Some background information on the Morgue
The Baxter Avenue Morgue, currently a haunted attraction, was originally opened in 1901 by Victor Vanderdark as the Vanderdark Morgue. In 1932, Vanderdark mysteriously disappeared. His son Warren, continued to operate the morgue as the city investigated reports of bizarre mistakes and unusual business practices. Two years later, Warren Vanderdark’s wife and 8-year old daughter also mysteriously disappeared.
Baxter Avenue Morgue
The Baxter Avenue Morgue haunted attraction, rated by haunted-house fans as one of the best in the country, is located in the basement of a 100-year-old building at 451 Baxter Avenue in Louisville that was a morgue and funeral parlor for many years—until things got, well, weird. Let’s let the official history tell the story:
“In 1901, Victor Vanderdark opened the Vanderdark Morgue at 451 Baxter Avenue. Over the years the morgue became known as a trusted and respected business in the community. The location, just blocks from the city’s largest cemetery, was ideal, and business flourished.
“All was well at Vanderdark Morgue until October 3, 1932, when Victor Vanderdark disappeared. Control of the family business was passed to Victor’s only son, Warren Vanderdark. Over the next few years, business declined as the city investigated reports of bizarre mistakes and unusual business practices. Two years later, Warren’s wife, Lily, also vanished mysteriously, along with their 8-year-old daughter, Diedra. Soon after this, local residents stopped bringing their deceased loved ones to the Vanderdark Morgue altogether.
“In an effort to revive business and remove himself from the controversy, Warren Vanderdark changed the name of the family business to the Baxter Avenue Morgue. This effort was unsuccessful, and the morgue was closed for good. However, the activity in the basement never seemed to stop. Reports of missing persons, vanishing pets, and grave robbery increased about this time, as did the strange smells and sounds emanating from the basement of the Baxter Avenue Morgue. Then, on October 3 of 1951, the basement suddenly went silent. Warren Vanderdark disappeared into local legend—the stuff of children’s nursery rhymes and parental bedtime threats.
“In 1976 the building was condemned. City inspectors were seen entering, but refused to explain what they found inside. However, for reasons still unknown, the building was never destroyed, and the contents remained undisturbed for another 20 years. In 1996 the building was acquired by private investors and the top two floors were restored to commercial retail space. The basement, again, was left undisturbed. Due to the confining, maze-like structures and low ceiling clearance, it was deemed unrentable by commercial tenants.
“In the spring of 2000, renovations began in the basement to prepare for public tours and the Halloween attraction that it is today. It was during this time of renovation that the history of the Vanderdark family was discovered. Most of the history was pieced together through discoveries made by the staff. But since the reopening of the Baxter Avenue Morgue in the fall of 2000, local residents have come forward with many articles and items relating to the Vanderdark family. To date, the majority of these items are on display in the main waiting room of the Baxter Avenue Morgue.”
The Baxter Avenue Morgue is open every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in October until Halloween. For more information, call (502) 589-0959.
It was storming while we were there investigating, did that have anything to do with the morgue being active? Maybe!! The night started off with all the equipment being set up for the investigation as well as the filming, at which time, the investigators were doing there tour through different area’s of the morgue, 1 of the guest investigators and 1 of our investigators were walking through an area and the guest had her hair pulled, there were several other experiences by others throughout the night from another investigator also having her hair pulled, 1 getting poked in the back and a doll hitting him in the forehead, a shadow was seen, noises were heard and all these were unexplainable. We were able to capture some things on video and audio which you can find listed below.EVP -Move your head (Responding to investigator)
EVP -Coocoo clock sound (No clocks there) EVP – Ha ha Yes EVP – Help me
EVP – Unknown whisper
Conclusion of Investigation
With the personal experiences of all the investigators as well as the evidence we collected on audio as well as video, NKYPS & C.R.A.P.S feel comfortable saying there is definitely activity going on at the Baxter Morgue and look forward to returning there in the near future. We would like to thank LPI’s Henry & Carolyn for inviting us down and allowing us to conduct the investigation, we would also like to thank our camera crew for taking time out of their schedules to film this investigation for us.