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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It was once a place of pain and death that has since turned into a popular tourist attraction. Now the owners of the Waverly Hills Sanatorium have even bigger plans for their paranormal palace.
It was built in the early 1900s as a tuberculosis hospital. But since Waverly Hills closed in the sixties, it has become known as the Haunted Hospital. Owners Charlie and Tina Mattingly regularly conduct ghost tours. "The whole vibe being in it. I just got the chills the whole time," said high school student Ryan Daud, who once took the tour.
Now the Mattinglys have applied for a zoning change to develop Waverly Hills into a hotel and convention center. They don't want to talk about their plans until they're further along. But, according to the application, they also want to place a liquor bottling business there.
"There's just that allure, there's that mystique and charm about it," said Robert Price, chairman of the Southwest Dream team, formed to attract new business to Southwest Louisville. He thinks the project may actually have a ghost of a chance. "I think he's on the right track with regard to fixing it up and making it into something that could be a destination in Southwest Louisville," said Price.
At the nearby Bobby Nichols golf course, people out for an early season round say the idea is scary good. "Hopefully it would draw more people out in this end of the county because this part of the county has pretty much always been ignored," said Dave Rogalinski.
"Of course, the facility is already there. It would take a lot of work, but it would be very good, economically, for the area." said Steve Reed.
But the big question - who would actually stay at the Haunted Hotel? "No. That's not really my thing. I don't really feel like waking up to seeing ghosts or anything like that when I'm sleeping there. I probably wouldn't stay there," said Daud.
"Oh, I think I would. Yeah. Yeah. I'm not sure my wife would, but I'd like to try it," said Reed.
Nothing is going to happen here quickly. The zoning change process will take at least four months, including public hearings.