The Samlesbury Hall was built in 1325 by Gilbert de Southworth, and it was the main home of the Southworth family until the early 15th century. It is rumored that the hall was built to replace an earlier building destroyed by a Scottish raid in 1322. The hall, over the years, has served a number of purposes, such as a public house and a girls boarding school. It has been a tourist attraction since 1925, though, when it was saved from being demolished for its timber. It is believed to be haunted by the ghost of Lady Dorothy Southworth and other members of the Southworth family.
The Charleville Castle was part of the ancient monastic site of Lynally in the 6th century. The land was later used when Dublin started to feel threatened by the wild tribes of the West. By the 1500s, the O’Moore clan secured their location in the area, which lasted until the late 1800s.
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.
Freelan Oscar Stanley (mostly often called F.O. Stanley), the co-inventor of the Stanley Steamer automobile, suffered from tuberculosis and came west to Estes Park, Colorado after his doctor suggested him to do so. The doctor arranged for Stanley and his wife, Flora, to live in a cabin there for the summer.
The couple were instantly in love with the area, and Stanley’s health improved incredibly. Being so fond of Estes Park, they decided to open a luxury hotel called the Stanley Hotel. It was built on land from the British Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl, who had come into the area in 1872 on a hunting trip.
Dunraven built a hunting lodge, a cabin, and a hotel for his guests and illegally homesteaded up to 15,000 acres. He tried to create a private hunting preserve, but it was unsuccessful. Eventually, Dunraven was kicked out of the area after he tried to scam people out of land, money, and possessions.
Construction on the Stanley Hotel began in 1907, and it was going to be a summer resort featuring running water, electricity, and telephones. It only lacked heating, which was not going to be much of problem due to the season of operation.
The hotel opened in 1909 and received a lot of tourism. After the Stanleys were done living in the summer cabin, Flora wanted to live in a home like the one they had used to live in at Maine. They built one about a half mile away from the hotel.
Years later, Stephen King came to the hotel after suffering from writer’s block. Attracted by its eerie appearance, he ironically visited the place on its last day. There, he gained inspiration for his novel The Shining after he got lost in the many halls.
When it comes to hauntings, there have been a large number of reported cases, most of them taking place in the ballroom. The Stanley’s kitchen staff have reported hearing a party going on in the ballroom, but, when it is checked, they find it to be empty.
Another case is that people have heard someone playing the ballroom’s piano even when no one is sitting there. The phantom virtuoso is believed to be the ghost of Flora Stanley, who avidly played it during the hotel’s operation.
One apparition is said to be a man who stands over the bed before running into the closet. He is also known for supposedly stealing guests’ jewelry, watches, luggage, and belongings. Other reports of this ghost have said that people see him in the middle of the night standing over them, and he vaporizes away.
SyFy Channel’s Ghost Hunters was invited to investigate the Stanley Hotel for paranormal activity. The manager gave them a tour of the allegedly haunted places. Some of the phenomena were explained as being a natural occurrence, such as wind and pipes.
However, the ballroom incidents could not be explained with any logical conclusion. When it came to the incidents such as children running and laughing, they claimed that it was most likely kids on the next floor. Believers dispute this with the logic of how could the sounds be from the floor above if it sounds like it is on the same floor as them.
The strangest occurrence was when a table jumped two feet into the air. Ghost Hunter Jason Hawes stayed the night in the room where the ghost burglar was reported. The bed moved, the closet doors unlocked, and a thick glass by the bed cracked from the inside.