Archive for October, 2014

It seems on my part to be slow on the uptake to have blogged this, given it’s fame, but here we go! And in time for Halloween 2014!

Waverly Hills Sanatorium is now closed unless you pay for a private tour group, opportunities. It resides in the State of Kentucky, USA and opened in 1910 as a two-storey hospital and closed in 1962 when the drug Streptomycin made the TB Sanatorium redundant. The plan for the building is now to turn it into a luxury hotel and funds for its renovation, preservation and conversion are raised via tours, mostly of the paranormal type.

I won’t go into details regards the TV shows that have filmed there but they include Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters, Most Haunted, Worlds Scariest Places, MTV’s Fear and there is a film called Death Tunnel that was filmed on that location. Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters have both done live broadcasts for Halloween specials and the location is popular with those who watch the shows.

The land was purchased originally by Major Thomas H Hays in 1883, he opened a small private school there and hired Lizzie Lee Harris as the teacher. She loved Walter Scott’s Waverley novels and called the school Waverley. The name was liked well enough for Hays as he in turn called the property Waverley hills. The name has been changed between Waverly and Waverley Hills throughout its history but the current and likely final variation is the one of Waverly.

In the early 20th century Jefferson County (and Louisville) was stricken by the TB outbreak, the response was a two-storey wooden sanatorium that was opened on the land. It wasn’t enough to cope with the high levels of patients and so the building slowly began to take form into the large brick and concrete structure present on the site today. Thousands of people young and old made the place their home for some time and when it finally closed in 1962 the building was already a marked part of the Kentucky history.

It soon gained another use, it reopened that year as Woodhaven Geriatric Centre, for the care of those with dementia and mobility limits. It also catered for the mentally ill and unfortunately it closed in 1982 due to the discovery of patient neglect. It was understaffed and overcrowded like so many at this period in time. Due to the inaccuracy of it being labelled a mental asylum there are plenty of urban legends that took form and so it can be summarily advised that caution be given to those seeking information about the paranormal reports.

At some point in history there was a situation where the owner wanted the building destroyed but as it was listed (National Historic Register), he would need to ensure that the building was condemned. He actively encouraged vandalism and other acts of destruction on the property. When this failed he eventually gave up and sold the property in 1982.

In 1983 it was brought with the idea of changing it into a maximum security prison. It was dropped because of protests from the neighbours and then plans to adapt the place into apartments also fell through from lack of investors.

In 1996 the ownership changed to Robert Alberhasky, he wanted to construct the largest status of Jesus in the world along with an arts centre and a worship centre. Plans for this also fell through, to be honest to me this hardly seems surprising, but of over 12 millions dollars required Alberhasky only raised $3000.

In 2001 Tina and Charlie Mattingly took on ownership and now run tours to fund the restoration and conversion of the building to a luxury hotel whilst preserving as much of it’s history as possible. Naturally with the history of the place there are an abundance of ghostly tales to keep thrill seekers and ghost hunters attracted to the site.

Under the Sanatorium there is a tunnel that has been labelled the “death tunnel”, it was used to allow staff to move up and down into the hospital, the hill it resides on is very high and this was a safer method to get there. The walkways had lights and a later addition to the tunnel was to place air vents along the way. It was also used for the transport of goods, supplies and then removal of the dead.

The use of the tunnel for this purpose is why it has the paranormal reputation attached, the tunnel was used to safely transport the dead without the patients seeing them coming down the hill. The tunnel meant that the dead were taken away and it was hoped it would not deteriorate the morale of those in the sanatorium. It seems a practical use, and I have never found any stories about any tragic events down the tunnel to do with someone dying, patients reviving or other such things that might have led to the reason for a haunting. Instead it seems that the legend is purely attached to its use as a removal place for the dead.

The Death Tunnel has had reports of shadow figures, apparitions and EVP experiences. I am sure with a little digging around on the internet you are likely to find the same sort of video’s and ‘evidence’ that I have. I would understand the reputation but with it being designed for the idea of a little dignity I do find myself wondering…

However I did find that there are reports of people seeing a hearse pull up as if still collecting the dead. The hearse seems to make little sense to me, why would there be a phantom vehicle when there is no sign of this scenario being attributed to any tragic motion other than the natural movement and removal of the dead. Perhaps someone can enlighten me? Presumably either it is collecting or waiting for the next one to be shipped out.

Here are some that might be of interest:

Room 502 has a myth attached to it that a nurse died there, she was pregnant from the owner of the time and was unmarried. The tragedy continues in the tale in that she also contracted TB and so probably felt her options were utterly limited. Some say that she was murdered and others that she committed suicide hanging herself by the light-bulb wire outside the room, she now haunts this spot. The first date of this occurrence is listed as 1928 and then again four years later it is said that a nurse either fell of jumped to her death from the balcony of that room. (It is worth noting that so far no names or genuine documents for this have seemingly arrived on my investigations). What is said to be experienced, other than sightings, is a terrible feeling of despair upon entering the room.

