Tuesday, September 22, 2009
HOLLYWOOD GHOST HUNTERS Waverly Sanatorium Investigation!
ABOVE: THE HOLLYWOOD GHOST HUNTERS - (back) Steve Nappe (JASON X), Rick McCallum (DEVIL’S REJECTS), Kane “Jason”Hodder (FRIDAY THE 13TH, HATCHET) – (front) Chris “The Miner” Carnel (MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D), Jim O’Rear (DAY OF THE DEAD), Barry Blaisdell (GEMINI).
I recently completed my third paranormal investigation with THE HOLLYWOOD GHOST HUNTERS. This time we visited Waverly Hills Sanatorium, in Louisville, KY… considered to be one of the most haunted buildings in America. It was great to be back on the hunt with Steve, Rick, and Kane (see my previous blog covering our investigations of the South Pittsburg Hospital and Sloss Furnace). This time we were joined by a couple of other great guys, Barry Blaisdell (GEMINI) and Chris “The Miner” Carnel (MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D).
ABOVE: The entrance to Waverly Hills Sanatorium.
Waverly started out as a small, one-room school house in 1883. By 1910 it was a two-story tuberculosis hospital equipped to handle 40 to 50 patients. As tuberculosis became an epidemic, the hospital was expanded and by 1926 it was equipped to handle 400 patients. Unfortunately, this still wasn’t big enough. However, the doctors and patients made it work as efficiently as possible and it was considered to be one of the most modern, well-equipped facilities of its kind. It functioned as a tuberculosis hospital until 1961, when antibiotics were invented and the hospital was closed.
ABOVE: A view of the back of the building.
Due to there being no antibiotics when the hospital was open, doctors had to rely on natural remedies and some rather crude treatment techniques. Most didn’t survive the plague and due to the methods of care available, many didn’t survive the treatment. Freezers filled up and bodies overflowed. The Waverly became synonymous with death.
ABOVE: Barry Blaisdell prepares equipment for the investigation.
We arrived at Waverly just before dark and were pleasantly greeted by the owner, Tina Mattingly, and some of her crew. After shooting a few photos and some video outside we broke into three groups to begin our hunt. Each of our groups was joined by one special female guest hunter for the evening (whom I won’t name here because I don’t know how public they want to be). These ladies were some of the bravest I have seen… but, more on that later. The first group started in the body chute and the first floor, the second group started on the second and third floor (where a child named Timmy has been known to play), and the third group took floors four and five (where numerous shadow people are seen and ugly things happen around a prior nurses room). The plan was for each group to rotate through the floors of the hospital so that by the end of the evening each group had the opportunity to experience the entire building and what it had to offer.
ABOVE: The infamous body chute.
I mentioned the body chute, earlier. For those unfamiliar with Waverly, one of the most talked about portions of the building is the body chute, also known as The Death Tunnel. The body chute was once used to transport the bodies of deceased TB patients from the hospital to the bottom of the hill, then to waiting hearses or trains. At the peak of the TB epidemic, many patients died everyday. In order to keep morale up and not upset living patients, the hospital administration decided to use the body chute to discretely send bodies away from the hill. The logical step was to transport the bodies down the tunnel that was used to carry supplies and heat to the hospital. A railcar wench-type system was used to carry the bodies. The tunnel is 500 feet long and, due to the lack of electricity, is completely dark after the first 30 feet. Each group took their turn inside the chute (and Rick even spent about 20 minutes alone in there) but only one group experienced any phenomena… the sound of a disembodied voice lightly humming a song. Hopefully it was caught on the recorder!
ABOVE: A statue of a nurse stands perched on the edge of the roof.
Stories say that in 1928, the head nurse in Room 502 was found dead. She had committed suicide by hanging herself from the light fixture. She was 29 years-old at the time of her death and, allegedly, unmarried and pregnant. Her depression over the situation led her to take her own life. It’s unknown how long she may have been hanging in this room before her body was discovered. In 1932, another nurse who worked in Room 502 was said to have jumped from the roof patio and plunged several stories to her death. No one seems to know why she would have done this but many have speculated that she may have actually been pushed over the edge. Room 502 has become a popular place for paranormal activity. At one point, Kane Hodder thought that he was touched by something just outside of this room… but we couldn’t be sure. Other than that, this room stayed extremely quiet while we were in the building.
ABOVE: Another view of the back of the building.
A bit frustrated by the lack of activity in the building on this particular night, my group decided to experiment a bit. Kane placed himself alone in the lobby of the building while I crawled into a body tray inside the morgue and slid myself inside. We were hoping this might spark some kind of paranormal reaction. I immediately received a hit on the K2 meter and the guest investigator accompanying our mini-group (who was standing outside of the body slot I had crammed myself into) saw a black figure of a man stepping through the doorway of the morgue toward us. But, as quick as it started… it ended. Even provoking wasn’t eliciting a response. However, Kane… who normally doesn’t encounter any phenomena on the hunts… finally experienced something he couldn’t explain while sitting in the lobby on the opposite end of the hall from us. The rustling of clothing and the click-click-click of approaching footsteps. Kane spoke to the unseen entity, but it would only come within a few feet of Kane’s chair. We’re hoping that the camera pointed at Kane caught the sounds and possibly a figure. We’ll know more upon review of the evidence.
I decided to sit alone in the room, as well, to see if the same thing would happen while Kane and our guest investigated the morgue. It was very silent for several minutes until I started talking to the darkness. I got a hit on the K2 meter and thought I was going to get a conversation started, but… no such luck. After a few moments I heard the shuffling of feet behind me and then the battery in the camera drained and shut off. I knew something was about to go down. The doors behind me rattled and then it was silent again. I called Kane to check the camera and after he had it rolling again our guest stated she was willing to sit alone in the room. Remember, I mentioned earlier that these girls were brave? I’ve sat in some creepy places in my lifetime, but that room was one of the creepiest! It had a strange vibe that made you realize that there was some other presence in it at all times… not, at all, comfortable. This girl had nerves of steel! Not only did she sit in there alone, but she directly communicated with whatever was in there through a series of knocking noises. I can’t wait to see what the camera caught!
ABOVE: Another view of the entrance to the building.
Impressed by the activity in the lobby, we gathered the group for a meeting to see what had been encountered and to let each member have a chance at experiencing the phenomena in the lobby. There wasn’t much to report from most of the members, unfortunately. Some heard an inhuman growling in one of the hallways and a voice that said, “We’re here,” but that was about it. We shared our experience and everyone took a turn sitting in the chair in the lobby. Almost everyone experienced the same phenomena in that room… and almost every battery we had drained each time someone new went in.
The hour was late and it was time to call it a night. I want to thank the owners of The Waverly for allowing us to have a fun night investigating. I hope we have the opportunity to go back and spend more time trying to contact the entity that resides in the lobby!
Footage from the Hollywood Ghost Hunters investigations can be found at: www.HollywoodGhostHunters.com
Stop by and check it out when you have the chance!
Thanks for reading!