Ghost Hunters and other Paranormal

DVD Review – Spooked: Ghosts of Waverly Hills Sanatorium – Not A Documentary, More Promotional for Crappy Movie

Since I love Ghost Hunters so much and two of my favorite investigations by them (including this year’s Halloween special) took place at Waverly Hills Sanatorium, I figured this DVD would be the perfect way to augment that fascination.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium is a former tuberculosis sanatorium in Louisville Kentucky. Between the year it opened in 1910 and when it finally closed in 1958, an estimated 63,000 people died here. From 1963 – 1980 it was a nursing home called Woodhaven. That nursing home had a terrible reputation for how they treated their residents and the conditions. The facility was and is enormous, encompassing 800,000 square feet, including a portion known as the death tunnel which was a chute through the floors where the bodies were sent for processing. There were so many bodies at some points in time that there was no other way for the staff at this massive facility to cope with the sheer numbers.

Some people have called Waverly Hills the scariest place on Earth. You would think a place like that would have a great documentary about it. And the background information given about Waverly Hills is quite good. The history of the place is pretty thoroughly examined. Prior to viewing this, I didn’t know it had also been a nursing home for a period of time, for instance.

Old footage is used to show just what the tuberculosis epidemic meant at the time. It’s sobering to see rows and rows of beds in wards, as well as children in clear plastic tents. Former employees and patients are interviewed and give some perspective on what Waverly Hills once was like when it existed for those afflicted with tuberculosis.

For fans of Ghost Hunters, there’s a lot that will seem familiar. You’ll see the director and his crew use an EMF indicator and look for EVPs. However, that’s about where the similarities end. There’s nothing on the footage showing what is genuine footage and what has been recreated, so I often didn’t know whether I was watching something that someone had recorded or that was being recreated for the documentary.

The EVP recordings that are played are awful. Compared to what I have heard on my favorite paranormal show, these are really reaching. None of what they play sounds remotely like voices and I can’t clearly hear words. Whether that’s due to poor presentation of the material or quality of the original recordings is beyond me, but overall I was disappointed.

There are some pretty lame effects of interviewing people and distorting the picture, such as with interference or snow. Why? No clue. The same is true when recordings are played – some weird sounds are played over the actual recording, muting exactly what we are supposed to be listening to!

A lot of the photographic evidence of hauntings through the years is shown. Some of it can simply be explained by matrixing – where our brain tries to form patterns where there is none. Others seem to be quite startling. However, there’s no effort made to differentiate between the two.

A big part of the production seems to be tied to the movie Death Tunnel, about five sorority sisters undergoing initiation at Waverly Hills. Further investigation shows that Christopher Saint Booth, who Wrote, Directed, and appears in Spooked: The Ghosts of Waverly Hills Sanatorium also Wrote, Directed, and Produced that film. Amazing isn’t it? How could this even remotely be an unbiased documentary when the person at the helm has an interest in making the place out to be spooky and haunted?

If you are looking for a hardcore investigation of Waverly Hills, check out Ghost Hunters. Spooked: The Ghosts of Waverly Hills Sanatorium is just a waste of time with an agenda – the only redeeming feature being some of the history given.


• The Spooked Files
• Unseen Selection (Deleted Scenes)
• Ghost Photography
• Waverly Hills Sanatorium
• Trailers
• The Filmmakers