A Night at Waverly Hills

Title: A Night at Waverly Hills

Author: Vickie Moseley

Summary: Waverly Hills is considered one of the most haunted places in North America. No

wonder Scully would pick it to spend a night near Halloween — after all, it was a hospital.

Rating: for everyone, but pretty scary

Category: V, SA, MT, ST

Written for Virtual Season 14’s Halloween Special

Disclaimer: Well, this is our seventh season, Chris and we’re still not making any money off this

little tribute. Don’t intend to this year, either. No copyright infringement intended.

Archive: Two weeks exclusive for VS14 and then anywhere.

comments to: vickiemoseley1978@yahoo.com

Authors notes at the end, but mega thank yous to Debbie and Lisa, one for letting me use the

place and the other for lightning fast beta services. And now, on with the show:

clip_image001

A Night at Waverly Hills

by Vickie Moseley

Waverly Hills Sanitarium

Louisville, Kentucky

October 28, 2006

10:00 pm

“You’re absolutely sure you want to do this, Scully?” Mulder asked quietly from the driver’s seat

of the rental car that had brought them from the Louisville airport.

“Mulder, it’s what we do every day, right? Except this time there are no dead bodies to autopsy,”

his partner of many years shot back and grinned. “What? Are you turning ‘scaredy cat’ on me

now?”

Mulder swallowed thickly and looked past the hurricane fencing to the hulking structure beyond.

It had been a stately building at one time; the architectural details were still present even though

age and vandals had done their best to destroy the once magnificent edifice.

“Scully, I’ve read all the reports on this place. The Louisville Ghost Hunting Society has a whole

web page devoted to Waverly Hills. This isn’t going to be some little girl’s scratchy voice on a

digital recorder saying ‘help me I’m scared’ to a bunch of moonlighting plumbers. It’s definitely

haunted, and not by Casper and his buddies.”

“Mulder, might I remind you of a chilly Christmas Eve lo, many years ago when you dragged me

to a haunted house to spend the evening being pseudo psychoanalyzed by a pair of malcontent

specters?”

“I’m just saying that when we walk through that gate, no amount of ammo in our guns or clips is

going to save us, Scully,” Mulder said warily.

She chuckled at his dour expression. “If you’re too frightened, we can go back to the hotel and

watch ‘Creature Features’ all night on Sci-Fi,” she teased. “But I have to warn you, your ‘manly

man’ image will be slightly tarnished in my eyes.”

“You really want to do this?” he asked again.

“Yes, Mulder I do. This is my choice for a ghostly Halloween and personally, I’m somewhat

surprised by your reaction. Don’t you want to see what a ‘real haunted’ place is like? From a

strictly investigatory standpoint?”

He drew in a breath and chewed on his bottom lip. “I have no doubt at all that this place is very

evil, Scully. And just as my Grandmother Kuipers warned me many years ago, you shouldn’t

throw firecrackers in a hornets’ nest.”

“There _has_ to be a story there, Mulder. But the hour is growing late and we have only ’til early

tomorrow morning. So you grab the sleeping bags and I’ll get the lanterns and backpack. Let’s

move out.”

Sheriff Deputy Boatwright nodded as she unlocked the padlock to the hurricane fence. “Now,

cell phone reception gets real wiggy in there, so we use a different system. If you have a

problem and can’t get out or get trapped, put a lantern in one of the windows — whichever one

you’re closest to. We’ll keep an eye out. And I’ll be here at 7 am sharp to unlock the gate. If you

aren’t here in time, we’ll come in and look for you.”

“Thanks, Deputy. I’m sure we’ll be fine,” Scully said with an easy smile.

“Yeah, let’s hope so,” Boatwright replied. “Can’t imagine the paperwork involved if you two

turn up dead in the morning.”

“Yeah, that _would_ be ghastly,” Mulder muttered. “OK, Scully. This is your ghost hunt. Lead

on, MacDuff.”

“C’mon Mulder. At least we’ll have a roof over our heads,” Scully shot back, just as a large

cloud swallowed up the quarter moon, obscuring the thin light it had been casting on the

surrounding landscape.

