Thursday, March 1, 2007
Spooked: The Ghosts of Waverly Hills (2006)
Spooked: The Ghosts of Waverly Hills is a revealing look at one of the most haunted places in America, the Waverly Hills Sanatorium. The sprawling, 5-story structure is located on the outskirts of Louisville, Kentucky. It was opened in the 1920s as a hospital for the "White Plague," or tuberculosis. There was no cure for tuberculosis until the 1960s, when the hospital was then converted to an old folk's home. It forever shut its doors in the early '80s due to patient abuse. In its infamous history, Waverly Hills claimed over 63,000 lives.
Waverly Hills is one of the most haunted and most frightening places in the United States today. The documentary is spooky, spine-tingling and sad…perfect to watch all by your lonesome one dark night. For the most part I enjoyed it and thought the filmmakers did a fine job.
The documentary explores the history of the sanatorium floor-by-floor, starting at the first and working up to the fifth. Actual ghost hunters were filmed and their evidence presented, including paranormal sounds and images captured on tape and film. Old employees and patients of the hospital were interviewed, along with the current owners, security guards and those who've visited the massive structure. Many ghost stories and encounters are retold, including a sighting of famous ghostly girl Mary, who many times asks visitors if they want to play. Shadow people, imps, orbs and ectoplasmic activity are all covered, as well as the infamous “death tunnel,” which was a long tunnel that the staff used to transport dead bodies from the hospital down to the main road.
I thought the documentary covered a lot in its 72 or so minutes. It was well-done, appropriately respectful and downright creepy. The photographs of ghosts were the most startling and intriguing, though I wish a little more time had been spent trying to capture ghosts on film. My only other complaint was the audio during some of the interviews. I just couldn’t hear/understand what was being said and the documentary really could have benefited from subtitles during the interview portions.
The documentary was done by the Booth Brothers, who also did Death Tunnel (which was also shot at Waverly and the doc gives us some behind the scenes of the film). Even though Death Tunnel has been slammed (and was a little too plugged during the documentary), Spooked intrigued me enough to move Death Tunnel to the top of my Netflix queue.
Anyone who is interested in haunted places and wants a good spine-tingling should check out Spooked: The Ghosts of Waverly Hills.
Available on Amazon!