Louisville is a small city, but although small it is not any less fascinating (along the lines of dark history) as any other city. A writer's conference and college competition last week brought me to Louisville, and I seized the opportunity to explore some of the dark legends of the city.
Waverly Hills Sanatorium
Waverly Hills Sanatorium was founded in 1910 and served as a tuberculosis hospital. Once antibiotics was discovered there was no longer a need for TB hospitals and Waverly Hills Sanatorium closed its doors. It is now under private ownership and being restored. The hospital would house around fifty patients at a time. There are estimates that over the years tens of thousands of people perished (unfortunately there aren't any sources that I could find to back this claim). The body shaft (the shaft used to dispose of bodies to avoid detection of other patients) is claimed to be the second most haunted place in Waverly Hills. The most haunted part of the hospital is room 502. Room 502 is where a pregnant nurse commit suicide, and her ghost allegedly still haunts the room. Another allegation is that the ghost of a young boy called Timmy runs around the hospital and plays with toys if you leave them for him. There are tours offered (and even overnight tours!) during specific seasons.
The Belle of Louisville
The Belle of Louisville is a steam boat built over one-hundred years ago! The captain of the ship succumbed to a heart attack whilst on the boat and employees claim that his spirit has never left. Many claim to see his spirit in uniform walking the halls of the boat. Another death that occurred on the ship was a terrible accident that involved a man being crushed to death. The songs he once whistled are said to still be heard. There are so many ghost stories that the SyFy network's show "Ghost Hunters" conducted an investigation. The hotel that I stayed at was right by the riverside and the steamboat still whistles tunes in an eerie fashion.
Sleepy Hollow Road
The legend of Sleepy Hollow Road is one that is rather unusual. There are not one, not two, but three legends that surround this wooded road. The road is completely devoid of street lights which adds to its ominous disposition. The only thing that lights the street are headlights from cars that seldom pass at night time. The road curves up a large cliff and has the point called Devil's Point (and rightly named). It's name comes from the odd fascination with Satanism in the 70' and 80's that teens partook in. Some claim to still hear the chanting to this day. Focusing on the less factual side of legends, it is claimed that in the olden days, women who gave birth to babies with deformities would throw their unwanted children from the ledge. The last tale is a story that revolves around a mysterious black hearse that shows up at night time and attempts to drive cars off the road.
My friend and I left our hotel rooms in search of a story. We were both there for a writer's conference and journalist competition, but in our free time we wanted to explore. I seized the opportunity to create a blog entry, but first I needed something worthy. We walked about two miles from downtown searching for an alleged haunted mansion. However, when we got to said mansion it was under renovations. As we walked back we discovered ourselves walking through Western Cemetery. We decided to photograph and were shocked when we saw the outcome. Camera glitches or supernatural?--- you decide.
© 2018 Elijah DeVivo