Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Jefferson County, KY | The Most Haunting Abandoned Mental Asylums in America

Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Jefferson County, KY

Built in 1910 to house tuberculosis patients, the sanatorium was enlarged in 1924 to make room for the growing number of inmates. The building was expanded to a five-story structure that could easily hold 400 patients. Doctors at the hospital were notorious for experimentation on the tuberculosis sufferers, carrying out painful surgeries to treat the disease with nefarious results. One of the most infamous surgical procedures involved opening the chest cavity to insert balloons into the lungs and another involved removing ribs to allow the lungs to expand. An urban legend claims that as many as 64,000 people died at the hospital there over the years, but that figure has been challenged by a former assistant director and placed at 8,212 starting from 1945. A nurse is also rumoured to have hung herself in room 502 after learning that she was pregnant and had contracted tuberculosis. Those who passed away at Waverly Hills were moved out of the hospital through a service tunnel, now known as the “body chute”, that took the corpses through the back and out of sight of the patients to a waiting hearse. Most of the hospital, including the morgue and body chute, remain intact today.

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