Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Date of Establishment & Haunting

The Waverly Hills Sanatorium was established in the early 20th century, it was remodeled twice first in 1912 then later in 1926. In 1961 it was closed and in 1962 the sanatorium was reopened as the Woodhaven Geriatric Sanatorium as a private nursing home and firm.

Name & Location

Waverly Hills Sanatorium or Woodhaven Geriatric Sanatorium is still located to this day in Louisville, KY

Physical Description

The original facility was wooden with two stories that had two open-air pavilions built on top of a hill on the property. Surrounded by beautiful trees and gardens the sanitarium could house 40 to 50 patients at that time. The first remodeled in 1912 expanded the facility, they added more rooms onto the small building while also adding another building to the grounds for children. In 1926 the facility underwent a second remodeling, the massive building can be seen still standing today, this abled them to house 450 to 500 patients.

Origin

Waverly Hills started as a sanatorium for those stricken with tuberculosis, they believed in fighting the illness with fresh air, quarantine from the community, and positive attitudes. At the height of the outbreak across the state, they housed around 450 to 500 patients at any given time, people of all ages and children. When the death toll hit its highest the victims were carried though an under-ground tunnel to hide the morbid evidence from the other tenants. The tunnel became known as the “body chute” rather than the supply tunnel it had been made to be. Once the outbreak became under control statewide they closed the sanatorium as it was not needed further.

In 1962 it was repurchased by the state and changed names to Woodhaven Geriatric Sanatorium, then later replacing sanatorium with center. Many of the Woodhaven patients where reporting mistreatment and experimental tests being performed on them, which lead to the final closing of the facility completely.

Mythology and Lore

Most of the records have been lost from Waverly Hills but in height of the epidemic outbreak, they estimated one death per hour, which means thousands met their end within these walls before a cure was formed. This number alone leads many to believe there was a ghostly presence left behind, and well as the “body chute” being a creepy dark tunnel thousands of bodies were carried out of the facility in. Due to the lack of records, most of the original accounts of ghost stories have been lost from this time. The barbaric treatments were unlimited as they tried to battle the outbreak, many patients sat in front of open windows for hours in the middle of winter. Others had their lungs exposed to ultraviolet light and even expanded by balloons which was often fatal.

Upon the reopening in 1962 as Woodhaven Geriatrics Sanitarium many tales of patients started to unfold of mistreatment, abuse, and unusual experiments happening within its walls. Electroshock therapy was used frequently as during this time it was the most effective treatment, even though tragic losses and side-effects happened. During the late 1970s, Woodhaven found itself in the middle of state violation and patient abuse cases which lead to it being shut down for good.

The haunting stories began to flood the area as the build sat unused for years, like the little girl who ran up and down the 3rd floor, the little boy who played with a leather ball, a woman who was bleeding from the wrists crying out for help, a hearse that appears dropping off coffins around the back of the building, the white-coated man walking through the kitchen, and many other nameless ghosts have appeared. Visitors reported doors slamming on their own, lights in windows, the smell of food cooking in the kitchen, all manner of strange sounds, and eerie footsteps walking the halls and rooms. Perhaps one of the greatest known legends was on the 5th floor in room 502 where shapes are seen in the windows, disembodied voices are heard, and even ghosts jumping to their deaths below. The reports show that in 1928 a nurse was found hanging from a light fixture after committing suicide in room 502. In 1932 another nurse jumped from the roof after working room 502 for months.

Since its final closing, many volunteer workers helping with the restoration of the building have reported wide ranges of ghostly encounters and experiences. Many people have visited the site to take its ghost tours leading to a large number of stories and reports of the activity they experienced. To this day the guided tours continue to run as the team at Waverly Hills Sanatorium work to restore and maintain the building and grounds it sits on.

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Wendigo

Date of Discovery

While the Wendigo existed in Algonquian oral traditions for many centuries before the Europeans arrived in North America, the first written account of the Wendigo was in a letter from Paul Le Jeune in 1636.

Name

Alternative spellings for the Wendigo are Wiindigoo, Windigo, Weendigo, Windego, Wiindgoo, Windgo, Weendigo, Wiindigoo, Windago, Windiga, Wendego, Windagoo, Widjigo, Wiijigoo, Wijigo, Weejigo, Wìdjigò, Wintigo, Wentigo, Wehndigo, Wentiko, Windgoe, Windgo, Wintsigo. Windigoag is a plural form (also spelled Windegoag, Wiindigooag, or Windikouk.)

In the Native Algonquian language, Wendigo translates to, “evil spirit,” or “cannibal spirit”.

Physical Description

The Wendigo
Artwork by Mary Farnstrom

It’s tough to pinpoint exactly which version of the Wendigo is more authentic–some portrayals of this beast simply call him a formerly human, but now a frozen monster. Artistic depictions of this version generally present an inhuman, gray-sallow skinned creature with a ghastly mouth full of sharp teeth, long jagged claws, as well as a set of large, dark, sunken eyes. Other characterizations of the Wendigo show him as a monstrous malformed buck, whose head is mostly just a skull with bits of fur and flesh rotting and falling off.

Origin

The Wendigo is most famously known as being from the Algonquian Native American tribe, but it’s also known to be in the legends of the Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi tribes as well.

Mythology and Lore

Windigo of the Ojibwe First Nation’s People, Retold by S. E. Schlosser

The storm lasted so long that they thought they would starve. Finally, when the wind and swirling snow had died away to just a memory, the father, who was a brave warrior, ventured outside. The next storm was already on the horizon, but if food was not found soon, the family would starve.

