Investigating Waverly Hills in May 2009 and May 2010 were vastly different experiences. I was part of the first nights group. As you can imagine, excitement was at a fever pitch among participants because the Ghost Adventures Crew was not only present but also had split up so each group got an hour to investigate with Zak, Nick and Aaron respectively.
My first hour of investigation was with Shannon Sylvia, a psychic medium I had met for the first time at the 2010 event. We started on the fourth floor that had a lot of small patient isolation rooms. Author Jeff Belanger was also with this group. A factual story was told about a local homeless man who was known to have squatted at Waverly about 15 years ago when it was an unattended, abandoned building. He and his dog were known for walking the halls together. One day he was found dead in an elevator. Of course, this story was told directly in front of the elevator involved. (Today the elevators at Waverly are welded shut to prevent tragedies.)
Immediately I saw the old man dead in the elevator. He was curled up and the dead body of his dog had been thrown in after him. His ghost told me that his dog had been with him and dying in that elevator wasn’t his idea. He was murdered. Jeff Belanger, who does all the location research for “Ghost Adventures” was able to confirm that the old man was found with his do, and both had been murdered. Not surprisingly the old man was mad as hell at being killed. It wasn’t an easy or neat death.
I was fortunate to investigate with Mike and Rhonda Schienle. Rhonda is the founder and President of Indiana Paranormal Investigations Inc. www.indianaparanormalinvestigators.org Rhonda is also a medium in her own right. Mike is her sword carrier and tech guru.
Running around an event that some treated more like a party than an investigation and conference, I was happy to be hanging out with an old married couple. It was also great to be able to bounce my psychic impressions around with another medium. I appreciated they had solid investigation protocols.
Up on the fourth floor, Rhonda, Mike and I broke off from the main group after a while. I encountered Molly, the ghost of a young TB victim I first met at Waverly Hills in 2009. Sadly she was weaker than when I had first seen her. She was tucked into bed this time. I asked her if she was strong enough to get out of bed and move a plastic ball around for us. (She had on a previous visit.) Molly was game but told me she didn’t dare leave her bed because if she did Matron would be upset with her.
Just outside Molly’s room, I saw a group of student nurses chatting and smoking. Based on their tea length uniform dresses, full starched caps and distinctive cloaks they dated from the 1930’s into the early 1940’s. For some reason the year 1942 stood out for me.
I walked up to them and tried to engage them in conversation but they scattered telling me that my presence would alert Matron to the fact they were standing around and smoking. They didn’t want to get caught so left the area. The Matron on duty that night must have had a formidable personality!
Rhonda and I both picked up on the ghost of a young father named Daniel. He was terribly sad. After he was diagnosed with TB, Daniel had been forced to leave his son, a blond charmer who was “Just twoooo” years old at the time. Rhonda heard Daniel’s comment several times via her medium skills. Daniel showed me his darling little boy. I don’t think he saw his son again.
At one point the three of us walked into a storage room. Adhesive from removed labels still showed on empty shelves. Matron herself finally showed up. Her ghost appeared as middle-aged with short gray hair, dressed fairly similarly to the student nurses. She told me the higher, taller cupboards stored blankets and pillows. She commented bitterly that they didn’t stay on the shelves for long, as there were so many patients, always too many sick coming into Waverly. The medical staff frequently struggled to keep up.
Sometimes when she needed a break, Matron would go into the storage room, especially in winter as it featured a huge, long hot water heater. She would warm herself up for a few minutes, staring outside the window of the room, onto a bleak, snow-covered scene. She allowed me to view the scene through her eyes. One of Waverly’s remaining gargoyles outside of the building had a cap of snow on it. I had a strong sense of her intense feelings of exhaustion and depression. For some reason I saw a lot more of the Waverly medical staff this trip than I had in 2009.
Our second hour was spent doing a group EVP with Zak on the third floor. Zak told us about his experiences in an operating suite. Something had touched his hand. He shared a clear EVP telling him to “Get back”. I looked into it and saw that Zak had walked into a past operation. The surgeon was the ghost who told Zak to “Get back”, as in out of the room to avoid contaminating his surgical field with germs. I would call this particular encounter both a residual and an intelligent haunting. The surgeon reacted to what he saw as Zak’s intrusion, but from the surgeon’s perspective he was still in his own era in the middle of a procedure.
I had spent part of the previous hour in the same surgical suite Zak had his experiences in. In fact I was standing about a foot behind a taped X where GAC had experienced some activity. I was just a few feet away when Chris from T.S.P.; was scratched by a ghost on the back of his neck. The scratch drew little blood but raised a significant four-inch welt on his neck. Chris had not been doing any hostile or aggressive provoking. Instead of being scared, Chris got mad telling the ghost of the man who scratched him; “I don’t like being scratched like that. That’s not cool. Only wimps scratch!” Interestingly the angry man who scratched Chris looked exactly like the murdered homeless man I had seen in the elevator. He was striding around the room, highly agitated, but without his dog this time. I don’t know why he scratched Chris, but I do think he was responsible.
