Waverly Hills

Ep 154: Lockdown at the Waverly Hills Sanatorium

 
 

“I do believe in the paranormal, there are things our brains just can’t understand.”
Art Bell, Creator and Host of Coast to Coast AM

 

Background:

Many of us have seen all the ghost hunting shows on cable television and elsewhere, but are those accurate representations of what goes on during a paranormal investigation? After all, TV shows, have to deliver as many instances of spooky "evidence" as possible, because we, the viewing audience, demand it. In reality, like any hunting or fishing expedition, the experience is usually long stretches of waiting patiently and hopefully for brief moments of high excitement. Well, tonight we're going to find out in detail what it's like to actually go on a ghost hunt as we welcome back the previous episode's guest, author and paranormal investigator James A. Willis. We'll also be joined by our good friends Jill and Roger Pingleton, who are seasoned paranormal investigators themselves. On July 22, 2019, during a "lockdown" from 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. we had the privilege of following along with them as they investigated one of the most notoriously haunted buildings in the United States, if not the world, the Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, KY. From 1910 to 1961, this massive and formerly abandoned medical facility saw more than its share of misery and death as it served as a treatment hospital for those suffering from the scourge of tuberculosis as it plagued the Louisville and Jefferson County area. The building then witnessed another era of dwindling and death from 1962 to 1982 when it served as Woodhaven Medical Services, a nursing home for the elderly and those with severe mental disabilities. Fortunately, however, this historic edifice has been undergoing restoration since 2001 when it was taken over by caring and dedicated new owners. It's currently open for tours, investigations, and events. Regardless of Waverly Hills' past, the future looks bright for this special place, a special place that's also especially haunted.

 

Check back later for more photos, captions, and videos!

 
 

The Waverly Hills Sanatorium

On the outskirts of Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

 

Blueprint of the 4th Floor layout at Waverly Hills Sanatorium

 

Audio clips from the investigation:

The following audio file is the “groan” that was heard by James and Steph Willis and Roger and Jill Pingleton on the fourth floor of Waverly. The voices that can be heard speaking are first Roger, then Jill, then the groan, then James. It was recorded with the Olympus voice recorder James was wearing on his vest.

 

Below is the audio clip of what sounds like possible laughter heard by Roger Pingleton:

 

Below audio clip of Roger seeing an anomaly in his laser light grid near the ceiling, at the spot where “The Creeper” shadow being is supposed to appear:

 
 
 

Suggested Apps:

Spirit Story Box and Paranormal Elements apps by Roger and Jill Pingleton and Streamside Software in the Apple App Store

 
 

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CREDITS:

Episode 154: Lockdown at Waverly Sanatorium.  Produced by Scott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess; Audio Editing by Sarah Vorhees Wendel; Sound Design by Ryan McCullough; Tess Pfeifle, Producer and Lead Researcher; Research Support from the astonishing League of Astonishing Researchers, a.k.a. The Astonishing Research Corps, or "A.R.C." for short. Copyright 2019 Astonishing Legends Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Ep 153: James Willis and the Ghosts of Ohio

 
 

“Ghosts Exist... Ghosts exist to help keep history alive.”

Paranormal Investigator, author and public speaker, James A. Willis from the introduction to his book, Ohio’s Historic Haunts, published in 2015 by the Kent State University Press

 

Background:

