Waverly Hills Sanatorium: The Two-Hour Tour

My co-workers thought I was nuts. Others knew there was no holding me back. I would eventually tour Waverly Hills Sanatorium.

We’ve talked about it for years, but haven’t been able to plan a big group, and we had no idea what to expect. All I can say is we will definitely go back. Here are tidbits from our two-hour tour:

Body Chute

We walked to the bottom of the body chute. There were steps on one side and a ramp on the other, and both descended at a 45-degree angle. It was daylight when we went down, and I don’t think I could go down in the dark. There’s only one way out.

Temperature

It was very cold inside. It was chilly outside, but there were times I put my nose in my son’s sleeve to warm it up. It was 15 degrees colder inside the building, which probably measured about 40-45. I also found it interesting there was no draft, especially because of missing windows.

Shadow People

I knew James would volunteer because he would never miss that opportunity. I saw one shadow on the floor, but I did see the hallway go black. And I watched him disappear into the darkness. For his full story, read A Walk with the Shadow People.

Hair Pulling

Waverly Hills’ Facebook page warned me of this. I had my hood up the entire time because I didn’t want to risk it and, as mentioned, it was cold. We were in the electroshock therapy room and something grabbed my hair clip through the hood. I was about a foot from a wall, and there was no one behind me. I was also standing still, so there was no way my clip got caught on the hood.

Lil Man’s Ghost

My son was such a trooper and escorted me the entire time. After our tour, he told me when we first arrived he saw a full figure in a window, and it slowly disappeared. He isn’t one to lie to exaggerate, so I believe him with all my heart. He also admitted he is not afraid of ghosts now, which made the trip even more worth it.

Tour Guides

It’s interesting the guides are volunteers, and the two we spoke with have been volunteering for 10-plus years. There are no gimmicks, no one jumps out, and nothing is staged (except for a few Halloween decorations left over from their biggest fundraiser). The money goes back into the facility, which needs windows replaced and some cosmetic work.

Pictures

We're not sure what on the left... On the right, we think it's a Blackberry lol.
We’re not sure what on the left… On the right, we think it’s a Blackberry lol.
I took this right before we left. No settings were changed, and I think it turned out cool.
I took this right before we left. No settings were changed, and I think it turned out cool.
Outside Waverly Hills
Outside Waverly Hills
View from outside and down the fourth floor.

 

One of the rooms. I didn't spend much time in them.
One of the rooms.
I didn’t spend much time in them.
Two sisters stayed here. One lived the other passed.
Two sisters stayed here. One lived the other passed. Story says you can hear the deceased one calling for the other.
Gathering room
Where people gathered for religious purposes, etc.
It was still daylight.
Outside of Waverly Hills
Outside of Waverly Hills.
It’s a huge facility.

 

Story of the Month: The Ghost in the Machine

Story of the month header with quill and ink

The Ghost in the Machine

Over the past decade movies about haunted technology have become popular.  From radios to TVs and from cameras to cell phones, it seems everything can be haunted and wreak havoc on the lives of the living.  This has always been one of my least favorite genres of horror movie for some reason, partially because it shows our over-attachment to our data devices, but I suppose in actuality there’s no principle difference between a haunted house and a haunted Handycam.

I never gave much thought to these kinds of “haunting” until…

Back around 2005 or so the fairer half of RevPub had a computer problem.  She had an aging computer and the modem suddenly stopped working.  This was back in the days when PCs were still white boxes and modems contained numbers like “28.8” and “56k.”  Having recently replaced the modem in my own PC (which bucked the trend and was GRAY) I felt confident I could replace the modem in hers as well.  I took the PC to my house, bought a cheap replacement modem, and installed it.  Turning the computer on, I immediately got a hardware error.  After going through all the options my limited computer hardware ability could handle, I called my friend Mike (an actual expert) to help.

He brought one of his computer shells to see if it was the modem, the slot, or the whole PC that was the problem.  He also brought other spare parts and far more experience fixing PCs with white text on a black screen.  We went through several attempts, and various options, all while watching Mythbusters on DVD.  We only had one keyboard, so he plugged it into his computer, checked settings, and plugged it into the broken one to try to get the settings to work on that one.  We did this several times and hit dead end, after dead end.  It made me feel better that I had failed, since he was having bad luck with it too.  He suddenly had a flash of inspiration, sat up, picked the keyboard up, and began typing commands.  Immediately his commands began to appear on the screen of the stricken computer.  As white text filled the black screen as the system began to respond.  We plugged in the modem and, SURPRISE, it worked perfectly.

Mike began to disconnect the keyboard to plug into the other PC to begin to shut it down.  I saw him reach to unplug it.  Sit down.  Stand up and look at it, then sit down again.

Perplexed and a bit freaked out.  He turned to me and said, “I don’t know why that worked…”  Quizzically I asked, “Why?” happy to see the work was finally done.

He still seemed pretty shaken when he responded, “The keyboard was plugged into the other PC the whole time…”

Now my logical side kicked in.  Maybe he was playing a joke?  No the keyboard was definitely plugged into the other PC and I hadn’t left the room.  Maybe the afflicted PC had reset itself?  No his DOS commands were appearing on screen.

We exchanged a “What the…” look.  And the only thing that broke our silence was my announcement, “I want that thing out of my house right now.”  He agreed, we packed up, I moved the possessed computer to the trunk of my car and informed the lovelier half of this company that her PC was repaired, ready to return, and was likely and object of pure evil.  She took it back and used it for years…without incident.

To this day it’s one of the strangest events I’ve ever witnessed.  Two relatively fearless individuals were completely creeped out by a PC that seemed to either be possessed by the machine spirit (emperor protect) or self-aware enough to fix itself.  Either way I was glad to have it out of my house!

When I told Mike I would be using this story on this blog he responded in typical Mike fashion by saying:

“That sh*t freaks me out.”

For one time I will shed my stoicism and concede…yeah that sh*t freaks me out too…