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“Still not a believer, but very interesting and an amazing building with lots of history”

Waverly Hills Sanatorium
Ranked #28 of 184 things to do in Louisville
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Waverly Hills Sanatorium is on the U.S. National Register of Historical Places. The massive five story hospital was built in 1926 and sits atop Waverly Hill today. It housed 400 patients and was one of the largest facilities of its kind. Waverly served the community through decades of the worse TB outbreak in the country. After closing in 1961, due to the introduction of life saving antibiotics, the hospital reopened in 1962 as "Woodhaven Geriatric Center" which operated the facility until 1982 when it was closed by the state. Ravaged by years of neglect, the present owners have breathed new life into the building by conducting tours though the facility in effort to restore it to a useful asset for the community once again. Waverly has earned her place as one of the most haunted places in the country and has been host to many films and TV shows. During tour season (March – August) Waverly offers several options of visiting. *2hr. Introductory Paranormal Tour which includes a 20 film then a walk through the building.*2hr. Historical walk through tour held one Sunday each month*Public or Private overnight sessions for ghost hunting enthusiasts. For all tour or overnight reservations or inquiries contact the office open daily 9am to 5pm Monday - Friday.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed August 3, 2011

I am not a believer in the paranormal. I don't judge anyone who is, but I just haven't seen or heard anything that made me believe.

I agree with the other reviews the movie they have you watch before the tour starts is too long. I do think it had some interesting information and served a purpose in giving background information, but it should be cut in half.

I was expecting something a little more along the lines of a haunted house so there was a bit of a let down for me when I realized that was no the case. I felt they spent a fair amount of time trying to convince people they were seeing people.

That said it was an amazing enormous building and the history was very interesting. My husband who was against going to begin with truly enjoyed himself. I would like to return this fall for their Haunted House which they said Disney would be assisting them with.

It wasn't what I expected and I wouldn't ever return for a standard tour, but I enjoyed myself and am glad we went.

2  Thank jaycer02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 28, 2011

We did the 10pm 2 hour paranormal tour. Unfortunately we had to sit through a dvd of all the tv shows that have investigated the place. It was too long and repetitive. Our tour guide kept telling us that we were a very large group and had to rush through the place because another tour was to start at midnight. It was already 11pm! They should have cut the film short or not taken so many reservations. We were herded around like cattle and packed into tiny rooms. It was about 100 degrees, seriously, and people were having a hard time. We had been told to bring flashlights and cameras but were only able to use them in certain spots. Most of the time we couldn't see what she was telling us about because there is no lighting in the place. It was very disappointing. I recommend going on a cool day and doing the historical daylight tour so you can actually check the place out. Then do the night time paranormal tour to scare yourself! Hopefully it will be a small group for the your tour!

1  Thank Thewandering5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2011

We were aware of the DVD pre-tour so we were expecting that. I thought it was way too long and most of the information was reiterated by the guide so I felt it was really not necessary to recap the ghost hunter shows.

The tour guide was great, she took charge and did not seem to rush through. One issue we had was with a guy who just wanted to joke around (fake coughing when our guide described TB, etc.). Tried to distance ourselves from this idiot but unfortunately he was always at the front of the group and we wanted to hear the tour guide. He took a lit cigarette inside the building and when I asked him to put it out, he said he forgot he was holding it and promptly put it out on the stairway. Jerk...didn't seem to respect the property or anyone else.

We did see the shadow people, my husband was one of the ones who went down the darkened hallway. We did not hear anything such as footsteps or noises, wish we would've but there was too much chatting and of course the joker making comments throughout. There was also an issue with him kicking a ball that was found at the end of the tour (people bring rubber balls hoping to see it roll down the hall unassisted), which hit my daughter in the leg causing her to freak out as she didn't see where it came from because of the darkened hallway. He swore he didn't do it but the guide told us afterward that he did.

Because of the above, I wish the tour group would've been smaller so we could've experienced it more intimately. The staff can't control people like this so it's not their fault, it just happened to be the group we were with. We did enjoy it overall, however, and felt it was worth the price of admission!

Make sure to wear good shoes because you'll walk up stairs to all 5 floors and it is dusty and there is some debris.

6  Thank dh301
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2011

my wife and i went for the two hour tour as the half night one was booked already. they need to tell people up front that you have to watch almost 40 minutes of ghost hunter video before they let you get near the building, then our guide talked for almost another 20 outside of the building letting us actually tour for a little over an hour or so. once we got into the building everything felt rushed. our guide would stop and pack all 25 people in a room and go on and on about stuff that everyone had to watch in the 40 minute waste of time when we first arrived. over all me and my wife were very dissapointed at how we were treated, tour guide was also rude, try to take a few pics and they were yelling at us to hurry up and keep moving like we were a bunch of little kids. i cant say anything for the half night tour, but the supposedly two hour tour (which is really only 1 hour) is a waste of time.

6  Thank Traviserickson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2011

I've broken my review done into several parts because it's never easy reviewing a haunted location.

Reservations/Price: Reservations are made over the phone and they are incredibly polite. If you opt for an 8 hour hunt, which is what I did, be prepared to pay $100. Yes, it is a bit pricy but goes towards the restoration of the building.

Location: Believe the site's directions. The road you need is just off to the left once you get into the golf course's parking lot. After reading much on this site, I was expecting a grand drive to the site. It's not. LOL It's a short drive to the gate. The gate is not open prior to the tour starting so if you try to trespass, you might regret it. There are cameras stationed throughout and they do watch them.

Gift Shop: Snacks and drinks. Don't expect to be able to buy a meal. If you want that, bring your own. Various souvenirs as well as batteries, flashlights, etc. The prices were quite reasonable from the drinks to the shirts, especially on the larger sized tees.

Tour: The max for a tour is 40 people which is nice. Groups are broken down in half and then into smaller groups from there. One group goes to certain floors while the other group goes to another. Around midnight there is a short break and they switch locations for the groups. History and paranormal experiences are given. The place is HUGE! Be prepared to walk a lot and have a killer leg work out from the stairs. There are five levels as well as a body chute that if you venture into it is 1,000 feet total (to the bottom and back up) at a 45 degree angle. If you have any medical conditions, i.e., asthma, heart disease, pregnant, etc. do use common sense. It can be a bit strenuous at times. The stairs are brutal. The hike back up from the death tunnel is a bit intense. I am asthmatic and I opted to do the full length of the death tunnel (aka) body chute. I paced myself and though a bit winded was fine. Please do not take my personal choice as your own. Everyone handles levels of exertion differently. This is given solely as an FYI that if you have a medical issue the environment can be taxing.

Overall Experience: I was a bit bummed that you couldn't roam the site freely. Let me clarify this. You are free to roam the floors your group is brought to for the allotted time. Given the size of the structure, I can understand it for safety purposes. The volunteers do roam about if you have questions and there are some in a designated area should you need help or have questions. Unfortunately, you do get rude people that have to be all loud and ignorant. This is not Waverly's fault, however, if you do complain to the volunteers or they catch you being loud and scaring people, action is taken. Everyone wants to have an experience but forget to be considerate of their fellow investigators.

As for "Is Waverly Haunted?", that is up to personal views. There are some that will dispute the fact a place is haunted even if they are provided evidence. I did experience things that were not logically explainable. Voices on digi recorder that weren't heard at the time. Anomalies in photos. Being touched. Cold spots. The most disturbing floor for me was the 4th and it is reportedly one of the most haunted floors.

8  Thank mzdov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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