The Ghosts of the Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville

The Haunted Waverly Hills Sanatorium

A breathtaking building with a gruesome past

4400 Paralee Dr, Louisville, KY 40272

Louisville Kentucky is home to countless buildings that are rich in both history and paranormal activity, but few are as notorious as the Waverly Hills Sanatorium.

Considered to be one of the most haunted places in the country, this building has a dark past stemming from its time as a Tuberculous facility.

Did You Know?

  • The property was originally purchased to act as a school building for the daughter of Major Thomas H. Hays.
  • The Board of Tuberculosis Hospital kept the original name of the building, Waverly Hills, after repurposing it as a sanatorium.
  • Over 50,000 people are believed to have died in the building during its time as a tuberculosis facility.
  • The bodies of the deceased were disposed of using a body chute that ran over 500 feet in length.

Is Waverly Hills Sanatorium Haunted?

Waverly Hills Sanatorium has been suggested to be one of the most haunted buildings in the United States, but could this really be true? It would seem so! The building is no stranger to death, having lost over an estimated 50,000 patients, so it is understandable that some individuals might have remained after death.

It is said that spirits often linger on at locations where there was a strong emotional or physical reaction preceding someone's death. That being said, it is no secret that the treatment for tuberculosis was unpleasant, even brutal, especially before the discovery of antibiotics.

Because of this, it is safe to suggest that the Waverly Hills Sanatorium could be haunted.

The Hauntings of Waverly Hills Sanatorium

In the past, young boys were known to enjoy a game of catch, so it should come as no surprise that one of the most popular ghosts recognized at the Waverly Hills Sanatorium, a young boy named Timmy, enjoys playing catch with visitors of the building.

It is said that if you roll a ball down a long hallway, oftentimes Timmy will roll the ball back to you, which is a welcomed change of pace for a haunted building, but, unfortunately, not all of the resident ghosts of Waverly Hills are quite so playful.

Another ghost that is often sighted at the location is a woman who once worked as a nurse back when the Waverly Hills was operating as a tuberculosis facility. The story goes that the nurse hanged herself in the building, and she is now believed to still be roaming the hallways.

Finally, the least frequently sighted specter is a mysterious man in white that drifts through the corridors late at night. There is no information regarding who the ghost was in life, but his presence is often sighted by individuals brave enough to take a deep dive into the maze-like facility.

The History Behind the Waverly Hills Sanatorium

The land that the Waverly Hills Sanatorium sits on was purchased by a wealthy military man, Major Thomas H. Hays, in 1883.

As it happens, one of his daughters needed to attend school, so he built a facility that would come to be called “Waverly School” by a teacher named Lizzie Lee Harris. Hays liked the name so much, he decided to make it permanent.

The property was later obtained by the Board of Tuberculosis Hospital, which opened up the facility as the “Waverly Hills Sanatorium.” The facility was opened on October 20, 1962 and operated until 1961.

In that time, over 50,000 patients were admitted to the facility, most during an extended outbreak of tuberculosis. Because so many patients lost their lives at this facility, it’s understandable why so many people believe the building is haunted to this day.

Today, tuberculosis can be handled much more effectively with the use of antibiotics, but this was not the case in the 1930’s.

Patients of the Waverly Hills Sanatorium underwent archaic treatments such as forced exposure to extreme weather, and even surgeries that would temporarily collapse their lungs. These methods lead to a great many agonizing deaths to a countless number of patients.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium Today

Since 2001, the Waverly Hills Sanatorium has been kept in special care to keep the building and its rich history alive. It was restored to its former glory as a tudor gothic style revival, and a nonprofit organization has dedicated their efforts to ensure the building is properly maintained.

Today, you can visit the property for yourself at 4400 Paralee Dr in Louisville, Kentucky. The location offers both historic and paranormal tours. You might even meet some of the building's original patients!

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If you're interested in the Ghosts of Louisville, there is no better way to experience them (hopefully) than on a Ghost Tour with Ghost City Tours of Louisville.

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