A group of friends and I took the 8 p.m., 2 hour tour of the facility in August 2013. There were some spooky moments, but overall I was somewhat disappointed with the tour.
What I liked:
1. The building itself and its history. Just being there and knowing the history of the place while you walk around is creepy in and of itself. The views from the upper floors are great too.
2. I also liked that they keep the tour as dark as possible. The hallways were difficult to navigate and sometimes you bumped into stuff, but I applaud them for keeping the lighting low to enhance the mood/experience.
What I didn't like:
1. Our tour group was way too big. I didn't do a headcount, but I think we had at least 25-30. It's impossible to feel creeped out with a party that big, especially in some of the tighter, enclosed places at Waverly. Plus there are so many people in each room, you only get to see the room or stay in the room for a few seconds before being hustled on to the next part of the tour.
2. We had two tour guides, one leading in the front and one bringing up the rear to make sure we didn't lose anybody. This is fine, but it was a tad TOO controlled. The rear guide called out several times for people to keep moving, to not step here, don't go in there, etc. It felt like even if you took one step off course you were going to be called out.
3. The gift shop is open before the tour, but not after. Why would you want to buy souvenirs before you have attended the event?
1. Don't take the 8:00 p.m. tour, go for the one offered later in the evening. Why? Waverly is in the Eastern time zone and the sun was still out for at least half of our tour. It would have been much scarier if the whole event had been after dark.
2. Look into options for a private tour, semi-private tour, the overnight stay, or just ask the question about how many people will be touring with you. I think the experience would have been very different if we were in a small group.
I hope this review doesn't make it sound like I hated it or had a horrible time.....the building is great and I think if you take into account the two tips above you will have a good time at Waverly.
If you own or manage Waverly Hills Sanatorium, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.