Growing up, Louisville native Jay Gravatte had always had an interest in local history from a young age. Though as he grew older, Jay’s historical interest would take a bit of a slight turn, and develop into a fascination with Louisville’s urban legends and ghost stories. After graduating college from the University of Louisville, he began to devote more time to researching and studying these numerous tales in local libraries. This interest eventually led him into the field of Ghost Hunting.
In 2001 Jay joined and later served as vice-president of the Louisville Ghost Hunters Society, as well as being a member of the American Ghost Society. It was during his time with the LGHS that Jay became involved with Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanitarium in 2001 as one of the main tour guides. Jay spent countless hours researching Waverly’s history while conducting both historic and paranormal tours there for nearly five years. During that time he was the featured parapsychologist on several paranormal television shows such as Fox’s Scariest Places on Earth and Into the Unknown for Sci-fi Channel. Though retired from actively investigating and the LGHS, his interest in researching urban legends never waned, writing numerous articles concerning Kentuckiana folklore and ghost stories for several magazines including Haunted Times and Ghosts of the Prairie.
While reading a book on Anchorage Ky. history in 2010, Jay was reminded of another “forgotten institution” that he had grown up near, the old Central State Hospital. This led him to actively begin researching Central States past. Since then he has spent the following years combing through library records, newspapers clippings, online sources, and conducting interviews with former employees. What is presented on the Kentucky Historic Institution website today is a culmination of this ongoing research.
The rest, as they say… is history.