“I’m taking that as an omen,” Mulder said glumly as he stared at the sky.

“Let’s get inside before it starts lightning,” Scully advised. With the Deputy securing the gate, to

ensure that no earthly tricksters disturbed their investigation, the two agents made their way up to

the doors.

“Mulder, watch out! There’s a huge hole in the ground over here. What on earth are they

doing?” Scully asked, shining her flashlight down into the crevice.

“Yeah, I read about that. A previous owner, in an attempt to weaken the structure, dug holes

around the foundation.”

“Weaken the structure? Why on earth — ”

“He wanted to bulldoze the place, Scully. He did manage that with most of the buildings around

it but this one is the main building of the sanitarium and was considered ‘historic’ so they stopped

his plans for demolition. His response was to let vandals tear the place apart. What we’re going

into is by all accounts a derelict building. Right now it’s in property limbo — no one wants to

restore it, no one can tear it down.”

“No wonder everyone thinks it’s haunted,” Scully replied with a huff.

The huge front door was standing ajar and with a gentle push, opened on creaking hinges.

Mulder shot Scully a raised eyebrow, which she matched by raising both of her own. He

fumbled for a minute to get his flashlight in his left hand, his gun hand free. She shook her head

and moved past him into the hallway.

The smell of decay was overpowering. In some areas, the broken windows had let in rain,

forming puddles on the tiled floor. Graffiti covered the walls in an overlapping mural design.

Scully could even pick out an occasion gang symbol among the spray painted illustrations.

There were rags and discarded mattresses in various corners, some of which had become condos

for families of rats and possum. The smell of animal urine and feces was thick.

“I think this is the Director’s office that Boatwright told us about,” Mulder said as he flashed his

light into a large office just inside the building. “She suggested we camp out there — it’s the

safest.”

“Not as many ‘ghosties’?” Scully teased.

“Not as much falling down stuff,” Mulder replied. “The place is in pretty bad condition.”

“OK, we make camp there. But Mulder, just because we’re sleeping in sleeping bags — it’s

strictly business tonight. No hanky panky until we get home.”

“I promise to only hold you when you beg me to, Scully, but you have to do the same for me.”

He winked at her.

The room appeared to be relatively clean of rodent and vermin. They set up their sleeping bags

and left on battery-powered lantern on the floor. Scully took some of the supplies out of the

canvas backpack and then handed it back to Mulder.

“Is this a first aid kit,” he sighed.

“And rope, and more batteries and some granola bars,” she said as she crossed her arms.

He started to say something then thought better of it. “As long as it’s not too heavy,” he said,

hoisting it on his back. After jumping up and down to ensure the contents had settled, he picked

up his maglight. “Shall we?” he asked, pointing out into the foyer.

“So, are you going to regale me with your knowledge from all the reports you’ve read?” she

asked as they picked their way around fallen ceiling tiles and piles of debris.

“Basically it’s your typical horror story, Scully. At the turn of the last century, Louisville —

which you might notice is rather humid,” he said, wiping perspiration from his forehead, “was a

breeding ground for tuberculosis. This was the hospital for those patients, since keeping them in

the general population only served to spread the disease.”

“The architecture is beautiful, from what we say early today,” she said, noting that most of the

beauty that had been the interior was now long destroyed.

“They started out with a smaller building for about 30 to 40 people and were quickly overcome

by the epidemic of a wet spring and summer. So the good people of this county raised taxes and

issued bonds and built this building. In its heyday, it housed hundreds of people, some of which

were eventually cured.”

“Many of which died, because it wasn’t until the invention of Streptomycin in 1943 that we had a

cure,” Scully interjected.

“Yes, that is absolutely right,” Mulder said with a pleased grin. “But the fact remains that this

was the only hope if you became infected with what was known as the white death.”

Scully looked around the walls, covered in dirt, paint and substances she would leave to the

unknown. “It’s sad that it’s been left to rot like this. The medical history alone is worth

preserving.”

