Alone at Waverly Hills Sanatorium - The Waverly Challenge
The night began preparing all of my gear and making sure batteries were full and ready. There were workers and actors performing construction and preparation activities for the haunted house events next month, so I waited until I had the "all go" to begin the investigation. This was around 9:30-10:00 pm. During the time prior, I visited all of the floors taking advantage of the brilliant sunset for my photos. The building is already photogenic, but the colors really shine during the sunset and twilight hours. Of course, I carried my recorder with me in the event the building wanted to speak to me.
One of the difficulties I had was that the location was directly under the flight path of commercial aircraft taking off and landing in Louisville. A plane had passed over every 2-3 minutes until the wee hours of the morning, so further review of the audio is needed to make sure any anomalies were captured and confirmed. As soon as I have some concrete evidence, I'll be sure to post. The building is usually pretty quiet, but I was hearing some substantial knocks and taps down the hallways of the 3rd and 4th floors during my walkthrough. After confirming there were no staff present anywhere other than the main floor, I took special care to listen intently. These were not echoes from the workers.
There was an overwhelming sense of peace during my walkthrough with exception of the 4th floor. There is a darkness, heaviness about the floor that always makes me uneasy. The feeling of eyes upon me was significant. It's as if the floor has a "watcher" checking out each visitor and following them around. There were a number of occasions where I had passed a doorway and swear I saw a shadow of a figure standing there. As the sun set, I knew I had a brief time left before darkness enveloped the building and the realization I was there alone swept over me.
I realize people want to see spooky ghost photos and hear shocking EVP's, but the real thing is fleeting and never predictable. I hope. I've been reviewing audio from this night and have 2 possible EVP's/disembodied voices recorded, but I don't want to post something that may not in fact be authentic. Once I clean up the files and validate, I'll post.
As mentioned in Part 1, the 3rd and 4th floors were quite active with shadow figure activity. There are all kinds of theories as to what they are depending on your sources. I believe they are residual and are literally shadows of those who used to inhabit the location. They glide and pass through the hallways and rooms like remnants of the people they used to be. Staff, nurses, and patients all remain at Waverly Hills, acting out their daily activities like an old record player stuck in a single moment.
Once my eyes had adjusted to the dark (and thanks to the moon for providing some visibility), the shadow figures appeared. They have no distinct shapes or forms and appear like vaporous objects that are seen across the floor, blotting out points of light in the distance and even close by. I saw many such shapes that night. Some were partial figures while others were almost well defined, but only for a moment while they passed. There were others that appeared and disappeared in a single spot for what seemed like a long time. It was fascinating watching these. The downside is that they seldom ever pick up on video, even with the best IR and Full Spectrum lighting.
3 years ago during an investigation, our team heard what sounded like a conversation between a man and woman coming from a hallway on the main floor which we later discovered was only a concrete wall. The conversation had lingered for 30-40 minutes and all of us had heard it. I heard the same disembodied voices while walking through the 2nd floor this night. This time it was just a woman. Fortunately, I was able to pick it up on audio despite the planes overhead. I was uncertain as to the origin at first and really didn't pay any mind. But when it continued, I was thankful I had the recorder going.
It was a long, exhausting night and the humidity and heat inside the building only fueled the exhaustion. Even the bats seemed to have taken a break that night as I only saw one the entire time. I brought my Portal with me and used it on several occasions during the night. I believe I recorded a scream, but again, I don't want to post something that isn't authentic. The scream was chilling, there's no doubt about it.
The purpose of the visit that night was to see if I could spend the night alone at one of the most haunted locations in the country. I was successful at doing that and I am proud that I could push myself and comfort level past anything I had ever done prior. There are no words to describe the feeling I had walking down the corridors of Waverly Hills. I will certainly cherish the night as well as the opportunity for the rest of my life.