Haunted houses in Vietnam associated with ghost stories
Every country has its share of supposedly haunted houses with all sorts of spooky rumors surrounding them, and Vietnam is no exception. As the stories are passed from mouth to mouth, they are often warped and sometimes the truth is lost in interpretation. Regardless, they make for fascinating tales for us to scare each other with during late night hangouts.
So, here’s our list of 8 haunted houses in Vietnam, and the stories of how they became known as “haunted.” As some of these are off-limits or private property, we recommend doing careful research before visiting.
1. 300 Kim Mã Street, Hanoi – a large abandoned compound
Image credit: @byy54
Ask any Hanoian about haunted houses in the city, and the abandoned house at number 300 Kim Mã Street would be the first answer you get.
Despite its ideal location facing a major street of the city, the spacious compound has stood forlorn for nearly 3 decades, and as you’d expect of pretty much any abandoned house, there have been countless rumors saying that it’s haunted.
Inside the abandoned house
Image credit: @duy_wildman
Residents in the area will tell you all sorts of stories involving the usual horror tropes: blood-curdling screams in the dead of night, spectral figures roaming around the halls, and objects seemingly moving on their own. The mysterious mist surrounding the house was further thickened in 2009 after a man was found dead inside his car with his throat slit at the back door of the building.
Meanwhile, a picture that made the rounds online and shows what looks like a girl wearing a white dress lurking behind a man only served to fuel more ghostly tales.
Image credit: Gia Đình & Xã Hội
But the truth behind the house’s unoccupied state turns out to be much simpler. Back in the 1980s, Vietnamese authorities gave this area of land to the Bulgarian government to build its embassy. After construction was finished in 1991, however, Bulgaria decided not to use the building, and thus it was left vacant.
As for the supposedly haunted picture, if you visit the site during the day, you’ll see that the “ghost” is no more than a column in the yard.
Image credit: Soha.vn
In 2018, the area was returned to the Vietnamese government, and local authorities have now assigned security guards to keep an eye on the place. As such, we’d advise against entering without authorization. You’d literally be trespassing on government property.
2. 138 Hàng Trống Street, Hanoi – said to be haunted by a murdered woman’s ghost
Image credit: laodong.vn
Millennials growing up in Hanoi during the early 2000s might remember horrific word-of-mouth stories associated with the ancient house at number 138 Hàng Trống Street. Looking directly to the Hoàn Kiếm Lake – the center of Hanoi’s tourism area – the dilapidated building with a banyan tree growing through its roof exuded an eerie aura that bore a stark contrast to the luxurious buildings around it.
Tales retold by locals had it that the building used to be the home of a lovely young couple, but one fateful night when the husband stayed at work late, the wife was murdered by robbers. Grief-stricken, the husband moved out shortly afterward and was never heard from again.
Since then, people sometimes sighted the ghostly figure of a woman sitting underneath the banyan tree, uttering mournful cries. Others also said that subsequent owners of the house had all met with misfortune. Some were said to have gone mad, while others were rumored to have gotten into fatal accidents.
The venue is now home to a luxurious hotel
Image credit: Ngoc Vu Duc
There isn’t much evidence to verify the authenticity of all these stories, and the house has now been torn down and a luxurious hotel now stands in its place. Regardless, the tales of the haunted house on Hàng Trống Street still live on as an urban legend adding to the mysterious charm of Hanoi.
3. A house at Văn Chương Alley, Hanoi – where an underground skeleton was found
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)
Image credit: Dân Trí
Yes, we all know abandoned buildings in neglected shape tend to attract rumors of ghosts, but sometimes, even without any of that, a normal-looking place can still go down in local urban legends as being haunted. That was the case for a house inside Văn Chương Alley, Hanoi, for it was here that a thrilling real-life murder case was unveiled.
Just do a quick search on the net and you can still find older news articles detailing the story. It traces back over a decade to 2004, when the family that lived there started experiencing health issues such as headaches and breathing difficulties. They sought help everywhere, from consulting modern medicine to seeking advice from fengshui experts, but could never identify the source of the problem.
Then one day, as they dug up the floor to repair a broken water pipe, they were terrified to find an entire human skeleton buried just 30CM under their house where they lived their daily lives.