When the change signal came, Fr. Andrew Calder came into the room and offered to bless Chris and anyone else who had been present at the time of the scratch. Chris, myself and perhaps half a dozen other people took Fr. Calder up on his offer. I was surprised at how few people accepted the blessing. Personally, I will take whatever grace comes my way.
For our group EVP Zak had the paying public stand in doorways along the third floor while he handled provocation, inviting the ghosts to use all his energy if needed to create an EVP. He had those of us with video cameras set them on the floor, pointing into the hallway. I cannot speak to anyone else’s experience but my handy cam got zilch.
Zak was luckier. I took some video of him reviewing the results of the EVP he got during my group EVP session. As we have seen on TV, ghosts tend to remember the GAC guys. Zak got several EVP’s. The first one said, “Zak go away”. The second said, “Hate you”. It was pretty cool to be in a group with Zak that got some measurable results.
While Zak was provoking on the third floor, I amused myself by looking into the community social room across the hall. It was full of the ghosts of patients past. Most memorable were the ghosts of twin brothers named David and Derrick. They got TB at the same time and were confined to Waverly. I would say they were around 21 or 22 years old. These guys were class clowns! They flirted, cracked jokes, bantered and more. Before they got too sick they did everything they could think of to cheer up other patients. The young girls especially adored them. David told me Derrick died of TB a week before he did. Derrick was so wasted and gaunt I wouldn’t have recognized him if David hadn’t shown me his twin’s death.
My third hour was spent with Mark and Debby Constantino and Nick Groff in Waverly’s autopsy room/morgue on the first floor. Nick said his previous group had seen some shadow figures in the hall and experienced some tapping coming from the welded elevator doors that served the autopsy room. Not surprisingly I saw some graphic carnage going on in the autopsy room. I will skip the details.
As usual, Mark and Debby got some good EVP’s. Debby asked the spirits around us if they considered themselves ghosts or spirits. Psychically I heard the response as, “Ghosts”. A few minutes later the Constantino’s EVP backed me up with a disembodied voice saying that they considered themselves “Ghosts”. Although they didn’t get an EVP backing this up when Debby asked the ghosts around us if they were buried on Waverly property I heard “Yes” in response.
Nick certainly tried to get some sort of EVP response but as all ghost hunters know sometimes you don’t get anything.
I chose to spend my fourth hour talking to Fr. Calder in the “lobby” AKA the old Waverly laundry room.
After the official hunting hours were past, those who wanted to were given another hour and a half to roam Waverly. Rhonda and I made full use of the extra time left to our own devices. Rhonda and I went back to the fourth floor surgical suite. Another group was already there and not particularly polite in slamming the door on our backs as we left the room. I couldn’t pick much up due to the hostile energy of our “fellow investigators”. I have no idea who was or wasn’t in the room, but I would like to note that civility goes a long ways in ghost hunting, especially at an event like this one that was overcrowded the whole time.
Rhonda and I headed up to the small fifth floor where Chris and T.S.P. were working with a K2 meter, a DVR and a green laser net. Unfortunately they didn’t record any results while I was there, but I saw and heard ghostly responses to Chris’s questions. He was trying to interact with the ghost of a little boy. He offered to leave the boy ghost some pocket change so he could buy candy with it. The ghost boy turned to me and said, “I can’t use money here, I am IN THE HOSPITAL.” His response was complete with a classic six or seven-year old child’s scorn for such obtuse adults. However ghost boy did tell me his favorite candy had been cherry lollipops. Chris ran with my suggestion about cherry candy but got nothing. True to his word Chris left his pocket change on the floor when we all left the area. I was impressed with his professional practices and the fact he kept his word to the ghost boy.
I did see a number children and young teens using the area T.S.P. had covered with a laser net. The boy who liked cherry candy was quite clear as was a girl reading a book while seated in a wheelchair in the far right corner of the room. I asked her what she was reading and got a flash of the cover of one of L.M. Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables” books with the explanation that it “was like that but not that book”. So not sure what she was reading other than the fact it was a girls fiction book that was published by 1908 or later. Based on her white dress and black lace up boots I would have placed the girl in the wheelchair about 1910. So I suppose her book reference was to let me know I was in the right era. Ghosts are frequently incredibly creative if you pay attention. This ghost girl reached right into my mind and referenced a title I could nearly recite, having been a HUGE L.M. Montgomery fan as a child. Chris Fleming was absolutely right in his talk at this event, as he cautioned ghost hunters to mind their thoughts because the ghosts know what living breathing investigators think. That ghost girl was several hundred feet and a solid century away from me, but knew exactly how to tell me what she wanted me to know.
