While on a ghost tour of a “haunted hospital” participants had to take shelter in the “body chute” that was once used to deliver dead tuberculosis patients into the basement morgue!
The bizarre evacuation occurred at the infamous “haunted” Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, KY.
The Waverly Hills Sanatorium is one of the “Most Haunted Places in America.” The Sanatorium opened in 1910 to accommodate tuberculosis patients. The city suffered one of the largest outbreaks in the country.
It’s believed that nearly 50,000 people died there. They were disposed of via a body chute — a 537-foot tunnel that led to Dixie Highway. It was designed to keep patients from seeing the deceased, and it was in that very “body chute” that guests on a recent ghost tour were forced to take shelter as a series of powerful tornadoes ripped through the area!
When there’s a tornado warning, Waverly Hills’ Operations Director, Tonya Haynes said the dark and creepy tunnel is a potential life-saver.
“This is actually the safest place for them to be if something like that happens,” Haynes told local media outlet WDRB.
“It was originally built to be a construction tunnel to bring up bricks to build the building that everybody wants to come see,” Executive Director Dale Clark said. “They converted it into the body chute to get all the dead bodies off the hill both quickly and discreetly.”
Many people, like Kelly Brown and Mary Morrison, took it in stride, embracing the once-in-a lifetime experience. Some people sheltering there went down the steps a bit to explore the space further.
“It was just ironic having to go to the body chute for shelter,” Morrison said. “… This is my life. That kind of stuff happens to me. I got to go to this body chute. At least I was still alive, went down alive, came back out alive and I don’t think anything attached to me. I’ve been good so far.”
“It was interesting,” said Brown, who was also on a tour at the time. “That was like the best experience. I love all the paranormal stuff. It didn’t really faze me that we were kind of stuck in there. I felt like we were safe and I thought ‘Well, cool. Maybe we’ll see something down here.’”
The landmark building made a post on social media once the danger had passed, thanking the guests for their cooperating and understanding.
“Safety for our customers and staff is our number one priority at all times. We appreciate every single one of you!” the facility wrote on Facebook.
The Facebook post has garnered more than 2,000 likes and over 400 shares. In the comments, one person said “been in there. I’d rather brave the tornado.”
On Mar. 22, the date that the ghost tour guests were forced to take shelter, no tornadoes were confirmed in the city of Louisville. The National Weather Service has confirmed five tornadoes in Hardin, Bullitt and Breckinridge counties in Kentucky.
In Indiana, the weather service confirmed an EF-1 tornado in Washington County.
There are tons of “ghost stories” connected to Waverly Hills, like the one about a nurse who hanged herself and reportedly still roams the halls. There’s another popular one about a boy named Timmy. Tour guides say he spends the day looking for someone to play with.
They say you can roll a ball down to him and often, it’ll be returned.