Waverly Hills Sanatorium
The Waverly Hills Sanatorium originally opened in 1910 as a two-story building intended to house 40-50 tuberculosis patients. In 1926 a larger, five-story structure was built with the capacity to hold 400 patients. However, due to the introduction of streptomycin, an antibiotic, in 1943 the population of the hospital gradually dropped until it was closed in 1961.
In 1962, the building was reopened as Woodhaven Geriatric Center, a nursing home for aging patients with dementia, mobility limits, and those who were severely mentally handicapped. However, due to under-staffing and overcrowding, the facility was closed in 1982.
The body chute, or “death tunnel”, was originally used by the workers to enter and exit the building without having to walk a steep hill. Later, due to the many deaths from tuberculosis, the tunnel was used to discreetly remove bodies from the building without the other patients having to see the dead (which was known to lower moral, and lead to a higher death rate).
With its thousands of deaths, Waverly Hills is known for its paranormal activity and ghost stories. One of the spirits is said to be that of a nurse who, after finding out she was pregnant and had contracted tuberculosis, hung herself. Other reports include a girl with no eyes, children chanting on the roof, shadow figures on the fourth floor (known to be the most “active” area in the building), doors slamming by themselves, and countless other specters and activity. It has been featured on several paranormal-based television shows.
The current owners of the building hold tours of Waverly Hills, allow scheduled investigations, and host an annual haunted house attraction.