“Not a lot of people like to be reminded that there was once a place where if you walked in the

door more than likely your exit would be through the ‘body chute’,” Mulder pointed out.

Scully nodded ruefully. “So, anyway, oh Mr. Peabody, where are the best hotspots.”

Mulder’s grin turned gleeful. “Oh, goody — we get to play Peabody and Sherman! Do I get to

mention that Mr. Peabody, in all likelihood, would want to do it doggie — ”

“Mulder! Focus!” she commanded, forcing herself to swallow her chuckle.

“OK, well, according to the layout I’ve seen, the room where the electroshock therapy was

performed is right up this way and it has been the site of considerable paranormal activity. Then

there is Room 502 on the top floor where a nurse hung herself — that’s a real hotspot. And of

course, the aforementioned body chute — ”

Scully looked up suddenly as she heard a loud crack and then a considerable piece of the ceiling

fell on top of them. Plaster rained down along with at least one wooden timber and her last

thought before she sunk to blackness was that they probably should have stayed at home.

Scully woke up slowly, her head hurt but otherwise she felt fine. There was sunlight pouring

into the room and it blinded her for a moment. Had she been unconscious through the whole

night? As she struggled to sit up, blinking against the harsh light, a hand gently pushed her back

down.

“Stay still, Scully. You’re going to be fine. Just lie back.”

She cleared her throat and blinked again. Finally, the source of that voice came into focus.

Skinner? What was he doing here? And where was her partner.

“Mulder!” she said, jerking upward again. This time, rather than stop her, her superior put his

hand on her back and helped her to sit on the edge of the bed.

“Same as before. Look, I understand devotion to patients, Scully, but I think you’ve become

attached to this one. That’s something I can’t allow. It’s too painful when the inevitable

happens.”

She looked up at her boss in confusion. “Sir, what are you talking about?”

“I know we pride ourselves on the our caring nursing staff, but Dana, you know as well as I do

you have a . . . well, shall we just say a soft spot for Fox Mulder. I know he’s a war hero and yes,

he’s handsome, but the truth of the matter is, he’s not getting any better. Dana, I just don’t want

you to get your heart broken, that’s all.”

“War hero? Sir, I don’t understand — ” She was disoriented and confused. She knew her

superior, the man in front of her. He was the medical director of the hospital. She sat up again,

and this time he let her. “I’d like to go back to the ward now, if you don’t mind.”

“Are you sure? Maybe you should take the rest of the day off,” Skinner suggested.

“No, really, I’m fine. I’d like to get back to work. I know what it’s like when we’re short-

staffed.”

He looked at her critically, assessing her condition. She smiled at him, hoping she looked better

than she felt. Her head was killing her but she knew she was needed back at the ward.

Finally he took off his glasses, rubbing them on his handkerchief before replacing them. “All

right, Scully. Can’t keep a good man down, or woman as it were. Go on back to the ward. But

if you start feeling faint — ”

“I know the signs, sir,” she said hastily and got off the cot as quickly as possible without making

herself dizzy. “Thank you, sir.”

“Just watch out for the ‘wet floor’ signs, Scully. We put them out for a reason,” he warned and

headed down the hall in the opposite direction.

When she arrived at the ward she was greeted by the other nurses, all of who were concerned

about her injury. After assuring them she was fit to continue, she picked up the remaining charts

on the desk and started her rounds.

His was the second room. He was sitting in the chair by the window, looking out on the grounds,

now covered with a blanket of white.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it, Scully,” he rasped. “All that beauty coming from just frozen water. It’s

like a wonderland. Like the Alps.”

She winced at the weakness she detected in his voice. When he turned to face her, his

appearance was that of a wraith — skin too pale and paper-thin, muscle tone literally melting off

his bones. But his eyes were as bright as she remembered.

“Yes, Captain Mulder, it is beautiful. But aren’t you supposed to be in bed?”

“Captain again? How many times do I have to tell you, Scully? Mulder. Just Mulder,” he

chided but his eyes were kind and gentle.

“Would you like to go up to the solarium?” she asked.

