The word "hospital" can mean many different things from a positive place of healing to a scary destination, especially for those that are abandoned. Many of these sanatoriums, asylums, psychiatric, mental, and medical hospitals have interesting as well as foreboding histories. If you're traveling to any of these destinations to see the relics, up-close and personal, it would be one of those times where you' think, "if only the walls could talk." The stories would be a blend of intrigue and mystery that have mystified those who dare to walk the corridors of these long-forgotten institutions. It's only natural, a visit would evoke more than a little apprehensive about what went on behind closed doors and what may still be lurking, at some, even today.
Around the world, these hospitals range from traditional design to architectural wonders with their alcoves, dark staircases, imposing porticoes, brick facades, and corridors leading to rooms with their own stories to tell. Many have equally impressive outer buildings such as pavilions, cottages, separate wards for the more threatening, and buildings where resident nurses made their homes.
Come along as we visit these massive buildings that housed thousands of patients. While visiting, put yourself in their place and imagine what it must have been like to walk the long hallways morning, noon, and night.
From Scotland and Ireland to Kentucky and Illinois, and points in-between, the story of each hospital is a look at times past that in some cases, are best forgotten.
Designed by the Berlin Workers' Health Insurance Corporation in 1898, the 60-building sanatorium was used as a facility for lung disease patients. During WWI, it was transformed into a military hospital with its most famous patient, a certain young dictator, was treated for a leg wound in 1916.
Some buildings have been restored while the majority sit silently with their corridors, stained glass windows, statuary, tile work, and discarded equipment. It is dark and foreboding but continually draws visitors interested in the guided tour.
Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Kentucky
Originally opened in 1908 as a two-story frame hospital for 40-50 tuberculosis patients, the facility soon became too small to accommodate the number of patients afflicted with the disease, which had taken on epidemic proportions. In 1926, the current Gothic architecture is the result of a new sanatorium designed to hold an estimated 400 patients.
It closed in 1961 when a cure for TB was discovered. It reopened again from 1962-1981 as the WoodHaven Medical facility for the elderly. The beautifully detailed sanatorium fell into disrepair after the facility closed and became the target of vandals until 2001 when it was privately purchased.
Today, Waverly Hills is maintained and renovated by its owners and the Waverly Hills Historical Society through tours and special events.
One last thing; Waverly Hills Sanatorium has the distinction as being referred to as "one of the most haunted places on Earth."
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