Waverly Hills. What can I say about Waverly Hills? A lot, actually. It's been a spot I've wanted to visit for many years. As a ghost hunter, paranormal investigator, whatever you want to call it, Waverly Hills is the top of every investigator's list. I was no different, and finally, I got the chance this past Friday night.
A little background on Waverly before I get into the investigation. Waverly Hills was a sanatorium (hospital essentially) for tuberculosis patients from 1926 to 1961, when an antibiotic was created to fight it off. Following its years as a TB hospital, it became a nursing home of sorts. And not a good one. Patients were not treated well and suffered greatly until the local government stepped in and shut it down in 1981.
During its years as a TB hospital, the death rate was high with little in the way of a cure. At one point, as a guide told me the other night, the deaths occurring at Waverly Hills amounted to one per hour. The actual number of deaths that occurred within the almost 200,000 square foot building is unknown, but guestimates have been as high as 60,000. I found out the other night that this number is more than likely a great exaggeration and the number is likely closer to around 24,000. Still a very large number of deaths. It was because of this high number of deaths that the famous body chute came into play (I will get to that later though).
Alright, it's investigation time. That's what you were waiting for, right? As you drive up the winding road leading to the building, there's so much anticipation. As the trees clear and you see the enormous structure (adorned with gargoyles) you are awestruck no matter how many times you've seen pictures of it in the past. In person is a much different experience. When you walk into the building, the first thing you see are caskets. Interesting décor...I like it! I then took a tour to get to know the place before finally investigating.
I don't know how I ended up in this weird tunnel like hallway by myself, but here I was, trying to get back to the main floor so I could start investigating. I hadn't gotten my equipment out of my backpack yet, but I did have my phone out, so I started recording a door opening and closing on its own. You can check out the clip below. I know it's dark and you can't see the door, but you can certainly hear it.
5th Floor and room 502:
After hanging out with the busy door for another minute, I moved on to the actual investigation. First stop? The 5th floor. It’s the top floor of Waverly. This is the floor of urban legends and false truths.
Many know of the room 502. It's famous for being the room where one nurse hung herself, while another went out of the window in a gruesome death. The stories are told over and over again, and makes many afraid to visit the room for fear that they too will be compelled to end their life. The thing is, those who work at Waverly no longer think that the first nurse killed herself; she was murdered. Also, another important bit of information, she was not hanging in room 502, but rather out in the middle of the hallway.
I know that this is supposed to be a hot spot, and I'm sure it is. Everyone has different experiences, but I didn't get much in the way of paranormal encounters up there.
Now onto my favorite piece of evidence. It's an evp and what appears to be a misty shadow dissipating just after. This was taken on the 2nd floor at 4:23 AM. I kept feeling as if I was being followed, with footsteps all around me, but couldn't track them down. I didn't hear the voice at the time, only later on during the playback, but you can tell from my camera movement, I knew something was close by. You can see the longer version below, but, for now, take a look at the short clip and let me know what you think they say, or actually what he calls me. It's really funny and has quickly become my favorite evp.
After leaving the sweet talking ghost on the 2nd floor, I headed up to the 3rd floor. Not much occurred there, but to be honest, I didn’t spend a lot of time there because I had an uneasy feeling while there. I did get this picture which shows an anomaly that doesn’t appear in the photo I took just seconds before. I’ve posted the two photos below.
Now let's talk about the famous "body chute."
This was an existing tunnel used to cart items to the train tracks, almost 600 feet away, dating pre-Waverly. When Waverly started experiencing mass death rates, the administrators rightfully felt it would be best to transport bodies out of sight of other patients in an effort to prevent panic and stress. This is not an actual chute where they opened a door and tossed a body in as if they were just a piece of laundry, like many people think.
I did go into the impossibly long tunnel, but the footage is pointless because it is so very dark. There was nothing going on all the way through it, but as I exited the tunnel and got a few feet away, I heard footsteps. Loud footsteps. An interesting development considering I was the only one in the vicinity. It very well could have been a residual haunting, tracing the steps over and over again throughout eternity.
The hardest part of the night for me was floor 4. This is the land of shadow figures. In the past, the shadow figures have been aggressive, sometimes down right hostile. There have been reports of bites, scratches, pushes, and more from this floor. At one point, years ago, some kids snuck in and made it to that floor. Security, while making their rounds, heard screaming for help and went running. The kids couldn’t get out. The shadow figures were not letting them out. They tried and tried to get the door open, but it wouldn't budge. They even took a hatchet to it, but nothing worked, until finally, the door opened on its own.
You can still see the hatchet marks in the photo above.
I was prepared going into the floor that I may have to deal with something aggressive, especially as a solo investigator, but nothing like that happened. What made this floor so hard was one thing. A child. Waverly Hills had many child patients during its time as a TB hospital. Sadly, a lot of them did pass away. Some of these sweet little souls are still hanging around the building, even this long after the fact. That's why, if you visit, you will see so many toys and balls all over the place. And they do use them.
As I walked along the hallway of floor 4, I felt a hand go over my face. It was distinctive, but not scary, so I continued on. Later, I felt clinging to my leg, much like my kids do from time to time. It didn't bother me, it certainly was not malicious, so I just let the spirit cling. A little later, I made it to a room where a spirit tried to manifest. It was really working hard to be seen, but couldn't get more than a shadowy figure before dissipating again. I sat down in the room for awhile and waited. It was then that I heard a cough. It was a child’s cough. It broke my heart. I've worked in healthcare (hospice) and know these coughs; they will gut you. I have never experienced anything like this in the paranormal field, however, but I can tell you that it is one thing that can bring even the toughest investigator to their knees.
My thoughts on Waverly:
Waverly Hills lives up to the reports you hear; it is extremely haunted. Like other haunted locations, there are good spirits and angry spirits, though I only dealt with the good (and moody) during my investigation. They offer both public and private investigations. If ghost hunting is not your thing, they also offer tours (both day and night) that are either historical or paranormal depending on what you are interested in.
Below is a longer version of clips I recorded at Waverly. It can get you a better look at what the halls are like during an investigation. You will hear some of the footsteps that seemed to follow me, loud banging I couldn't pin down, and other random unexplainable noises. Who knows, maybe you guys and gals can pick up on something that I missed. Be forewarned, sometimes the footage moves around a bit as I turned quickly towards sounds and shadows, so if motion sickness is a problem, you may not like it.