Ghost stories in Chợ Rẫy Hospital


Whenever ambulance sirens blast off in a mad rush, our minds immediately go to hospitals.

A hospital holds connotations of dread and creepiness for different reasons. Not only is it a place where the battle between life and death is fierce, but it’s also ripe with spooky encounters that can’t be explained by logic or science.

If you think that only patients with weak nerves report paranormal sightings, you’re way off base. 

In this article, we’ll bring you some eerie tales shared by Dr Lê Công Thành, a practicing physician who worked at Chợ Rẫy Hospital at the time of his paranormal report.  

Note: The original stories were shared on a website on the Internet and have been edited for brevity and clarity. 


Story no. 1: a dead patient returning to the ICU



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Image credit: Pexels/ Alexandra Haddad

Chợ Rẫy Hospital is one of the oldest medical institutions in Saigon, gifted to the government by Uncle Hỏa, one of Vietnam’s richest men. The hospital bears a striking French architecture and a run-down system. 

When I first came here, I saw two eight-sign charms (ếm bát quái) secured in the ICU, home to countless deaths. According to my knowledge, the spirits of those who die inside the hospital cannot leave the hospital because of the guarding power of these eight-sign charms. 

Something happened during my internship when I was working on a night shift at the ICU.

It was 1.20AM, and I was noting down something in the medical record when someone approached me from behind. 


A typical medical record in Vietnam
Image credit: Thanh Niên

I turned around and saw a girl with long hair wearing a white shirt. She told me that she was having a terrible headache. I asked her for her name and age.

Nguyễn Ngọc T, age 21,” she said. I jotted the lady’s information down in my medical notebook.

I pointed to bed no.4 and told her to rest on it. 

A few minutes after that, I walked to her place to give her a medical checkup. As I reached bed no.4, I didn’t see anyone. I wondered where she went. Thinking that she must have gone to the restroom, I sat down and waited for her.

30 minutes later, I still didn’t see her coming back. I went out to ask a security guard if he had seen her, and he replied that he hadn’t seen anyone coming to the ICU at all. A shiver ran up my spine.

I returned to my desk and resumed working on the medical record. 

Suddenly, a gust of wind blew open the notebook and stopped at a page. Out of curiosity, I decided to read it. 

As I ran my eyes across the page, my heart skipped a beat as I chanced upon a line that said, “Nguyễn Ngọc T, age 21, dead at 1.20AM on….Cause of death: brain injury during a road accident.”

I looked at my calendar and realized that it had been 21 days since the time of her death. A sense of dread overwhelmed me and sent me into a panic attack.

I wonder if the gust of wind just now was just a result of the electric fan or if this deceased patient really had come back to the place where she took her last breath. For someone who had been trained to base my judgements on science and reasoning like me, this kind of experience shouldn’t have shaken me. 

However, I couldn’t deny that I had encountered a paranormal experience with my own eyes.


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Image credit: Pexels/Johnathan Borba

After that fateful shift, I was obsessed with the appearance and name of that girl for nearly a month. 

Source: Tâm Linh Đời Sống


Story no. 2: the abandoned medical department



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Image credit: Tumbrl/form9


After finishing my work one afternoon, I went around to explore this historic hospital, which always exudes a magnetic power to me. It is marked with a timeworn look on the outside, and ripe with unresolvable mysteries on the inside. 

As I made my way to the department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, I saw an abandoned clinic on one side that had always remained locked. 

To my surprise, the door to that unused facility was open today, which I thought was an invitation to me. After several minutes of hesitation, I decided to walk through that door. 

As I put one foot through that old creaky wooden door, I saw a long corridor flanked by steel bars which looked like a prison. There was a staircase that went down into a very dark place, and a row of abandoned rooms on my right hand side. 

A sudden breeze blew leaves and pieces of papers into my direction and made the mood grimmer.

I plucked my courage to continue my exploration. I walked past each room and saw that they were all locked. I kept walking until I reached the final room. 

Suddenly, a strong gust of wind blew open the door of that room and slammed it against the wall. As startled as I was, I tried to keep my cool and walked into that room.


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Image credit: Pexels/Pixabay

It was a dark, ramshackle venue with worn-out furniture, such as derelict beds topped with mattresses filled with cracks and stains that looked like blood.

I turned around and saw a few words carved on the wall by a sharp object. It happened to be someone’s name, which I happened to read out loud.

Once the final word escaped my lips, I felt poignant shivers running from my back to my neck that left me in awe. Engulfed with a sense of uneasiness, I hurried out of that room immediately. I felt my heart beating very fast and I tried to walk as fast as I could.       

I noticed that my lab coat looked as if it was being held back by someone and was being lifted high even though there was no wind inside that place. Shocked and frightened, I ran out of that abandoned clinic. 

I returned to my workstation and told my senior colleague what happened. 

She said, “You’re very brave. The door to that clinic has always been locked. I think that someone must have checked in at that facility today and forgot to lock it.”

According to my fellow worker who had been working here for many years, that clinic used to be a department that offered fast, convenient medical services with a higher price.


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Image credit: Insider

Back in the day, that clinic was always filled with patients. However, ever since there were some patients dying there, paranormal events started to happen. Many patients’ family members had claimed to see a shadowy figure gliding around room 104 even though it was empty. For this reason, hospital management used that room to accommodate critically ill patients. Well, they died there too. 

