Christmas lights shine from abandoned New Orleans hospital

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NEW ORLEANS – A series of photos of a Christmas tree appearing to shine from an abandoned hospital in New Orleans have gone viral.

Multiple Facebook users recently took to social media to share photos of Charity Hospital in New Orleans, which has been closed since Hurricane Katrina struck the Louisiana city in 2005.

The images show a dreary, abandoned building with a light shining from one of its windows.

Lisa Walley Staggs, a nurse at nearby Tulane Medical Center, posted photos Sunday of the building.

“Tonight, as I was leaving work, I glanced over at the forgotten building, only to see the lights of a tiny Christmas tree!” Staggs said. “I don’t know how it’s lit. I don’t know how it’s even in there, but it made me smile just a little bit tonight!”

Staggs’s post has been shared over 17,000 times.

Mike Arbon, another employee at the nearby medical center, said he went to investigate himself, once he saw the initial photos.

He, too, said the light came from a small Christmas tree.

Arbon shared similar photos to his personal Facebook page Tuesday morning, and they have since been shared more than 6,000 times.

“It’s really pretty and little creepy,” Arbon said.

He added that his brother passed away at the now-abandoned hospital.

“A very nice sight to see in the window of a dark building,” he said.

The posts sparked questions, namely: who turned the light on?

“Woah, is somebody living in there?” wrote a commenter on Staggs’s post. “What in the world? That kinda makes it creepier to me, like are ghosts having Xmas up in there?

“Homeless live in there,” wrote another.

“Someone probably setting a memorial for a loved one,” theorized yet another. “It’s sad but awesome.”

Neither Staggs nor Arbon seemed to know how or why the tree was lit, but both seemed to agree it was a nice yet spooky sight to see.

Officials with the  Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center put an end to the speculation Tuesday, according to WGNO.

“University Police investigated and removed what turned out to be two-by-fours wrapped with lights,” Lesli Capo said.

Capo said they’re treating the incident as a break-in.