News and Tribune

Family

October 30, 2012

Spooky history: Highland Hills teacher writes ghostly nonfiction

FLOYDS KNOBS — Through tales of the dead reaching out to the living and sharing messages or terrorizing them from the other side, a Highland Hills Middle School teacher did some digging into the real history behind ghost stories in Kentuckiana.

Carla Thomas, a reading teacher at the school, will soon have books published about ghost hunting and an infamous ghost hunter destination. In “With Their Dying Breaths: A History of Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanatorium” and “Phantoms and Spirits: Ghost Hunting in Southern Indiana,” she explores the origins of local ghost stories as well as experiences she had with the Southern Indiana Ghost Hunters.

“Every ghost story I dug up starts with a grain of truth,” Thomas said. “Whether you believe in ghosts or not, they usually start with a person who thought they saw something.”

In the case of Waverly Hills Sanatorium — a former tuberculosis hospital in Louisville that’s famous in paranormal investigation circles — she said digging up the history was difficult because the mass interest in the site has led to the theft of many documents about it from libraries.

However, she said she was able to talk to a lot of people who were there when the sanatorium was still open and get stories directly from them. Waverly Hills was closed in 1961.

“I feel like I did a really good job of not making it bigger than the story was,” Thomas said. “I tried not to embellish anything or exaggerate to make a better story so I could truly honor the memories of the people who died there.”

She said while some estimate 60,000 deaths from the time the hospital opened until it closed, she couldn’t corroborate those numbers. But she said there was easily a minimum of 10,000 to 20,000 deaths there.

But she also tagged along with the Southern Indiana Ghost Hunters — a team of paranormal investigators — for her book, “Phantoms and Spirits: Ghost Hunting in Southern Indiana.”

She said she thought the team tried to be as scientific as possible with their investigations, using a variety of tools to measure temperature and electric activity to come to some kind of conclusion about whether a space was haunted or not, as well as visiting the same site multiple times to compare results.

She said though many people have their doubts about specific ghost stories, she finds several believe in ghosts in spite of their skepticism.

“I find that generally, most people believe in ghosts,” Thomas said. “I don’t know why that is. I think we’ve all grown up with these stories and some of us have experienced these things. But then I think there’s some of us that just like to be scared.”

She said even when she’s not researching for books, she does like to visit alleged haunts. This December, she said she plans to spend the night in a haunted hotel.

But that doesn’t mean she necessarily believes in the ghosts she’s hunted.

“I have seen and witnessed things that I can’t explain,” Thomas said. “There’s nothing I can say to explain it. I don’t know that makes me cross the bridge into being a believer or not, but I thought those experiences were interesting.”

Her book on Waverly Hills should be finished in a couple of weeks and her ghost hunting book should be finished in December. She said they’ll be available on www.amazon.com or  possibly in Arlston’s Booksellers in Corydon.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Family
  • MAKING CENTS: It’s time to get organized

    First and foremost, organize all of your important papers including life insurance policies, will and testament, retirement account papers and information, bank account information,

    March 8, 2014

  • BBQ MY WAY: Shepherd's Pie – light and legit

    If you have been a reader of this column for an extended period of time, you have probably noticed my appreciation of history and culture as it relates to food. To me, the title of this week’s recipe conjures up images of Ireland and frugal cooks of yesteryear who used leftover ingredients and potatoes to create hearty dishes of love for their families.

    March 7, 2014

  • Former Jeffersonville High School principal Sexton’s reassignment approved

    “You’re not fooling any of us ...,” Blankenship said. “You make your decisions for your own political gain on your own time. But I do not ... play politics with our education. You call yourselves advocates for students and education, act like it. Listen to your students and the people you have promised to provide an education to.”

    November 8, 2012

  • xxxxx.jpg Pence promises to go forward with education overhaul, tax cut pledge

    Pence dodged some of the more pointed questions about Bennett, saying he’d leave to the press to speculate about the reasons for Bennett’s loss.
    But he also rejected the notion that Bennett’s ouster at the hands of Democrat Glenda Ritz was a sign that voters rejected the sweeping changes in education, which include vouchers for private schools, merit pay for teachers and more high-stakes testing for students.

    November 8, 2012 1 Photo

  • Greater Clark school board retains many incumbents

    Bottorff-Perkins said she is excited about the opportunity to serve on the board.
    “I’m very, very thankful that the folks who voted for me came out today,” Bottorff-Perkins said. “I tried to put my qualifications out there and my agenda, which is not to go after anybody or do anything negative. I want to bring to the board a sense of cooperation and collaboration and I’m really excited about that.”

    November 7, 2012

  • Clarksville, West Clark school boards keep incumbents

    Richard Graf won the other seat, coming in with 4,157 votes, or 25.26 percent.
    Graf said he’s already got some ideas about what he’d like to see for the district.

    November 7, 2012

  • Ritz1 .jpg Ritz shocks incumbent Bennett for education post

    November 6, 2012 1 Photo

  • NA-FC school board gets two new faces

    In the race for the at-large seat, incumbent Lee Cotner was easily bested by Jessica Knable.

    November 6, 2012

  • 11_xx_cops_kids_01.jpg Santa’s big helpers: Cops For Kids program helps give 65 kids a Merry Christmas

    Each child, between the ages of 5-12, has about $250 spent on them for items like coats, boots, shoes and clothing. The children also each get a small toy or two.

    November 5, 2012 1 Photo

  • 11-02 FCHS band 1.w.jpg Highlanders going back to state

    November 2, 2012 1 Photo

LOCAL MAGAZINES
Easter 2014 photos


Click on any photo to purchase it.

SPECIAL CONTENT
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
2013 Photos of the year


Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.