits the front door, chains and blood dripping from her wrists and ankles as she screams “Help Me!” and “Somebody save me!” before disappearing into thin air.

Children were also victims of the dreaded TB disease and were patients at the hospital which dates back to1924. It was completed in 1926.  On the third floor some have seen the spirit of a little girl known as “Mary” who doesn’t “look quite right”, as described by others since she has no eyes.  As well there is the spirit of a young boy, some have called him “Bobby”,   we were told his name is “Timmy”. Either way, the sight of an unearthly child brings chills and feelings of unease to almost anyone. In one of our pictures we feel we captured “Timmy’s ghostly image” on a window ledge on the third floor. It is rumored that the sounds of bouncing balls can be heard on the third floor of Waverly Hills. And some have challenged this haunt by taking a toy ball to encourage any of the children spirits to play. Others have heard the distant, disembodied voices of children chanting rhymes like “Ring around the rosie.”

One of the most infamous spirits – and rooms – inside the building is the spirit of the pregnant nurse who hung herself from the light fixture (or a plumbing fixture) in room 502. In 1928 the head nurse killed herself as she was pregnant and unmarried. Some feel she may have been pregnant by one of the married doctors. Yet most people believe she contracted TB and feared for her unborn child as she knew the horrible outcome in those days of having the disease known as the “white plague.” This is where, according to rumors, people have jumped to their deaths even after the building was closed as a TB hospital. (It was later used as a geriatric hospital). Curiosity seekers have seen shapes moving in the windows and have heard disembodied voices that order trespassers to “get out”. It is here that people commonly feel a sense of deep despair when entering the room and thoughts of suicide emerge in depressed women and children as they visit this part of the sanatorium.  Another nurse committed suicide in 1932 by jumping from the window of 502. Why she decided to kill herself remains a mystery, though there are rumors this nurse was pushed from the floor to her death. Another tale floats around, almost like the ghosts at Waverly, suggesting the 5th floor was reserved for the mentally insane TB patients and that is why only a few rooms were at each end of two nurse’s stations. It is here that some believe an insane patient stabbed one of the nurses to death on this floor while running around screaming to the top of his lungs. There is no proof that this stabbing took place, yet the rumors persist as a few have seen her ghostly apparition covered in blood. Or are all of these tales just simple yarns that have evolved over the years?

The night we toured Waverly my daughter became alarmed as we stood outside of room 502, very near the spot where the nurse had hung herself her body remaining in suspended death until the next shift… It was there that my daughter whispered to look behind her and see if anyone was there. I looked and told her no one was behind her and she said in a shaky voice, “Someone just touched me.” I put my arm around her for comfort, but she was so shaken that she would not enter the actual room. She elected to stay back with our tour guide until we all went inside.

When we toured the old structure we were allowed to take pictures on every floor except the fourth floor. On this floor we weren’t allowed to have flashlights or cell phones on, nothing with light. That’s because this is considered to be the most “active” floor with sightings of shadow people and a large, aggressive entity known as “Big Blackie.” Our tour guide claims that he was attacked on this floor and received scratches and welts as a result after Big Blackie appeared nearly blocking all light from the hallway before attacking. It seems any light or distraction from noisy visitors ignites this entity’s temper. While we were there we indeed saw what appeared to be shadow people crossing the halls, but I am uncertain if it was a trick of the eye as moonlight seeped through the window panes in the rooms as the walls blocked all light in between the rooms, creating a dark/dim light contrast that may contribute to such images.

Throughout Waverly Hills doors will slam for no apparent reason and we were told by one of the volunteer staff about an interesting tale involving doors that close and sometimes lock tight. When the current owners first bought the building people had trespassed and vandalized for years. After installing security cameras and alarms the owners and volunteers would be alerted when anyone crossed the fence. On one occasion several young men or teens broke in, carrying an axe. They reached the fourth floor and by the time volunteers and authorities reached the site they could hear the screams coming from inside. Shouts and calls for “help” greeted the owners and the police, but when they reached the fourth floor the boys were screaming and pounding against the door, which the police opened with ease. Yet the boys practically fell to the floor as they had been beating and shoving at the door for awhile, even chopping into the metal door with the axe in an attempt to escape. What had frightened them to the point that the vandals were grateful the police arrived? The dark, hulking shadow of what later became known as “Big Blackie” and the advancement of shadow people, some even hanging like large spiders in the doorways.

There is also the apparition of a man in a white lab coat, it appears to be a doctor  and has been seen walking through the kitchen and also crossing the corridor of the 4th floor from one room to another. The smells of cooking can sometimes waft through the halls at Waverly Hills; some have smelled fresh bread. On our visit, in what once was the laundry room, the horrid stench of sickness and death permeated the room making several of our members feel nauseated. Feelings of sickness seem to be common among visitors inside this historical building. Also the feeling of suffocation has been reported, especially in the death tunnel, or body chute as it is known. Cold spots, EVP’s and other paranormal phenomena have been captured by many.

In addition to the experiences already mentioned two of our members saw a “face” in one of the windows of a metal door. I was prompted to take a picture, which is displayed here, and while I did not capture the face, it shows that no one could have walked up and peered at us through the door’s window. Back at our motel as we compared stories Antonio asked Debbie to describe what she saw before he described what he had seen. Before that point he had “sketched” an image of the face he saw peering at him, not revealing it to any of us until both descriptions had been compared. The two descriptions matched almost perfectly, all the way to the fact that the face seemed to have no eyes.  

Visit our website devoted to paranormal research for the sketch he drew and more of our experience. We feel this could be the spirit of a homeless man who resided at the abandoned structure during the early 1990’s. He and his dog were the victims of vandals breaking in and killing them, tossing their bodies down the elevator shaft. It seems that the man and his dog have been seen at Waverly Hills in the afterlife.

There are many stories attached to Waverly Hills Sanatorium. How many are legitimate, one can never be sure. But there is one fact.  Even though not all of our members agree that Waverly is haunted, I believe it to be. Our group plans to return to Waverly Hills one day very soon to challenge the haunting structure again. This time we want to stay all night and take all of our equipment. In my opinion, with the legacy and the death behind these walls, if this place “ain’t haunted” then excuse my bad grammar “no place is haunted.”

I am thankful the current owners of Waverly Hills Sanatorium make available guided tours and half night/ all night investigations. This way, maybe more people can experience the disturbingly haunted Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Hospital and the ethereal spirits residing there.



From → Haunted asylum

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