Waverly Hills Sanatorium: 2 Hour Historical Tour

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Author: Vampirewitch39
VR Publish Date: Aug 30 2010

For more information on Waverly Hills Sanatorium- please read the Member’s Article Waverly Hills Sanatorium: 2 Hour Paranormal Night Tour. It gives you some basic information on this historical location.

At the time of this article Waverly Hills does a Historical Tour only on one Sunday a month during the time the site is open for tours. All proceeds go toward reserving the landmark and repairs. While the night time tour was fun- this is the tour that made me fall in love with this building. You can not stand in front of the building and not be taken by the beauty of its simple form, the history of its past, and the care and love shown by many who wish to see it saved. Even in its state of falling in ceilings, vandalism damage, spray painted walls of art and broken windows you can still get a feel of just how wonderful this place must have been back in the late 1920’s, sitting out in a field on top of a hill.

The two hour tour started out with the same video show, stop to the gift shop that the night tour did. Meaning you only have an hour at the most in the building itself, maybe a little more this day. I also notice this tour group was very quiet, many of them being older in age. Yes- I was not the last one up the stairs on this tour. While they was quieter- they was not silent. Many asked questions that the tour guild answered very nicely. Even meet a lady who had been there visiting her Aunt as a child.

First stop was the death tunnel. Hot is all I can say. The temperature was in the upper 90’s and with no breeze at all I did not stay long inside the darken place. The tour guide explained the use of the tunnel, and the repairs the owners had performed. Seems when the owners purchase the place the tunnel was full of trash, old bedding and dirt. A week later and many men hours it has been cleaned and able to be viewed. While the tunnel is not the full length it was before, it is still over 300 ft long. Also they had repaired some damage done at the entrance to the tunnel, rebuilding a wall that had been pushed in.

She also talked of the bodies. Seems back in the 1920 superstition surround the TB illness, some seeing it as a curse as so little was known of its cause. As well as the simple fact of many not having the money to bring home and bury their loved one. Many bodies were unclaimed and buried in a mass unmarked grave on the property, as the guild tells. After doing some research I have not found any evidence of mass grave, but would not discount it either. You know it could have very well happen, the great depression of the time making it an unfortunate reality for many.

The tour veered off from last night’s as she lead us to the front of the building. Pointing out the repairs of the buildings main north wing from the outside she also remarked on the two statues and table placed on the ground in honor of the nurses who risked their own lives to help those who needed them. The website also talks of water lines, roofs, windows, stairways, two other building saved, and the mass clean up already done to the property and building. As well as the security and video needed to keep the repairs from being damaged again by those who would try and break into the buildings.

Giving us a few minutes to view the front of the building, a rare view it would seem, I was able to take a few pictures. When I reviewed these closer up I also notice the image I capture in one of the pictures. Remember- this hospital was open for TB till 1962. Then it was reopen as WoodHaven Medical Services. The facility remained a geriatrics center until 1980, closed down by order of the state. It is said it was closed due to reported abuse of the patients. There had been much suffering and death within these walls.

*note- far right, second set of windows up. Now to see a zoomed in image of that window*

We then moved into the building. The first floor is kind of sad in a way. Not because of the morgue or electric shock treatment room but of the black spray paint, the covered windows in black cloth. The paintings on the walls that were done as part of the Haunted House they do every year on the first floor during Halloween.

I know they are raising money to do the repairs and understand the need. Even as you see the haunted house items you can catch repairs here and there they are doing to the building. And that lets you know the owners are keeping to their of what their long term goals. I have read several articles that the building is going to be a hotel, the 4th floor left as it is for ghost tours. But that is many years away, majority of the building not even having windows replaced yet, much less the inside work needed for any type of hotel.

This tour does show you parts of the building you were shown during the two hour night tour, then a few more places. As we walked along, the small group of historical buffs showing the respect the building has come to deserve, I was able to snap a few pictures as the tour guild ( there is two on this tour) in the back of the group just asked me to stay within eye sight of him. But then he also remembered me from the night before, knowing that some of the tour was a repeat for me.

When we enter the 5th floor roof top, having pasted the fourth yet again, we where given a break to rest. I sat and the two tour guides came to talk a little. Asking about the 4 and 8 hour tours they informed me that the guilds are still with you, just not as close. You can not go into parts of the building they have not shown you (about half of each floor) as there were safety issues. As with these two hour tours the groups was split up into smaller ones, each floor given a certain time during the 4/8 hour tours. In my mind I was thinking the 4 would be about 3 hours in the building. The 8 maybe 6 hours as the website states there was a dinner break for the longer tour.

I stated the place had a good energy to me, a happy feeling. One tour guide agreed that it mostly did but the other stated some nights it was not so. She was part of a paranormal team that investigated the place often. She also happens to be the guild from last night that was with me when I ‘felt’ something beside me. I asked her what she meant and she told me last night something had been in the place. You could tell she did not wish to talk about it and it was not my place to push for more information.

I asked if the 8 hour tours were more geared toward hearing the voices, seeing the shadows, and the many other paranormal reports the place had about it. They both agreed the 8 hours tour was more for the serious paranormal investigators. And I can tell you why. The owner and I had talked of a private 8 hour tours listed on the website. She said private tours can be performed with a group of ten or more on Sunday - Thursday nights.

Math for those who wonder: that is ten people paying $100.00 each. Don’t think I can afford the thousand dollars for a super private tour. But if you had ten friends who wanted to do it, I would say this is the best tour they offered. You would have the building to yourself, floor by floor, instead of a group on each floor.

Back we go down to the 4th floor- the one from last night we could not take pictures or have any lights on- the ‘shadow people’ floor. As I walked thru the doorway I looked at the axe marks on the metal door- the ones the teens made many nights ago as they tried to get out of the building they had broken into. Seems the shadow people did not like them leaving after they got in, keeping them till a security guard heard their screams. They reported that the shadow people would not let them out of the doors, and they would not jump the 4 floors to the ground. Funny thing is the door open easy for the guard, not being locked. There are many tales such as this of the building, the tour guilds sharing with you are you walk about the building.

We go down the hallway, me looking left and right at the beauty of the old building and silent rooms, when we enter one of the operation rooms. Of the two lights hanging from the ceiling only one is still remaining. To be in this small room, so sick that the doctors where performing the last ditch effort of collapsing a lung or removing ribs to help you breath, windows open wide as air conditioner was not developed as of yet. It hits home of just how many suffered here.

I couldn’t walk those halls and not think of the old black and white pictures of the staff, the patients doing crafts and children playing on the roof top on a swing set during the time it was used as a TB hospital. They had smiles on their faces, wearing party hats as they attend a bash the hospital held for them. Most of the patients did go home, did leave this building and return to their loved ones. But there was death also. While it has been reported 65,000 people died here- but the few remaining records show it was more in the 7,000 range. Then I started to think of the time it was used as a geriatrics center, I can find no pictures or records of how many died during that time.

Either way you can say the place has a darker side as well as a bright side. And to me- the building reflects that. The long hallways, the way the building is shaped to improve air flow, it leads to the making of shadow and light play. As I took my last picture I just watched the way the shadows and light blend. Then I knew why I loved the place. In this building: the walls, floor, and ceiling there are both life and death imprinted. And it should be honored as such.

Below are a few links you might like to check out.



Youtube also has several videos of Waverly Hills.

*All pictures owned to Vampirwitch39

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Nov 20, 2023


Aug 29, 2023
May 31, 2023

very nice

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