“I guess it wouldn’t hurt. Can I at least bring a blanket this time? It’s so windy up there,” he

wheezed. He started to rise, but was taken by a fit of coughing. She hurried over to hand him a

towel to cover his mouth. He collapsed back in the chair when the fit had passed. When she

took the towel she could see it was covered in blood and phlegm. She dropped it in a bucket

near the door to be bleached.

“I’ll get a wheelchair,” she told him and gave his shoulder a tender squeeze.

“Can I try to walk?” he asked. “I’d like to try to walk while I can.”

She bit her lip to keep her emotions in check. This man was so strong but that didn’t foretell of

survival. She’d seen strong men fall in her short time on staff. But the one thing they all held

onto was their dignity.

“Sure. I’ll help you if you need me,” she said. This time when he rose he did so slowly and

although he did cough some, it wasn’t as bad.

Dana was happy the hospital was so new. All the modern technology was so important in

fighting this horrible disease. But one of the best parts was the new ‘elevators’ that allowed

patients to be transported to the solarium or even the sun deck on the roof with ease. They by

passed the crowded solarium for the sun deck. Scully found a free chair and helped Mulder

settle down in it, draping the blanket around his shoulders to ward off the bitter cold wind.

He leaned his face up to catch the watery rays of the sun and sighed. She started to pull up a

chair to sit and he turned to her. “Go back where it’s warm, Scully,” he chided. “You don’t have

to sit out here in the cold with me. I’m all right.”

“I just thought I’d keep you company for a minute or two,” she said casually, shivering in her thin

hospital issued sweater.

“It’s well below freezing. I don’t want you to catch your — ” He stopped and chuckled bitterly.

“Sorry, stupid advice, considering where we are.”

“The sunlight really does wonders,” she told him firmly. “Why just last week, Mrs. Jenkins went

home to her family. She spent all summer and all fall up here on the roof.”

Mulder looked at her sadly. “Is that what they told you?” he asked.

“Well, yes. That’s what Nurse Mullins said. That she was declared cured and she went home.”

He nodded, refusing to look her in the eye.

“Why? Did you hear something different?” she asked crossly. Hospital gossip was more

dangerous than the disease they were all fighting.

“Let’s just say I have it on good authority — ” He stopped again and looked to the back of the

building, the side opposite from where they sat. It was the side of the building that held the body

chute, the tunnel through which the dead were carted away to the railroad tracks at the bottom of

the hill for funeral homes or the crematorium.

“She didn’t die,” Dana said angrily. “She went home, to her family.”

“Hey, I’m just saying what I heard,” he said with a shrug. “They dropped her down the body

chute on Thursday. You were here, weren’t you? On Thursday?”

She shook her head slowly. “No,” she said in a small voice. “I, um, I wasn’t on duty on

Thursday because I worked the weekend.”

“Well, anyway, you go inside. I’ll just sit out here in the sun,” he said waving her toward the

door.

Scully stood up and looked out on the snowy grounds. A group of children were having a

snowball fight on the hillside. Children who lived at the hospital — who were also patients but

who still went to school on the grounds, still played in the playground equipment purchased by

the county. “They don’t all die,” she said through gritted teeth. Furious with herself, she wiped a

tear from her cheek before it had a chance to freeze. “We do save some of them.”

He nodded, contrite. “The younger ones. I’ve seen what you’ve done for some of the kids. You

do save some of them, Dana. I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t have said — ”

“We will save you, too. You just wait and see,” she told him and turned on her heel to head back

into the warmth of the hospital.

Time passed quickly in the hospital. There were patients to bathe and feed, some to take up to

the roof or the solarium. She had her favorites, not just Captain Mulder, but others, too. Mr.

Byers was such a dapper older man. Rumor had it that he taught at the University of Kentucky.

And his roommate, Mr. Langly, who seemed awfully interested in jazz, playing his Victrola at all

hours of the night. There had been three of the men, playing Hearts in the solarium. That was

until Mr. Frohike had expired in the spring.

