At least two people have taken photographs of eerie Christmas tree lights glowing in an abandoned Charity Hospital, which has been closed down since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.
The photos soon went viral, with the one posted on Facebook December 27 by Lisa Walley Staggs, who works at nearby Tulane Hospital, being shared over 20,000 times.
Many on social media thought the Christmas tree to be the work of paranormal forces.
‘Are ghosts having Christmas up there?’ asked one of Staggs’ friends in a typical comment about the mystifying lights.
But the real explanation is probably more mundane than that.
According to police, someone broke into the hospital and wrapped some two-by-four boards (it’s unclear how many) with lights and placed them near the window, according to WWLTV.
‘We are treating this as a break-in,’ Leslie Capo from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, which Charity Hospital used to be a part of, told the outlet.
Tulane hospital anesthesia technician Mike Arbon, who also took photos of the strange lights and posted them today, had told the outlet: ‘It’s really pretty and little creepy. It gave me chills when I saw it and, of course, made me think of my brother, who passed away at Charity Hospital.’
Meanwhile, an urban explorer posted a photo on Instagram claiming it was taken in the same room where the light had originated from.
The photo shows two large floodlights turned on. The explorer claimed the city runs a generator that still powers elevators and some lights inside the abandoned hospital.
The explorer wrote on Instagram: ‘Someone is taking credit for sneaking in and putting a tree in this room, can’t personally confirm… photo of the outside of this room is going viral and people think these lights are a ghost Christmas tree. The only thing scary about this is how much the City of NOLA spends to keep the power on.’
It’s unclear who may have turned on floodlights in the room, or when the photo was taken, or even if it definitely is the same room where police say the two-by-fours were found shining.