“I attended Jefferson High School in 1967 and heard tales of a child named Richard that everyone called Shadow Eyes. He was locked up on the hill, Waverly Hills, which was called Wood Haven at the time.
Many of our parents and teachers had relatives that worked inside Wood Haven, and stories about Richard trickled down at family gatherings. They say the boy was little, about 58 pounds, and stealthy as a cat. All of us teenagers were fans of Richard because he took his bullies like a champ, and he always got his payback.
Rumor has it that when Richard showed up the first day, animals poured out of the woods to be near him. Deer and squirrels and all kinds of animals hung out around Waverly. Neighbors also noticed hundreds of crows moving in. When Richard left, so did all the animals.
Late at night, a group of us teens would sneak out of our bedroom windows and watch the orbs of silvery light that gathered around Richard’s room. We saw them mostly after 1:00 am, and they’d always disappear before dawn. It was like watching groups of illuminated hummingbirds darting around the building.
A presence they called The Creeper stayed with Richard and even followed him the morning he left Waverly. Talk among the staff claims there are two pictures of The Creeper. One was taken by a male orderly as The Creeper hovered in a doorway. The other was taken of The Creeper hovering in the driveway as Shadow Eyes left. Once, The Creeper manifested in the ECT room and stopped the doctors from electrocuting Richard.
Two of the nurses claimed ghosts left gifts at the foot of Richards’s bed. Rumor has it the ghost of a little boy gave Richard one of his old shirts. One nurse claimed there was a name embroidered on the front and that Richard hid the shirt inside a pillowcase until he left.
One night, Richard escaped and made his way outside. The two staff members that chased him did not fare well. The janitor fell from the 5th floor and ended up in a wheelchair. The orderly was critically injured in a car wreck when he left Waverly that same morning.
There was also a very bad male patient locked up on the 4th floor. He tormented Shadow Eyes from the very beginning, and the other male patients followed his lead. One night, the verbal abuse got really bad. That’s when The Creeper appeared in the bully’s room and sent him over the edge. The bully’s screaming caused security to place him in a strait jacket, sedate him, and take him up to the 5th floor. After that night, the bullying stopped.
There are so many stories about Shadow Eyes, and we love them all dearly. I hope he thrives today.”