Keeping his knife and spear close, he ventured out upon the most-frequently-used game trail, watching intently for some sign, in the newly-fallen snow, of animal footprints or movement of any kind. The forest lay deep and oddly silent under its gleaming coating of ice and snow. Every creature of sense lay deep within its burrow and slept. Still, the warrior hunted, knowing how desperate his family had become.

As he moved through the eerie stillness, broken only by the soft caress of the wind, he heard a strange hissing noise. It came from everywhere and nowhere at once. The warrior stopped, his heart pounding. That was when he saw the blood-soaked footprints appearing on the path in front of him. He gripped his knife tightly, knowing that somewhere, watching him, was a Windigo.

He had learned about the Windigo at his father’s knee. It was a large creature, as tall as a tree, with a lipless mouth and jagged teeth. Its breath was a strange hiss, its footprints full of blood, and it ate any man, woman or child who ventured into its territory. And those were the lucky ones. Sometimes, the Windigo chose to possess a person instead, and then the luckless individual became a Windigo himself, hunting down those he had once loved and feasting upon their flesh.

The warrior knew he would have just one chance to prevail over the Windigo. After that, he would die. Or… the thought was too terrible to complete.

Slowly, he backed away from the bloody footprints, listening to the hissing sound. Was it stronger in one direction? He gripped spear in one hand, knife in the other. Then the snowbank to his left erupted as a creature as tall as a tree leaped out at him. He dove to one side, rolling into the snow so that his clothing was covered and he became hard to see in the gray twilight of the approaching storm

The Windigo whirled its massive frame and the warrior threw the spear. It struck the creature’s chest, but the Windigo just shook it off as if it were a toy. The warrior crouched behind a small tree as the creature searched the torn-up snow for a trace of him. Perhaps one more chance.

The Windigo loomed over his hiding place, its sharp eyes seeing the outline of him against the tree. It bent down, long arms reaching. The warrior leaped forward as if to embrace the creature and thrust his knife into its fathomless black eye. The Windigo howled in pain as the blade of the knife sliced into its brain cavity. It tried to pull him off of its chest, but the warrior clung to the creature, stabbing it again and again in the eyes, the head.

The Windigo collapsed to the ground, bleeding profusely, almost crushing the warrior beneath its bulk. He pulled himself loose and stared at the creature, which blended in with its white surroundings so well that he would not have seen it save for the blood pouring from its eyes and ears and scalp. Then the outline of the creature grew misty and it vanished, leaving only a pool of blood to indicate where it had fallen.

Shaken, the warrior, heart pounding with fear and fatigue, turned for home. He was weakened by lack of food but knew that the storm would break soon and he would die if he did not seek shelter.

At the edge of the wood, he found himself face to face with a red fox. It was a fat old creature, its muzzle lined with gray. The creature stood still as if it had been brought to him as a reward for killing the Windigo. With a prayer of thanksgiving, the warrior killed the fox and took it home to his starving family. The meat lasted for many days until the final storm had blown itself out and the warrior could safely hunt once more.

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White Eagle Saloon & Hotel – Portland, Oregon

Date of Establishment & Haunting

Established in 1905, the White Eagle Saloon & Hotel has been haunted for nearly a hundred years.

Name

McMenamins White Eagle Saloon & Hotel

Physical Description

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Room 2 of the White Eagle Hotel

A two-story building lacking much in the way of fancy architecture sits as a relic of a different time, yet is not lost in the more modern era, now stands covered in sprawling ivy. With a saloon on the first floor, hotel rooms overlook the street where anyone might spy the famous ghost of Rose.

Origin & Location

Said to be one of the most haunted hotels in Portland, Oregon, the White Eagle Saloon & Hotel is known to have been haunted by the ghost of a prostitute named Rose. Murdered by a jealous lover in the 1920’s she has roamed the halls of the hotel ever since; she’s frequently spotted in room 2 of the hotel.

Mythology and Lore

There’s a lot of history attached to this historically haunted hotel–check out this article to learn more!

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Winchester Mansion – San Jose, California

Date of Discovery

The house was initially built in 1884 however it underwent continuous additions and construction for 36 years.

Name

The Winchester Mansion, The Winchester Mystery House

Physical Description

The mansion which was loosely built in the Queen Anne revival style is 7 stories at its peak with 3 elevators, 47 chimneys, and countless stairwells and possibly as many as 160 rooms. The owner Sarah Winchester was obsessed with the number 13 so most windows contained 13 panes of glass, walls with 13 panels, the greenhouse had 13 cupolas, many floors had 13 design sections, several staircases had 13 steps and rooms would often have 13 windows.

Haunted Winchester Mansion Photo

Origin

The story and lore behind the Winchester house are of North American origination.

Mythology and Lore

The lore of haunting in the Winchester Mansion revolves around psychics who have visited who claim to locate spirits and paranormal phenomena within the house. Strange sounds and objects such as windows moving have been reported. Furthermore, employees of the house report walking through unexplained cold spots, moving lights, doorknobs that turn and open doors by themselves.

Although there are no known reports of specific spirits there are speculations that Sarah Winchester’s daughter who died at a young age of marasmus may contribute to the psychic energy within the house or the early loss of her husband Oliver Winchester.

Some speculate the loss of lives to the Winchester Rifles may haunt the grounds as the house was built off of the fortune of those guns.

One thing is for sure and that is Sarah Winchester lived both a blessed and tragedy filled life. Though she inherited a great fortune she spent most of her time after the loss of her child and husband in the house obsessively building and adding onto it. She had a large full-time staff of construction workers for the 36 years she built additions and remodeled obsessing over details such as the number 13 in the construction. It is said that she chose 13 to ward off spirits but the reasoning behind that remains a mystery as does the supernatural activity cited at the house.

Modern Pop-Culture References

Notable the Winchester Mystery House is now open to the public for tours.

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