The Waverly Hills Sanatorium is a closed sanatorium located in southwestern Louisville/Jefferson County, Kentucky. It opened in 1910 as a two-story hospital to accommodate 40 to 50 tuberculosis patients. In the early 1900s, Jefferson County was ravaged by an outbreak of tuberculosis (the “White Plague”) which prompted the construction of a new hospital. The hospital closed in 1962, due to the antibioticdrug streptomycin that lowered the need for such a hospital.
An episode of the Sci-Fi Channel television show Ghost Hunters featured the cast’s investigation of Waverly Hills, including a local myth about the death of a nurse by murder or suicide in Room 502. Legend says the nurse found out she was pregnant by the owner of the sanatorium without being married and had contracted tuberculosis, so she hanged herself with a light bulb wire outside the room she was in at the time. The room was also investigated by the show Ghost Adventures and Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files. Both shows found evidence of paranormal activity.
Some urban legends claim that “100,000 deaths” occurred at the Sanatorium. According to Assistant Medical Director Dr. J. Frank W. Stewart, the highest number of deaths in a single year at Waverly Hills was 152. Stewart wrote that the worst time for deaths was at the end of the Second World War when troops were returning from overseas with very advanced tuberculosis cases. Some independent researchers suggest that since 162 people died at Waverly Hills in 1945, the highest total number of deaths possible over 50 years was approximately 8,212.
"Body chute" or "Death tunnel"
In recent years the popularity of the Sanatorium as a haunted attraction and exaggerations of numbers of dead that were moved through the first floor tunnel have led to nicknames such as “Death Tunnel” or “Body Chute.”