What Văn Chương Alley looks like today
Image adapted from Google Maps
The police were immediately noticed, and based on a driver’s license found on the corpse and an autopsy, they were able to identify the dead person as a middle-aged man who died of a serious blow to the back of the head two years prior. Further investigations revealed that the culprit was the victim’s adopted son who had rented the house and lived there around the time of the murder.
The murderer was ultimately brought to justice and the case was closed. But to this day, residents in the area still feel uneasy thinking back to when the body was found.
4. A house in Alley 50, Tân Bình District – site of a family murder
A picture of the house taken in 2007, with charms attached to its doors to supposedly ward off evil
Image credit: Sài Gòn Giải Phóng
A similar case was also discovered in Saigon in 2000, in a small house located on Alley 50, Bình Giã Street, Tân Bình District. It was here where a man killed his own brother and parents, then hired construction workers to dig a hole on the floor to hide their bodies.
The case was only brought to light days after the fact, when the workers noticed the man’s peculiar behavior and reported it to the police, and neighbors started noticing a weird, unpleasant smell coming from the house.
Upon interrogation, the murderer said he had killed his younger brother during an argument, while his parents, shocked at the sight, committed suicide by banging their heads against the wall. It was not until an autopsy revealed that all 3 victims died of head trauma that he admitted to beating them all to death.
The man was given the death sentence, and a few years later, relatives of the unfortunate family started leasing out the place. However, no one was able to stay there for more than a couple of weeks. Occupants of the house reported experiencing nightmares, sleep paralysis, and seeing strange silhouettes. Still, the more skeptical would say they were haunted by nothing but their own thoughts, knowing that they lived at the scene of a horrific murder.
It has been two decades since then and at the address now stands a house just like any other. Rumors of strange occurrences have also died down, but older residents living in the area still remember the tragic story vividly.
5. 24 Lý Thái Tổ Street, Saigon – site of a fatal fire
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)
Image credit: Hội săn lùng và nghiên cứu tâm linh về ma
Yet another supposedly haunted house linked to a real life tragedy is the one at number 24 Lý Thái Tổ Street, District 3, Saigon. It used to be home to a wealthy family until an accidental fire in 2001 claimed the lives of 7 people.
As the fire engulfed the building, the daughter of the owner, who was pregnant at the time, made it to the balcony on the second floor with her 3-year-old son. People already had a trampoline prepared on the ground floor below her and were urging her to jump, or to throw the kid down, but she refused. Some said she was too scared, while others who claimed they were present at the scene said she appeared perfectly calm as she walked back into the raging flames.
In any case, the tragic manner of the woman’s death gave rise to many rumors of how her spirit lingered on the balcony years afterward, looking and waving at passers-by.
The site is now home to a modern English and math tuition center
Image credit: Mathnasium Lý Thái Tổ
After the incident, the house was left uninhabited for several years, which might be the reason why tall tales about it became so popular. But if you visit the site today, you’ll see that it has become a modern English and math tuition center that welcomes hundreds of students every day.
Locals in the area also say they never noticed anything strange or paranormal back when the building was still deserted, and certainly not strange noises as if someone was swiping the floor, or the cries of a young boy as the stories claim.
6. Apartment 727 Trần Hưng Đạo, Saigon – said to have dead bodies in its foundation
Image credit: Yan.vn
Also one of the most famous haunted buildings in Saigon is a building called Apartment 727, located at number 727 Trần Hưng Đạo Street. Erected in the 1960s under the name President Hotel, the 13-story building used to be a symbol of luxury in Saigon, but now, it is only remembered as a run-down, ghost-infested apartment.
Inside Apartment 727
Image credit: Thanh Niên
It was said that during the construction of the building, the team was hindered by many fatal accidents. As a result, the owner hired a shaman to look into the problem, and he was said to have performed an evil ritual of burying the bodies of 4 virgin women at the 4 corners of the house to stabilize its foundation. Of course, these are just rumors that no one has ever been able to prove.
