The Ghost Music Box

In 1940 a disease called The White Death, better known as Tuberculosis, spread through Louisville, Kentucky. This disease wiped out entire families and communities. To offset the rise and spread of this disease, a special isolation hospital was built called the Waverly Hills Sanitarium. In 1940 there was no cure for Tuberculosis. Once you were admitted it was a death sentence. Waverly had its own zip code, post office, farms, cattle, and schools.

There was a little healthy ten year old boy named Timmy who lived at Waverly Hills. Like so many other children who resided there he was not sick, but both of his parents were admitted with Stage Three Tuberculosis. Timmy had no other family and no place else to live. The unaffected children all lived together away from the other patients. They had a playground built on the roof of the hospital with a space to run and play ball.

Timmy was outgoing and quickly captured the heart of a young nurse named Mary Hilguart. Mary had a special place in her heart for Timmy. Every day at 2pm she would play ball and talk to him on the roof for hours. Timmy loved to play pranks on Mary and a special bond developed.

Timmy's favorite possessions included a ball and a music box shaped like a treasure chest that his parents had given him. Mary constantly warned Timmy about over-winding his music box because it was very delicate and might break.

As with all children who don’t listen, he wound it up until the spring broke and it stopped playing music though Timmy still carried it in his pocket everyday anyway.

One summer day while Mary was busy with the other children, Timmy was chasing his ball and tragedy struck the Waverly Hills Sanitarium. Timmy had fallen or was pushed off the roof and fell five stories to his death.

An extensive police investigation took place at the Sanatorium. A patient who was also a prisoner was seen next to Timmy before he fell. Most people thought he was pushed, but the police investigation could not come up with enough proof.

Mary was heartbroken and asked Timmy’s parents if she could keep the broken music box to remember him by. She was granted her wish and took the music box home with her. She displayed the broken music box on a shelf in her living room so that every time she would pass it, she could think about him.

Weeks turned into years since his passing and the memory of Timmy started to fade. No matter how hard she tried to remember the little boy, her mind filled with the hundreds of other children she had helped since his death.

One day while cleaning her room at 2pm the music box started to play! She ran over and opened the box to make it louder. The music filled her ears as tears filled her eyes. The music from that little treasure chest unlocked the forgotten memories of Timmy, as if no time had ever passed.  She remembered all the pranks, conversations and laughs that they shared.

As quickly as the music started, the little music box suddenly stopped playing! Her room was once again silent.

She grabbed the little music box off the shelf to wind it, but when she looked inside the box was empty.

She laughed and thanked Timmy for not forgetting her and for not allowing her to forget the special time that she spent with him.

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