She was busy taking around meal trays to the bedridden patients when she saw some activity in

Captain Mulder’s room. When her cart was empty, she went to see what was going on. Dr.

Skinner was standing at the side of the bed, listening to the Captain’s chest through his

stethoscope.

“Fox, I really think it’s the best course,” Dr. Skinner was saying.

“I . . . don’t . . . know,” Mulder said, each word punctuated with a wet cough. “I’ve . . . heard . . .

the stories,” he gasped out and then couldn’t talk again for the coughing and choking.

“Believe me, it’s the only course of treatment left to us,” Skinner said, holding Mulder as he

coughed up more phlegm and blood.

Scully hurried in and grabbed a towel off the rack, doing her best to clean up the patient. “What

treatment?” she asked, helping Mulder lie back on raised pillows.

“Thoracoplasty,” Skinner said, not meeting her eyes.

“A death sentence,” Mulder rasped from the bed. “But at least it’ll be quick. I wish I’d died at

Flanders Field. Better by a bullet than under a butcher’s blade.”

Skinner’s jaw twitched at the insult, but he remained calm. “We can schedule the surgery for

Friday. If we see some improvement before then, we can always cancel the procedure.” With a

withering look at Scully, he left the room.

“They have had some success — ”

“You just keep believing in your science, don’t you, Scully?” Mulder accused. “I’ve heard about

that operation. Do you know what they do?” He waited, more because he had no more breath

than because he expected her to answer. “They rip you open, stem to stern, cut all the muscles

and take out half your ribs. And if you aren’t dead yet, they sew you back up. But from what I

heard, not that many get sewed up. It’s a one way trip straight to the chute, that’s what I hear.”

“You listen to too much gossip,” she admonished. “Dr. Skinner is a gifted doctor. He wouldn’t

suggest the procedure if he didn’t think it would help.”

“Just gets rid of us faster,” he said, turning so he could look out the window. “Move us out so

there’s room for more.”

She stood by the bedside and watched him. He looked so lonely — and frightened. “I’ll come by

later and read if you want,” she offered.

“I don’t want to take up your time, Scully. You work hard enough around this dump,” he said,

but when he turned his eyes to meet hers, she could see the affection there.

“Well, I happen to enjoy our evenings together,” she said haughtily. “I’ll be by at 7 pm. And this

time, we’re reading something other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.”

He chuckled softly as she exited the room.

Friday came and with it, a nervous tension that she tried hard to conceal. When she arrived at

the hospital she went first to Mulder’s room. The night shift nurse was there, shaving his chest in

preparation for the surgery. He was having so much trouble breathing and he seemed caught in

fever dreams.

“Scully,” he called out, his hand reaching but only a few inches from the bed. He was too weak

to move far.

“I’m right here, I’m here,” she soothed, stroking his chestnut hair from his forehead. “I’m right

here.”

He opened his eyes and looked at her. “I hope the angels have your face,” he told her with a tired

smile.

“I’m not an angel,” she insisted. “And you’re going to be fine. They’ll do the surgery this

morning and by afternoon you’ll be back here. A day or two to rest and then I’ll come by and I’ll

finish _The Valley of Fears_. And I’ll ask the librarian if we can get one of the books of short

stories. You’d like that, wouldn’t you?”

“Angel,” he sighed and closed his eyes. She stood by the gurney as they carried him to the

operating room. With tears in her eyes, she whispered a silent prayer and went up to attend to

her duties.

It was hours later, when she had just taken Mr. Byers out on the sun deck that Nurse Mullins

found her. “Nurse Scully, a moment of your time, dear?” she asked.

Scully went into the nurse station and looked around. “You wanted to speak to me, Nurse

Mullins?”

The older woman nodded with a sad smile. “I wanted you to hear it from one of us, not from the

gossip mill. Captain Mulder . . . expired in surgery just a few moments ago. There was nothing

they could do, his case was too far advanced. I know that you were attached — ”

Scully couldn’t hear the rest of her words for the buzzing in her ears. After a moment, Nurse

Mullins left her alone with her thoughts. Dead. He was dead. He’d been her friend and he’d

called her an angel and now he was dead.