The ideal qualities of a paranormal investigator should include objectivity, a grasp of the relevant history and science, and a skeptical and inquisitive nature that’s balanced with a fair and open mind. Tonight’s guest has all of those traits and more. Author and paranormal researcher James A. Willis originally hails from the Hudson Highlands of upstate New York, the stomping grounds of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow. After spending 15 of his formative years being intrigued by macabre media and all things ghostly, strange and spooky, Willis moved to Ohio to found the nationally recognized research organization, The Ghosts of Ohio. He has since grown the organization to over 35 members, representing the regions anchored by the cities of Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. In 2004, the founders of the popular line of Weird US books invited Willis to contribute and he has since collaborated on 6 volumes in the series. In 2012, Willis struck out on his own with the publication of Haunted Indiana. For 2013’s The Big Book Of Ohio Ghost Stories, Willis crisscrossed Ohio to bring readers over 75 of the Buckeye state’s most famous (and infamous) ghosts. In 2015, Willis released Ohio’s Historic Haunts: Investigating the Paranormal in the Buckeye State. Willis’ latest project, 2017’s Central Ohio Legends & Lore, had him chasing down some of the Buckeye State’s most legendary characters, including Johnny Appleseed, Annie Oakley, and Chief Leatherlips. Along the way, Willis took the time to explore some of central Ohio’s stranger legends, such as the Ohio Grassman and even UFOs. A sought-after public speaker, Willis has given presentations throughout the United States, during which he has educated and entertained tens of thousands of people of all ages in crowd sizes ranging from 10 to well over 600. He has also been featured in more than 75 media sources, including CNN, USA Today, Columbus Business First, Midwest Living, The Canadian Press, and even the Kuwait Times. Please join us as we hear about James’ approach to paranormal research and delve into some of his most weird and eerie cases.

 
 
 

Related Books:

Weird Ohio: Your Travel Guide to Ohio's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets
By Loren Coleman, Andy Henderson, James A Willis
Konstantin Raudive - The Voices of the Dead
By Konstantin Raudive-the Voices of the Dead
 

Audio Clips from James Willis’ investigations:

The “Wendy Laugh”

Notes from James:

**It’s creepier if you listen to the clips in this order**

WL MISSING

Recorded by my digital voice recorder, a Tascam DR-05 (note: this will pick up stray interference from cell phones, etc., which comes across as static. But I have yet to come across any other instance where this did NOT pick up something which I heard “live”), which was sitting on the desk in front of me, facing me.

I was seated in a small office area at a desk with my back to the door, which was approximately three feet behind me. In the next room, which was an open sitting area-type room, was a studio microphone, which was facing towards me. Behind the microphone was another door, which led out into a hallway. Across that hallway was another door, which led into the library’s conference room. At the far end of that conference room was Wendy, who was sitting at the monitor/mixer/computer table, watching and listening to things. All other investigators were at the opposite end of the building in the library itself (as opposed to the office area).

In this clip, you will hear me calmly mention “that was Wendy, laughing in the other room”. In real time, when I heard it, I distinctly heard “Wendy”, although I don’t know why it didn’t dawn on me that 1. It was way too loud for it to be Wendy since she was so far away from me because 2. Wendy doesn’t have a loud, obnoxious laugh like what I heard. But when I heard it, I thought it was Wendy and “marked it” because it was so loud I thought the recording devices around me were going to pick it up.

BTW, the various clicks, pops, and odd noises appear to all be related to me moving in the world’s noisiest chair. There’s also a clock on the wall, which, oddly enough, ended up helping us time out things because we could follow the “beat” of the clock.

WL FULL

Recorded by the studio mic which was behind me. This is the “Wendy laugh” that I heard in real time. The laugh that’s curiously missing from my digital voice recorder.

 

Oliver House Restaurant Investigation:

Raw, unedited audio file

The is a section of audio recorded at the Oliver House, a restaurant. The entire recording was originally “thrown out”, for reasons which will become clear in a bit.

This recording was made while I was setting up the microphones for an investigation. The building was closed and locked up for the evening. I was alone with the exception of the GM, who was female.

The microphone was placed at one end of a long hallway, facing a door to the outside, which was locked. The hallways had doors to offices on either side, all of which were locked.

After turning the microphone on and checking it through the mixer, I realized the mic was placed near an AC vent, which was causing the mic to get “blown out” by the sounds of the blower coming through the vent. We tried moving the mic, but no matter where it was placed in the hallway, it picked up the blower. So I ended up not using a studio mic in that hallway.