The façade of Apartment 727
Image credit: Vietnamnet
After its completion, the building was rented by the US army to house its soldiers. However, after US troops left Vietnam in 1975 and locals moved in, they reported hearing the sounds of military parades from the top floor, or seeing the ghost of a US soldier accompanied by a Vietnamese woman. A suicide case where a middle-aged woman threw herself off of the building’s 10th floor in 2013 only served to add to all the mysteries.
The building was eventually torn down in 2016 after years of disrepair, and Saigon authorities are planning to build another skyscraper to take its place. But the legends of Apartment 727 are still circulating around in Saigon’s old town even to this day, sending chills up people’s spines.
7. Thuận Kiều Plaza, Saigon – a murder site once shunned by locals
Image credit: The Garden Mall
Built in the 1990s in the heart of Saigon, the Thuận Kiều Plaza was expected to become a major commercial hub of the city, but for most of its existence, it was only known for ghostly stories.
It all started with a gruesome murder that happened in front of the plaza in 2002. In a fit of anger during an argument, a man killed his girlfriend with a bullet to the head, then immediately took his own life in the same manner, much to the terror of witnesses.
The old plaza was mostly deserted and in bad shape
Image credit: Thanh Niên
Since then, rumors of the couple’s vengeful spirits haunting passers-by paved the way for many other stories to follow suit, driving customers away from the plaza and leaving it in a forlorn state.
One of the more popular stories involves a cab driver who received a call from a woman asking him to pick her up at the plaza. As he arrived, however, he found the place completely deserted, and when he called the woman’s number, answering him were only labored breathing sounds and muffled screams. Terrified, the man hurried to leave the scene, and the next morning when he checked his phone, his call history recorded no calls from the previous night.
Now refurbished and renamed, the place is becoming increasingly popular among local youths
Image credit: @bibitang9x
Thankfully, in 2017, the plaza was refurbished and renamed The Garden Mall. Now home to plenty of cafes, restaurants, and other entertainment activities, it has become an increasingly popular hangout spot for local youths, and the spooky stories of the past are slowly fading into oblivion.
8. Prenn Pass haunted house, Đà Lạt – supposedly once home to an evil general
Some of the older pictures portray the house in an eerie light
Image credit: vtv.vn
While most haunted houses in Vietnam are located in the metropolises of Saigon and Hanoi, the mountainous town of Đà Lạt also has its own share of abandoned mansions associated with rumors of paranormal activities.
Among these, the house at the Prenn Pass has to be the most famous – and it is not hard to understand why due to its isolated, secluded location.
Word on the streets was that the mansion used to belong to a French general who’d kidnap young girls or hire prostitutes to satisfy his fleshly demands, murder them, then dispose of their bodies in the well in front of the house. Now, drivers passing by the pass after dusk sometimes report seeing a woman clad in a white dress roaming the halls of the house, or sitting atop pine trees.
The house doesn’t look too haunted today
Image credit: @koganei_kr
The rumors are indeed popular, but if you visit the house today, you’ll see that it honestly doesn’t look haunted at all. A few years ago, it was bought by a private company which has hired caretakers to live in and take care of the place, giving it a homier feel. The caretakers also say they’ve never encountered anything abnormal during their years staying there.
Since there are now people living there, the house has a homier vibe to it
Image adapted from: @koganei_kr
Regardless, the mansion remains a popular destination for adventurous tourists hoping to see what the stories are all about.
Worship items dedicated to Buddhist deities are present in the mansion – perhaps to protect the space?
Image adapted from: @koganei_kr
For the most part, you are welcome to pay a visit, but since the house is owned and now occupied, it’s best not to come in the middle of the night and disturb the residents.
The stories behind haunted houses in Vietnam
Some of these haunted houses are still standing to this day, while others have been demolished to give way to more modern buildings. Still, the stories around them help add a fascinating layer of mystery to our modern cities.
And if you plan on checking out the places that are still around, we’d advise that you do so with respect for local residents. As they are owned properties, asking for permission from the people in charge will save you a lot of potential trouble.
For more stories, check out:
- Vietnamese student takes horror-themed yearbook photos
- Hanoi landmarks then and now
- Saigon landmarks then and now
- Vietnamese urban legends
- Photo spots in Hanoi