LEXINGTON, Ky. — Waverly Hills is one of the most haunted places in the world, and it’s located in Kentucky. One couple in Lexington is telling the haunting stories of Kentucky through their podcast Hillbilly Horror stories.
Jerry and Tracy Paulley started Hillbilly Horror Stories five years ago. Producing six podcasts a day, they have told numerous stories throughout the years.
“I guess you could say I grew up in a haunted house. This is from the time I was 13 to 18. There was a lot of paranormal activity in the house that we lived in. That piqued my interest in the paranormal. As I got older I got into stand up comedy. And if you've ever been in any type of entertainment, you really flourish from the crowd's reaction. And even though I got tired of actually doing everything else that went into the comedy, I still loved that time being on stage, but it just didn't. It was to the point where I just didn't want to do all the other stuff to get that 30 minutes of reaction,” Jerry Paulley said.
The Paulley’s have produced more than 276 episodes and say each story leads them to another. They work to debunk myths and inform people about the truth when it comes to paranormal activity.
“We're always having to try to come up with something new but luckily there are no shortages when it comes to hauntings in the country. Sometimes you just have to dig a little bit deeper but as you can see behind me I've got tons of books that I get ideas from and constantly searching the internet,” Jerry Paulley said.
“This book is from Waverly after it was closed down as a tuberculosis hospital, it was opened as a nursing home for a while before it was shut down for cruel practices. But like this literally still has a book card from the library, when you pull this out, it actually has dates that go back to 1952,” Jerry Paulley said.
As they began to gain followers and more than 11 millions downloads, they started a Facebook page for their fans which turned into something they never expected.
“In the first year of doing hillbilly horror stories, it was episode 16. I believe we've done an episode on the Suicide Forest in Japan. And it's a very dark story and we felt the need to mention the suicide hotline during that time and it wasn't really planned but I had basically decided that you know, I wanted to tell my story of a an attempted suicide back in 2001. And I wanted to just kind of let people know hey, if you're going through some stuff, you know, I've been through too,” Jerry Paulley said.
Their Facebook page is now a support group to over five thousand fans from all over the world, helping each other through difficult situations.
“You know people come together and support each other. And like Jerry said, this thing has really taken off. It's a blessing and we have so many people that thank us and thank each other and I just think it was meant to be,” Tracy Paulley said.
Podcast, Facebook page and a collection of scary items, Tracey and Jerry are working to make a change, one horror story at a time.
Jerry Paulley has also written a book about his haunted house experience, his battle with depression, and encouraging messages from people around the world who have been impacted from their podcast.