The death tunnels reputation is also well recorded, you can find numerous accounts of peoples personal experiences along with EVP’s, Orbs and sightings of apparitions. You can find so many of these with an internet search that I haven’t felt a need to present them.

The death count is also often cited as around 63,000 with over 8,000 recorded in one single and very bad year. Presumably this high count would be attributed to the peak of the outbreak but either way it contributes to the haunted speculations. From research on the papers and data assembled many suggest that this number is widely exaggerated and that the real number is likely to be around only 10% of that. It is more likely that the total death toll would resemble more like the 8212 recorded on it’s worst year…

Whilst there is not a full list of the deaths, there is a lot of good indications that the lower figure is far more realistic. Death Certificates for the State of Kentucky were recorded and kept, they were maintained by the states and those for 1911-1953 have been made accessible. The rest are likely to be issued in the future and so going by that information and the information gathered by the press, other local sources. There is another claim that the real total (presumably suggesting much higher than 63-64k) had been covered up to keep state funding higher, in reality this would not do a thing, if anything they would exaggerate the numbers to get sympathy and more funding.

Another aspect to the speculation on the death count reality is that they say staff were dying so fast no records could be kept. This is not correct at all, for instance the Medical Director Dr Dunning S Wilson was there from 1911-1917 and did not die, he went on to carry on his career elsewhere. He is one of a few examples showing that the facts are not necessarily what go with the stories.

Another story is about the little boy who haunts corridors and likes to play by bouncing balls, this invariably leads to folks bringing them along to try and get an interaction. The ghost is said to be that of young Timmy, a six or seven-year-old boy who died there but has not yet moved on – another webister calls him Bobby. Critics say that the ball is not moved by little Timmy but instead a more mundane answer would be that the uneven floors and draughts contribute more to the movement.

Timmy is not the only young ghost there, the third floor is also said to be haunted by Mary. Again she is said to play with a ball but the stories are so similar it is entirely possible that like many the stories have simply taken on two entities (excuse the pun). With the children of the Sanatorium needing entertainment it is also said that the swing erected for them can be seem coming and that many have also heard the sounds of children singing ‘Ring a Ring a Roses’.

Perhaps a more pleasant experience for the hauntings is the smell of the cooked food that comes from the kitchens and canteen areas. Supposedly whilst there has been no food cooked there since 1982 there is a waft of food through the rooms. Slightly less exciting would be the idea of the gent that walks around in a white coat and pants…

Other reports that seem to be available include a guard seeing a floating head in a room late one night. Having passed out from fright he did not bother to return to the place. Lights have been seen despite there being no electricity and one security guard saw a television on from the third floor where he was outside, he went up to find that there was nothing out of the ordinary.

In summary there is a LOT to read and a lot to find out. I hope that you enjoyed the bits that I have put together.

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By Kris Arnold [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Waverlyhillssanatorium

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AKA the Buzzer, is a broadcast station on shortwave radio at the frequency 4625kHz. It is a monotonous tone, it happens at a rate of 25 tones per minute and continues 24 hours a day. There have been rare incidents where voice communications have occurred in Russian and it has been active from around the 1970-80’s. So far no set reason for the station has been given, they have been able to confirm that the origins of the station can be traced back to Russia but there is little more to go by than that. The station originally identified itself as UVB-76 until September 2010, but it then moved location and is now broadcasting as MD2hB.

It seems that when the voices come through they are live and maybe due to an accidental microphone being transmitted.  For instance is seems that there was a change 2011, 9th April there are an interruption and technicians were heard making repairs. October that year a second buzzing was heard that interfered with the original transmission.  going back a little is seems that in November 2001 there was a conversation, “Я – 143. Не получаю генератор.” “Идёт такая работа от аппаратной.”   ” I am 143. Not receiving the generator (oscillator).”  and “That stuff comes from the hardware room.”

Overall it’s considered to be either military or research based. Perhaps there is also the explanation that they are being used to ensure that other receiving stations are alert. There was one other strange occurrence too, when the buzzer for a 38 second break for the Dance of the Little Swans, a part of the Swan Lake ballet by Tchaikovsky, then four days after on the 5th September there was an interruption as a female voice counted from one to nine, one hour later it was silenced for a male to read a voice message.

On November 11 in 2010 an intermittent set of phone conversations were accidentally transmitted and were recorded by a listener (at 1400 UTC) for a period of approximately 30 minutes. You can listen to them here: Link   and here is what seems to be a translation: Reddit  It seems that it was pretty much a Control Call but may have been accidentally transmitted or perhaps even intentionally who knows… well only they do.

24/26th January 2013 – From January 24 to January 26 UVB-76 (MDZhB) The Buzzer changed its messages type and sent a really weird message: OBYaVLENA KOMANDA 135 (Instruction has been announced 135. Apparently Buzzer was undergoing a special operation. If you listen to the below recording via youtube you can hear the broadcast.

