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The Underground Tunnel aka.. The Body Chute

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What is the body chute and what was it used for?

This is the underground tunnel...
Photo by Roy Muir (Midian) 2003

What is the "Body Chute"?

  Some people today call it a Body Slide, Body Chute, and even The Death Tunnel, where the dead were transported down and collected at the bottom. A group of Waverly medical staff would collect the bodies and take them off the hill to be cremated or buried.
  The biggest misconception is that it is a slide.  It really isn't a slide at all. If you look closly (above pic) you can see where that saying came from. The "Underground Tunnel" used a rail car system and steps that connect to the 1st floor of the main building and the basement of the original hospital. It stretched 525 feet underground to the bottom of the hill where the dead were collected by the family or cremated. Only about 425 feet remain of the tunnel. The original usage for this tunnel is that it was a warm way to come up the hill in the winter and a very efficient way to bring up supplies and coal to the buildings. As time tells us the tunnel was used to process the corpses off the hill in a way that the patients would not see the dead taken away in hearses. Directors of the sanatorium decided this was the best way to keep morale up. For fear of the 2 World War coming to U.S. soil, the tunnel could  also be used as an air raid shelter with enough room to fit everyone from all buildings inside safely. 

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