The Louisville and Nashville railroad tracks are haunted by a bandit nicknamed “Railroad Bill”. The bandit has haunted the surrounding pine woods by the tracks for over a century. Those who have seen him describe him as a “tall, broad-shouldered black man with a smile”.
Mitchell Hill Road is located directly off of Mount Holley Road. At the top of the road, there is a cemetery that holds the body who died on the road. As legend states, the girl was on her way to the prom when she and her boyfriend crashed the car at the bottom hill and died in the accident. Those who drive by the cemetery have seen her in her prom dress at the top of the hill.
It is said that on moonlit nights, you can see the “ghost of Hebron Lane”, an elderly woman who walks through the cemetery carrying a lantern. She is seen wearing a long dress, an apron, and a scarf on her head. The story goes that she holds her lantern high, looking in the trees for her lost cat. The woman appears most often during Halloween and the fall months.
There have been several strange occurrences at the Harvey Browny Church that occur nightly. At around 5:00 PM, a presence can be felt in the largest chapel. From 7:00 PM to 9:30 Pm, the sound of footsteps, scuffing feet, and knocking on doors can be heard. There is a total of three spirits that are known to haunt the chapel: a man, a little girl, and a mother or older woman. The cause of the haunting is unknown.
Later River City Lighting was owned by two men, one of which killed the other in the showroom. However, the accused killer was never found to be guilty. The business’ manager from 1979 to 1981 would often visit the showroom when he was alone. Footsteps could be heard both there and the warehouse. Those who visit have heard the murdered man at various times.
The Eastern Cemetery has graves from as early as the 18th century. However, the site is in terrible condition due to neglect and vandalism. It is believed that the spirits of the dead have risen back due to the lack of care and respect for the cemetery. According to legend, there is a ghost of a woman who takes care of the dead babies that were buried in their own section in the back.
The Cherokee Cemetery has had several reports of flashing lights emanating from it. The sound of a man screaming can be heard. On many accounts, people have said they were chased by an unseen entity.
There have been several sightings of a ghostly man riding on a tall black horse through the area. While his back story is unknown, he has appeared several times in Central State.
Visitors of Cave Hill have witnessed strange green orb-shaped lights floating around the cemetery. Odd noises have been heard in the area as well, and many gravestones have been seen mysteriously falling down as if some unseen force was pushing them. It is said that if you stand by the black gate, you can hear bizarre noises from miles away.
A portion of land was bought by Major Thomas H. Hays in 1883 and called it the Hays’ family home. Since the home was too far from any sort of school, Mr. Hays opened a local school so his daughters could learn.
The one-room schoolhouse soon had a teacher, Lizzie Lee Harris, to teach at it. Miss Harris, having enjoyed Walter Scott’s Waverley novels, entitled the school “Waverley School.” Mr. Hays liked the name, as it was peaceful-sounding, and he named his property Waverley Hill.
When the Board of Tuberculosis Hospitals bought the land, they kept the name and opened the sanatorium; it is unknown when or why the name’s spelling was changed from “Waverley” to “Waverly.” Waverly Hills Sanatorium opened as a tuberculosis hospital in 1910 and had a capacity of 40 to 50 patients.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a good portion of Jefferson County and Louisville had been infected with tuberculosis, a disease that affected the respiratory system. The swampland of Kentucky had created a large amount of TB bacteria, and much of the area was in danger.
As a measure to contain the deadly disease, a wooden sanatorium standing two-stories high opened. It consisted of an administrative building and two open-air pavilions, each capable of holding twenty patients. Eventually, the hospital was rebuilt after $25,000 in funding was given to create a hospital to take care of cases with pulmonary tuberculosis.
On August 31st, 1912, all of the TB patients in the old sanatorium were transferred into tents so the new hospital could be worked on. Waverly Hills reopened for the treatments of an additional forty patients in December of the same year. In 1914, the hospital expanded to have a children’s pavilion, providing fifty more beds.
The pavilion was used for children sick with tuberculosis as well as the healthy children of patients carrying disease, which caused more problems than solutions. At this point, the sanatorium’s goal was to add a new building each year. Since the wooden building was almost always in need of repair and more beds, construction on a five-story building capable of holding more than four hundred patients began on March 24th, 1924.
By October 17th, 1926, the new hospital opened for more patients. However, streptomycin, the TB vaccine, came around in 1943 and reduced the number of tuberculosis cases. This made Waverly Hills less of a necessity. All of the remaining patients in the hospital were sent to Hazelwood Sanatorium in Louisville.
Due to the lack of need, Waverly Hills closed its doors for good in June 1961. A year later in 1962, the building reopened as Woodhaven Geriatric Center, a nursing home for treating ageing patients with dementia, mobility issues, and mental disabilities. The center closed in 1982 due to patient negligence, which was not uncommon in understaffed and overcrowded hospitals like the Woodhaven Geriatric Center.