To set this clip up, it was taken from the audio that was recorded in that hallway, so you will hear the blower noises throughout. The two voices you will hear and mine and the GM’s and you will hear us briefly between the :05 and :07 mark. She had just flipped a switch and thought that might have turned that one vent off. That’s where my “Uh, no, not really” comes from as I had headphones on and was listening to the mixer. It’s important to note that at the time, neither of us were in the hallway—we were about 20 feet behind the mic, down some stairs, and in another room. So there was no one in the hallway at the time of the recording.

The unexplained noise that’s sort of buried under the blower noise is what sounds like someone whistling…a lot. It starts around the :09 mark and goes through the end of the clip, with particularly loud sections occurring between :32 and :48. It does not appear to be “normal” blower-type whistling that happens when air passes through. This whistling appears to change pitch and tempo.

My only rational explanation was that the restaurant has Muzak or actual music piped in. I don’t recall hearing it at the time and none of the other recordings made during the night have any music in the background. It’s also a bit odd to me that I just hear whistling—no music.

 

Ohio Library Investigation

A description from James about the following audio clip:

3-2 Whispers

This is a section of audio recorded during an investigation at an Ohio library. We were taking a break, which is why there is all the distant talking.

During the time this was recorded, the library had been closed for hours (it was approximately 11:00 pm) and all investigators and librarians present were at or near the front desk on the main floor (we’re the ones you can hear talking in the distance). The microphone that recorded the audio was on the same floor, roughly fifteen feet away and around the corner in the “Local History” room. It was a studio condenser mic, facing away from the front desk area and towards another smaller room.

The “voice” that comes in around :11 remains unexplained as of now, but does not match anyone who was in the building at the time. The library does have high ceilings and the “voice” appears to have an echo, but oddly enough, this “voice” was only recorded by this one microphone.

 

Description of audio clips by James Willis

from the James Thurber House investigation:

J

Taken from microphone #1 (top of stairs)


S

Taken from microphone #2 (bottom of stairs)

F

Taken from microphone #3 (front parlor)

• All three recordings were from the Shure microphones, that were hardwired into the Korg mixer. All three clips are from almost the same exact moment in time—1:15 am.

• For J and S, the creaking noises from roughly :02—:10 may have been the result of the 2 contest winners shifting their weight on the staircase and/or bannister.

• All three microphones picked up the two contest winners having a brief discussion regarding the noises they were hearing (and their belief that it was being caused by the team members (“them”) downstairs. The conversation begins at approximately :19 and consists entirely of the following exchange:

F: “Is that them?”

M: “Yes”.

The “voice anomaly” at approximately :17 does fall within the range of a human voice, but does not match the voice pattern of anyone else in the building at the time. Both contest winners said they heard “you guys talking”, but could not make out what we were saying. None of the team members or the Thurber House employee heard the “voice” at the time it was recorded.

Roughly the spot James Thurber was standing in when he heard the footsteps in The Night The Ghost Got In (bathroom is behind the photographer at the top of the stairs—walking straight up the stairs and continuing straight puts you in the bathroom).  This pic shows roughly where microphone that recorded J was (mic was a further back and close to the bathroom door to allow people to go up and down the stairs. Two contest winners were also positioned here at the time the noises were recorded.  Approximate location of microphone that recorded S is the potted plant at the bottom of the stairs.  To the right of the potted plant are two additional steps, which end in the dining room, where Thurber heard the footsteps coming from.  DVR camera, which was positioned immediately behind the microphone that recorded J shows no one on the staircase at the time the footsteps/door/unknown voice were recorded—one contest winner was at the top landing while the other was slightly down the hallway to the right of the bannister that’s on the right side of this photo).  DVR camera positioned in the dining room and looking towards the bottom of the staircase shows there was no one in the dining room at the time the footsteps/door/unknown voice were recorded.