It seems likely that this is either a military or government broadcast and as with most of these unless you know the specific code (and if it’s a one time pad etc.) you have no hope of working it out. Exactly as it should be really…

 

 

 

 

Another one of the paranormal ship entries, there is no mention of her in the Lloyd’s Shipping Register (a register that classifies the ship and stays live on there until it’s sank, wrecked, hulled or scrapped) it’s existence comes with some scepticism. It’s also appeared as an entry in paranormal magazines such as Fortean Times, as it was apparently shipwrecked in Indonesian waters, the crew had died in mysterious circumstances and it may be that it is more fiction than fact.

The first reference in English surfaces in 1952, and has had mentions since then seem to be rumours of hand-me downs with nothing conclusive. Prior to that in 1948 a series of Dutch-Indonesian articles told of a shop, not specifically using that name, that was located with a sole survivor.

Before he died the man told the missionary that found him, that the ship had been carrying badly stowed sulphuric acid. The crew perished from the poisonous gasses and the missionary told the story to an Italian author.

It is possible that the boat was smuggling illegal cargo, maybe it was renamed for that purpose? The idea of it carrying potential chemicals that could mix would then not be completely unlikely, mixed together in a bad situation it would be either gasses or an explosion in potential.

Another theory given was leaking carbon monoxide from an undetected smouldering fire, or a malfunctioning boiler system. It could lead to the crew’s death and also to a fire that could destroy the vessel.

Another theory that came from the paranormal field is that the crew had been picked up/attacked by a UFO or some form of paranormal force prior to their death.

With no evidence of the ship and varying theories I’ll leave this one in your hands.

 

(Picture from the HMS Victory when I visited some time ago)

 

cabins

The story of a missing woman has featured on The Oprah Winfrey a Show, 48 Hours, Unsolved Mysteries, A Current Affair and also America’s Most Wanted as it is believed she was kidnapped when she was reported missing on 20th September, 1988. She was near here home in Belen, New Mexico when the disappearance occurred.

The 19 year old followed her customary routine of a bike ride, where she told her mother to come and fetch her if she was not back by noon, her mother Patty Doel contacted the police when she could not find her. Her bike has never been found, and the only evidence of her in the area was her tape and some pieces of her walkman. A Ford pick-up might  have been part of the incident, it was seen by witnesses but this has never been located either.

A photograph then surfaced in 1989, it was of a young girl and boy. The girl was Tara Calico according to her mother and Scotland Yard but the Las Alamos National Laboratory did not agree and the FBI said it was inconclusive.

Twenty years after her disappearance the Valencia County Sheriff said he knew what had happened. Rene Riviera said that boys who had known her from school had driven up behind her and an accident had occured. When Calico died they covered up the crime, and Riviera even went so far as to say that he knew who they were but with no body or evidence he could not do anything more. Her father said the statement should not have been made, no one has been named and it sounds like conjecture without any facts to back it up. So far the mystery and case remain unsolved.

The author of the video does correct his mistake for the year she disappeared.

An unidentified woman was found dead in Isdalan Valley (hence her namesake) in Bergen, Norwary on 29th November 1970, even today her death and mystery remain a point of interest.

On the afternoon that she was found it was by a professor and his two daughters, they came across the charred remains of a woman’s torso. Her body was hidden amongst the rocks and with her they found a dozen pink sleeping pills, an empty bottle of liquor, a packed lunch and two more empty bottles which had the smell of gasoline.

A murder investigation was launched and the autopsy showed traces of around 50 or more sleeping pills in her body. On the neck was a bruise, she’d died from burns and carbon monoxide poisoning.

The investigation also found that she had two suitcases left at an NSB train station back in Bergen. Even the labels in her clothes had been removed and tags that might have been able to help identify her, her fingerprints were removed and there was a prescription bottle but the label had been removed so not even a doctor’s name could be traced. In an attempt to identify her they released sketches backed on witnesses and analysis of the body. It was even released via INTERPOL.

A variety of false names had been used by the woman as she travelled around Europe. She had used wigs and the diary entries were cryptic. The codes were deciphered and police concluded that they were of dates and places that she had visited. Dental checks suggested that she had been to a dentist in Latin America.

From witness reports she had spoken several languages, and whilst travelling had got hotel rooms always requesting a balcony. The last report of significance was when the Isdal woman checked out of Hotel Marin from room 407. She left having paid cash and got into a taxi.

Five days before this a man said he had seen her near the area where she was discovered. He stated that she was dressed elegantly, and not for walking, and he thought she seemed to want to say something. He said she was being followed by two men in black coats. The 26 year old man contacted the police when he recognised the sketch but says the policeman he spoke to had told him to forget it. He had said that the case would never be solved and then waited for 32 more years before stepping forwards publicly.

 

(Image seen on google, abovetopsecret, wikipedia and reddit)sv5353bc64