Next Rhonda and I poked around the fifth floor some more. One of the nurses who committed suicide in the infamous room 502 connected with Rhonda earlier in the investigation, in fact on the third floor. She told Rhonda her name was Mary. (Rhonda got this factually confirmed the next morning!) Room 502 leads into a communal bathroom. I felt drawn by Mary into the bathroom where a young intern doctor got my attention. My first impression is that Mary got pregnant one of the two showers by this young intern doctor. He was wracked by guilt over her pregnancy and subsequent suicide. Their relationship started innocently enough, a man and woman in a brutally tough working situation, surrounded by death seeking to comfort each other.
The young intern’s family would not have accepted Mary as wife material for the son they had such high hopes for. He told me he didn’t know about Mary’s pregnancy. She hid it until she was about halfway through her second trimester when she was too big to hide the bulge any more. Her career was over, she didn’t have a husband and she was terrified of the judgment she would have been subjected to once her secret became public knowledge. I don’t think the young intern died of TB. I think he moved on to other hospitals and a private practice. Guilt holds him to Waverly as a ghost.
Both Rhonda and I tried to suggest that forgiveness was available at this late date for both of them. They weren’t ready to hear it. However Rhonda felt Mary’s distress deeply. At her suggestion we said the Lord’s Prayer aloud and Rhonda felt it helped comfort Mary’s ghost. I believed her, but I was more tuned into the energy of Mary’s guilty lover.
As we headed downstairs around 3:30 am, we saw an old 1930’s era truck parked inside the lobby of the first floor. It was sheer fluke our flashlights picked up on it at all. We took a few minutes to admire it. I got the impression it was a working truck used by Waverly to transport the unclaimed bodies of TB victims to mass graves on the property. I would love to know if current Waverly staff could confirm or deny that impression.
The second night group was shorted an hour and a half of investigative time. The death tunnel was not included in the hourly rotations of investigating groups. Event staff had been placed in the death tunnel for those who wanted to go there, but in order to do so, participants had to decide which “Ghost Adventures” member to miss investigating with. I doubt many people opted out of investigating with GAC in favor of heading to the death tunnel.
The other major differences were the ghost’s attitudes. In 2009 most ghosts were sad, due to the circumstances of being at Waverly, but by and large friendly and not prone to nasty comments. In 2010 the angry, negative ghosts were considerably more prominent. There were the EVP’s Zak got saying, “Zak, go way” and shortly thereafter, “Hate you” to Zak.
The group who investigated with Chris Fleming on the second night ran into some trouble with his Spirit Box as the ghosts got abusive (Same Spirit Box used in Ghost Adventures Halloween Special.) A female investigator was interacting with a male ghost. The female investigator asked, “Can you touch one of us?” The male ghosts, hostile reply was, “I want to slap you bitch.” Undaunted she then said, “Fine…pull my hair.” The reply was “Pull your own damn hair.” Chris Fleming then shut down the Spirit Box. There was little communication with his group after that.
Chris of T.S.P. was scratched the first night and the second night investigator Jason Fitch was badly scratched on his forearm. I was leaving for the airport about the time the second night of investigators straggled back to the hotel. Jason had a vivid, three-line scratch down most of his right forearm. It looked like he had gotten into a fight with a cat and lost. He said it bled at the time. Seeing the scratches just a few hours later, I suspect they bled rather heavily. I had a chance to chat with Jason several times before he got scratched and can confirm he did not arrive at Waverly with those scratches. Jason is a God-fearing man who isn’t afraid to proclaim his faith. I wonder if that made him a more noticeable target for the malicious ghost(s) that attacked him?
Not all the ghosts were negative. I had the ghosts of two darling toddlers’ tug at my right pant leg. I looked down and a little boy was the one doing the tugging, closely flanked by a little girl about the same age. They asked me to help them. I told them short of requesting divine assistance to help them on to heaven I really couldn’t do a lot for them. They were not interested in moving on and wandered away. I wasn’t frightened; the light tug was completely in character with a young child trying to get the attention of an adult.
Another startling event happened when Mark and Debby Constantino were investigating the second night. They had a heavy door slam loudly with a lot of force and the EVP caught at the time was the ghost of a surgeon telling the group to get out of his OR. There was no source of breeze in the area, but the group HAD been asking for the ghosts to make a noise. They did, with a vengeance, but as a true professional Debby thanked them. The ghosts in the morgue remembered previous investigators. Among them was Violet, the not quite dead young woman I saw on an autopsy table in 2009 when investigating with Chris Fleming. Chris got some good EVP’s backing up Violet’s story you can find on YouTube if desired.
One dynamic I thought about considerably after this investigation was the hostile and abusive change in attitude among many of the ghosts and spirits present at Waverly Hills in one short year. What intentions and provoking practices were in play that brought the more negative elements to the forefront of investigators experiences? It was a pointed reminder that intention is everything in the paranormal field.
Lynne can be contacted directly for private readings via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
(C) 2011 Lynne Olson. All rights reserved.