Roughly the spot James Thurber was standing in when he heard the footsteps in The Night The Ghost Got In (bathroom is behind the photographer at the top of the stairs—walking straight up the stairs and continuing straight puts you in the bathroom).

This pic shows roughly where microphone that recorded J was (mic was a further back and close to the bathroom door to allow people to go up and down the stairs. Two contest winners were also positioned here at the time the noises were recorded.

Approximate location of microphone that recorded S is the potted plant at the bottom of the stairs.

To the right of the potted plant are two additional steps, which end in the dining room, where Thurber heard the footsteps coming from.

DVR camera, which was positioned immediately behind the microphone that recorded J shows no one on the staircase at the time the footsteps/door/unknown voice were recorded—one contest winner was at the top landing while the other was slightly down the hallway to the right of the bannister that’s on the right side of this photo).

DVR camera positioned in the dining room and looking towards the bottom of the staircase shows there was no one in the dining room at the time the footsteps/door/unknown voice were recorded.

Where everyone in the house (with the exception of the 2 contest winners) were positioned when the audio was recorded. DVR monitor, mixer, etc., were on the table, facing the fireplace.  Team members and Thurber House employee were all positioned between the fireplace and table, watching and listening. All reported hearing the contest winners talking, but not the footsteps/door/unknown voice.  For reference, the dining room is through the door at the top of the photo. Going through the door and turning immediately to the right will have you looking directly at the bottom of the staircase and the potted plant in “Top of Staircase” reference photo.    This photo was taken from the doorway to the front parlor, where the microphone that recorded F was positioned, as well as one of the DVR cameras.

Where everyone in the house (with the exception of the 2 contest winners) were positioned when the audio was recorded. DVR monitor, mixer, etc., were on the table, facing the fireplace.

Team members and Thurber House employee were all positioned between the fireplace and table, watching and listening. All reported hearing the contest winners talking, but not the footsteps/door/unknown voice.

For reference, the dining room is through the door at the top of the photo. Going through the door and turning immediately to the right will have you looking directly at the bottom of the staircase and the potted plant in “Top of Staircase” reference photo.

This photo was taken from the doorway to the front parlor, where the microphone that recorded F was positioned, as well as one of the DVR cameras.

Microphone that recorded F was positioned to the left of this photo, to the left of the chair and near the open doorway that led into the room where the Command Center was set up.  REM Pod that begins beeping was sitting on the table in the middle of the room (amongst the tea set).  Team members and Thurber House employee reported hearing the REM Pod, but not the footsteps/door/unknown voice.  This microphone was also the closest to the team members and Thurber House employee, so it stands to reason that if any of those noises were the result of those people, it would have been the loudest on this microphone.  DVR camera, which was positioned immediately behind the microphone that recorded F shows no one in the room at the time the footsteps/door/unknown voice were recorded.

Microphone that recorded F was positioned to the left of this photo, to the left of the chair and near the open doorway that led into the room where the Command Center was set up.

REM Pod that begins beeping was sitting on the table in the middle of the room (amongst the tea set).

Team members and Thurber House employee reported hearing the REM Pod, but not the footsteps/door/unknown voice.

This microphone was also the closest to the team members and Thurber House employee, so it stands to reason that if any of those noises were the result of those people, it would have been the loudest on this microphone.

DVR camera, which was positioned immediately behind the microphone that recorded F shows no one in the room at the time the footsteps/door/unknown voice were recorded.


 

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CREDITS:

Episode 153: James Willis and the Ghosts of Ohio.  Produced by Scott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess; Audio Editing by Sarah Vorhees Wendel; Sound Design by Ryan McCullough; Tess Pfeifle, Producer and Lead Researcher; Research Support from the astonishing League of Astonishing Researchers, a.k.a. The Astonishing Research Corps, or "A.R.C." for short. Copyright 2019 Astonishing Legends Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.