patients spending their time in porch ways
patients spending their time in porch ways
Waverly Hills Sanatorium most probably the scariest haunted house in America. Before we go to about its stories lets have a look on its establishment. In the early 1900s tuberculosis came to America as a deadly disease. This terrifying and not curable plague became as a death toll on the major cities in America. Massive death rates had shaken the country at that time. To fight with this horrific disease, in 1910, a hospital was established on windswept hill in southern Jefferson County. Very soon this hospital was overcrowded with patients. In 1924 another new building of this hospital was established. This is known as Waverly Hills and it became more well equipped tuberculosis sanatorium in that time. But maximum of the patients were dying due to this epidemic. In those days before the medicine of this epidemic invented it was thought that fresh air, nutritious food and rest is the real treatment for tuberculosis.

Treatments of Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Treatment with sunlight with on porch way

Before the invention of streptomycin (Drug cures tuberculosis (TB)), the belief of the treatment of that disease started a dangerous process to cure patients. Process of cure was really barbaric. The treatment was as like patient's lungs were exposed to ultraviolet rays. Sun rooms were made like open porch way as solarium to take the patients there and exposed them to ultraviolet light. That was thought as the most effective cure procedure. Even patients had to stay there without antibiotics for natural remedies in winter too. For the need to make them alive in winter in the open porch way then the heating blankets were made first.

Removing ribs from chest for expanding lungs more

In another way of treatment came to know that was just horrible. To survive from death a more painful than death action was taken. Pneumothorax is the air in the middle portion between the chest and lungs. At that time it was thought the lungs should expand more so it can be cured. So opening up the chest and removing 2-3 ribs such that the lungs can get more room to expand. Balloons were surgically pushed in lungs and in this way doctors were trying to expand the patient's lungs. Though only a few of them were cured. Most of them were at the last stage and most of them died. Only approx five percent patients got their life back through this process.

'Body chut' or the Death Tunnel

Body Chut
At that time doctors believed that it is important patient's mental health as their physical health also. So those who survived only these diseases and this horrible treatment too, only they leave the hospital through general exit. As maximum patient died and they didn't come out through the front door. For those corpse a different tunnel was made. That tunnel was designed from hospital to the railroad tracks at the bottom of the hills sanatorium. This passage is known as "body chute". Total process was secretive such that patients have not any idea about the dead persons. Actually the tunnel is a 500 foot long passageway used to transport lower the bodies by motorized rail and cable system towards the hearse.

Ghosts and hauntings of Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Over the years, there are many legends and ghost stories told by witnesses who have come to the Waverly Hills Sanatorium, some true, some object of speculation by imaginative mind. But sightings more common, those described and tested by real experts in the paranormal through the use of sophisticated equipment, demonstrate that all is not fantasy. For example, as the sighting of a little girl seen running up and down the third floor (the sun) or the girl who played with a leather ball; the hearse appeared in the rear of the building from which they are slipping coffins, scaring the present; and the woman with her wrists bleeding, crying, shouting for help. In addition, other visitors said they heard the slamming of doors, strange sounds and eerie footsteps in empty rooms; the sound of carriage wheels along the tunnel of death; lights that appeared at the windows and still the intersection of the shadows in the fast runners, as if the activity at the sanatorium had never ceased.
It is said also to have been seen on several occasions the ghost of a man in a white coat walking in the kitchen and that the spirit of a young woman named Mary Lee, still roams the corridors of the sanatorium
More than someone claims to have heard a strong smell of cooking food in the kitchen: pancakes with syrup, potatoes and gateaux freshly baked bread. what absolutely unthinkable for an abandoned and run-down. but it is as if the memory of an ancient past had never been canceled.

Room no 502

Scariest Room no 502
Scariest Room no 502
Room no 502 is the most scariest areas of the hills sanatorium. It is said the suicide of two nurses at different times makes this place tremendously ghostly. Surely it should be as two ladies died there huh!!! Anyway the first suicide took place in 1928, dead body of Mary Hillenburg was found hung in that room. It was found in later the 19 years old nurse hung herself for being pregnant without marriage. So been ashamed of society she made her ultimate path from the light fixture.
In 1932 an another nurse who committed suicide by jumping from the roof. The reason for her suicide is completely unknown till the date.
The room is filled with a sense of full despair, like a cursed room, every time you can feel disembodied presences everywhere in the room. Feelings of being followed and watched all time, as unwanted and disallowed there many visitors have heard a voice telling them to get out of the room. Some have seen a ghostly apparition of a lady in a white dress for a sudden instances. Their blood shook in fear and their faces turned pale by the suffocative fearful atmosphere of the room. The ghost of Mary Hillenburg still wandering there and caught in the photograph too by ghost hunters.
Ghost of Mary Hillenburg
In left ghost of Mary Hillenburg caught in front of room 502, in right Mary Hillenburg,
who hung herself in this room

Old woman in the main entrance

In there ghost hunters experienced a confined soul image of an old woman, who is bleeding in her wrist and ankles. some people who have seen her told she has chains on her hand and legs and stays for some little moments horrifying the atmosphere with her cries for help.

The girl on the third floor

On the third floor there is another ghost named 'Mary', but she is a girl only. Who plays with a leather ball on the floor. Many hadn't seen the spirit but only heard the sound of bouncing of a ball while there was no one on the floor. Some have reported there is a boy's ghost too who plays with the ball but Mary seems horrible. One man who encountered her told she told him that she don't have any eyes. The terrified man took an oath not to enter in the sanatorium again.

Phantom man in the kitchen

More than someone claims to have heard a strong smell of cooking food in the kitchen: pancakes with syrup, potatoes and gateaux freshly baked bread. Though no food was cooked since 1982 in the hospital. A phantom man with a white coat and pant keeps wandering in this area. It is assumed that he was an employee of the kitchen who died of tuberculosis.

Ring around the Rosy

You may hear a voice of a boy chanting "Ring around the Rosy" from the roof. but why roof? Because when this was the center for treatment of tuberculosis before 1943 in rooftop children were taken there for "heliotherapy", exposing themselves in the healing rays.

Haunted fourth floor

On the fourth floor the halls, door each area in there is haunted by shadow like entities. They are very active in terms of experiences. Most of the ghost hunters encounter the phantom beings in that floor.
After the invention of medicine for tuberculosis, as this pathetic treatment was no longer The Waverly Hills Sanatorium was closed in 1961. But a year later it's re-opened with a new name, Woodhaven Geriatrics Sanatorium. But anyway this hospital continues its record for pathetic and mistreatments again. The dangerous electroshock therapy which was considered as a very effective treatment process was used in those old rooms. Finally in 1982 it declared as closed for good. So many deaths, pain and agony inside the rooms make the hospital most haunted places. Disembodied voices and ghosts roaming is the haunted nature of the house. So many haunted incidents there have, not possible to mention all of them. Some of them are mentioned here.
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