Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Room 502

Would you stay here?

For how many nights? One? Maybe two? How about for the rest of your short life? Bwa ha ha ha!!

Ok, dramatic but here's the deal.

This is Waverly Hill Sanatorium in Louisville, Ky. It is considered one of the most haunted places in the states. Opened in1910, it was built to house the steep rise in tuberculosis patients. It soon became overcrowded as the disease spread and another hospital was built.

Some of the treatments seem barbaric by today's standards, while others are still used today. Desperate times... Patients were placed in front of open windows, no matter the weather. (yes, it snows in Kentucky.) Balloons were placed inside lungs and expanded to 'let more oxygen in'.

And then there is the 'body chute'. I'll let you ponder that one for a while. Ok, it's actually much less scary than it sounds. The doctors believed that the sight of wheeling out body after body of those dying from TB would be a real bummer so a tunnel was built to take them away in a more discreet manner. It's not like a laundry chute where you just dump a body after you torture it to death, which is the first thing that came to my sick little brain. It also kept the staff from freezing their butts off in the winter commuting back and forth.

Like many institutions of the day, when TB was squashed by advances in medicine, there were less and less patients and the building began to fall into disrepair. The hospital closed and the building sat there to rot.

Then this happy, sunshiny place was going to be turned into a prison, until the developer ran out of money. Then a christian company bought it and wanted to build the largest statue of Christ EVER on the top of the hill. That didn't pan out either. Finally, the building is being restored by it's new owners and it now lives on as a destination for ghost hunters and thrill seekers. You can sign up for an overnight and wander the ground (for a fee) and scare the crap out of yourself.

And you too can tour the body chute and hang out in room 502. What's so special about room 502 you ask? According to spooky ledgend, a nurse ended her life in that room. It's said she was pregnant with the child of a married doctor who worked in the hospital. She supposedly was part of a abortion that did not go well, then hung herself from the pipes. (Other legends say she jumped from the window.) No matter that the pipes weren't installed until much later or there are no reports or articles about a suicide. Still, creepy story.

It's a very creepy place but I think there are probably scarier places out there. Old abandoned insane asylums, prisons, and other facilities where people were kept.

A friend of mine once told me that every spirit she had ever encountered in her paranormal investigation business was 'good'. (She even did a walk through Colombine High School one night) But after pressing her some more, she said that there was one place, where she would never go back. The things she felt were anger, fear, pain and rage of the people left behind. But that's another story. I don't think this place warrants that kind of fear.

We just love to scare the shit out of ourselves, in any way.


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