LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Waverly Hills Sanitorium is known as one of the most haunted places in the country, but every year, the walls of the former hospital are transformed into a winter wonderland.
"To me, it's like Disneyland," Tina Mattingly, who owns the sanitorium along with her husband, Charlie, said. "Everybody's in a good mood. Everybody's happy and we like making people happy."
For the past four years, the lights and lasers at Waverly Hills Sanatorium have created an enchanting show for thousands, many families making the trek for several hours just to see the spectacle. But this year, the spell has been broken. Early Friday morning, the Mattinglys said someone broke into their control room, stealing the computer that runs the light show.
"They actually broke the door off the building," Charlie said. "They broke the boards off to get in there."
"To me, it's just like the movie, 'The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.' They stole Christmas," Tina said. "They stole the show."
The total amount of equipment stolen is worth a few thousand dollars, according to the Mattinglys, but the actual damage done is far more extensive. The proceeds from the laser light show have gone towards restoring the aging historical landmark and to many charities on the area that rely on the show for a Christmas bonus, including WHAS Crusade for Children.
"I just don't think they realized how many people that the money helped," Charlie said.
"I don't know. Humanity - people are supposed to be nice to each other," Tina said. "They're supposed to love each other, not hurt each other."
Now, the Mattinglys are racing against the clock, hoping to get the show back up and running for this holiday season.
"We've always found that if you look hard enough, you can find a little bit of a silver lining in everything that goes wrong," Charlie said.
The Mattinglys said they are aiming to get the Laser and Light Show back open for next weekend, but nothing has been confirmed at this time. WHAS11 will provide an update if they are able to reopen the show.