Later, she couldn’t recall how she spent the daylight hours. She moved around the hospital,

caring for patients. In every face she saw his eyes, in every voice she heard his last word to her.

Angel. But during the day she never shed a single tear.

That night, when the patients were bedded down for rest, she went up to the nurses’ station room

502, where Nurse Mullins had given her the news. In the empty room she tied strips of sheets to

a light fixture and hung herself.

“Scully! Scully, please, you’ve got to wake up, please,” she heard from somewhere far away.

She groaned. She was dead, wasn’t she?

“Scully, please, sweetheart. Please wake up.” She felt something wet fall on her face, very near

her eye. More wetness followed. She blinked her eyes open and stared right into Mulder’s face

as tears careened down both his cheeks.

“Mulder?” she asked. Her throat was dry as dust and felt sore from lack of use.

“Doctor! Doctor, she’s awake,” Mulder yelled over his shoulder. When he pulled back a little

she could see that she was in a hospital room. On closer inspection, Mulder sported a white

bandage on his forehead and his arm was in a sling.

“Mulder, what happened?” she asked as he brought a cup of water to her lips. “How did you get

hurt?”

He laughed and shook her head. “Me? I’m barely banged up, Scully. You’re the one we’ve been

worried about! You have a moderate concussion. The ceiling fell in on us. When I came to,

you were under the most of the rubble. I had to dig you out. I put the lantern in the window and

Deputy Boatwright was there in a jiffy. We called the ambulance and we’ve been here ever

since.”

“What time is it?” she asked, looking out at the dark night beyond the window. The lights of

Louisville shone in the distance.

“About 7,” he told her. “October 29. Which means we still have to get through Halloween night

in two days. Scully, this was a really bad idea, spending the night in a haunted hospital. For

one, we both ended up in a REAL hospital, and for another, we never did see any ghosts!”

Scully thought back to the dream she’d had, the horrible disease that had ravaged so many lives.

“I don’t know Mulder. It was pretty scary there to me.”

“Well, I think our best bet this year is to go to your mother’s house and hold up in one of the

bedrooms upstairs. No tricks, no treats, just us in a big bed and we don’t come out until it’s

November.”

“Mulder! In my mother’s house? What do you think she’d say to that idea?”

“You’ll have to ask her. She suggested it to me when I called her earlier.”

the end

Author’s notes: Yes, this is a bit different from the usual Halloween tale. But I think it’s scarier

because it’s all based on actual facts. Waverly Hills Sanatorium was a county hospital for

victims of tuberculosis in the early 20th Century. There was little could be done for someone

with TB before the invention of Streptomycin in the late 1950s. Sunlight and fresh air were

thought to be the best cures. The procedure Skinner mentions was performed as a last resort and

had a mortality rate of almost 95 percent. The dead were removed through the ‘body chute’ on a

daily basis. Whole families lived at the hospital, children were schooled and activities were

arranged. There was even an on site beauty parlor. The disease was controlled by 1960s and the

hospital was no longer necessary. It was used as a nursing home for a number of years until it

fell into the hands of a man wishing to bulldoze it and construct a gigantic statue of Jesus Christ,

but the county refused to allow it because of the historic nature of the hospital. He is responsible

for the building falling into such deplorable condition because he left it open for vandals and

tried to destroy the foundation, hoping the building would collapse on its own. The current

owners are making money for restoration by given ghost tours. If you are interested in some of

the paranormal aspects of the building, visit the Louisville Ghost Hunters Society web page at

http://www.louisvilleghs.com and look under ‘Public Investigations’ for Case No. 5 — Waverly

Hills. But I warn you, don’t read it alone, and you might want to sleep with the lights on.

Author’s notes II: One of the ghost stories of the hospital is that Room 502 is haunted by the

ghost of a nurse who hung herself. It was thought she was pregnant and unmarried at the time. I

heard this and thought anyone who saw so much death might be affected by it. So I put Scully in

that young nurse’s place (minus the out of wedlock child) and that’s where this story came from.

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