Since then, sounds of people screaming in pain emitted from that room every night, scaring the daylight out of other patients. Gradually, very few patients went there and hospital management decided to just abandon it. 

I felt my hair rising as I listened to what my colleague shared. I wondered what would have happened if I hadn’t dragged my feet out of that place.

Source: Tâm Linh Đời Sống


Story no. 3: sharing an elevator with a deceased lady



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Image credit: Theorion

Into my 5th year as a medical student, my classmates and I were often required to work on shifts at hospitals. Medical work and study is very exhausting. In the morning, medical students have to go to school. In the afternoon, we go to local hospitals. In the evening, we work on shifts. In retrospect, life as a medical student was a mix of fun and fright. Though unseen to us, there was another plane of existence that we didn’t know about. 

That night at Chợ Rẫy Hospital, I worked on a shift at level 6. Remembering that my friend was working on level 8, I walked to the elevator to go up. However, I stopped short as I realized that it was already 10PM. When I first came here, some senior colleagues warned me to refrain from walking out of my workstation unless there was an emergency. There’s even a sign here that reads, “Refrain from walking on the corridor or using the elevator at night.”

At first glance, one might think that a common sign like this aims at preserving peace for the resting patients. However, there is more to this sign than meets the eyes.

I kept hesitating for a while, but decided to walk to the elevator. My friend had a really good book that I had to borrow, otherwise this night shift would be very boring. After hitting the button on the elevator, I felt shivers running down my spine. As the elevator came down, I walked in, chose level 8, and waited for the elevator door to close.

When the door was just an inch from completely closing, it suddenly stopped and opened again.

In front of me was a lady.

As she walked into the elevator, I felt a gust of cold wind blowing into the place where I was standing. I didn’t look at her face as I was standing behind her. From behind, I could tell that she was in her 30s. As my eyes ran down to her wrist, I was startled as I saw a red thread with a tag on it.

For those who don’t know, only people who have died wear a tag with their name, year of birth, and date of death on their wrist. That’s a common sight inside a mortuary.

That was when fear started to grip my heart. However, I managed to keep my mouth shut. 

As the elevator reached level 7, the lady walked out and I remained.


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Image credit: Wikipedia

After reaching level 8 and borrowing the book from my friend, I took to the elevator to descend to level 6. The moment I walked in, two nurses pushed a stretcher on which was a dead patient covered in a white sheet into the elevator. Nothing was scary until a hand dangled from the stretcher, revealing a red thread with a name tag on its wrist. 

I was petrified.

As I reached level 6, I quickly got out but felt my lab coat being held back.

I looked back and saw a piece of my top trapped inside that dead patient’s hand.

Before I could react to such a harrowing sight, one of the nurses helped release my top from the hand. I thanked the nurse and hurried back to my workstation.

On the next day, I shared my spooky encounters with my teammates. One of them didn’t believe in my stories and even boasted about not believing in the supernatural world. 

That night, I and that boastful teammate were on the same shift. He offered to go ghost-hunting in the hospital by himself and would buy coffee for me when he was back. 30 minutes later, he went back with a pale face and disrupted breathing. I asked if everything was okay, he said he was fine and that he needed to go see the department head. As he stood up, I saw his pants turned wet and wondered whether he had peed in his pants. Judging from his frightened expression, I guess he had his fair share of a paranormal encounter.

Source: Tâm Linh Đời Sống


Story no. 4: the mysterious death of my patient



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Image credit: Vietnamnet

2 years ago, I received a 20-year-old patient who was diagnosed with neurasthenia and depression. After meeting her, I asked her how long she had suffered from headache and fatigue.

Her journey of mental illness started with her visit to Tây Ninh to visit her boyfriend who was on national service. As they were walking in the forest, she and her boyfriend had passed a grave. Out of curiosity, she read the name on the gravestone out loud.


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Image credit: Tuổi Trẻ Đời Sống

After returning home from Tay Ninh, she started to have severe headaches that had lasted for many days. Amid her pain, she often saw the figure of a man clad in a soldier’s uniform. Terrified by her consistent vision of this man and exhausted by her pain, she started to suffer from insomnia and stress. The relationship between her and her boyfriend also went up in smoke after that.

After seeking western medicinal treatment but to no avail, she kept hunting for a cure and her relentless search led her to me.   

2 weeks into treatment, her conditions improved and I visited her everyday to comfort her. However, she told me that she kept seeing the shadow of a man standing at the door, and sometimes at her bed, staring at her. 

That detail made my blood run cold. 

One night, I quietly paid a visit to her room but stood in a place where she couldn’t see me. As I peeked into the room, I saw her keeping her frightened eyes fixed on the door and holding her blanket up like a shield. I decided to prescribe her more sleeping pills.

A month had passed since my late-night visit, and I planned to discharge my young patient soon hoping that she could improve faster in the comfort of her own home.

When I was on a shift one fateful night, I felt hungry and went down to the canteen for some supper.


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Image credit: TimeToast

As I walked past the corridor of level 1, I saw and heard something heavy dropping past me and landed on the ground. I looked over from the balcony and saw my patient lying motionless in the arms of a man.

All of a sudden, this strange man lifted up his head and gazed into my eyes with a tantalizing look that made my heart beat faster than ever.

I was going to shout, “Don’t touch the patient!”

However, it suddenly dawned on me that the hospital had been completely closed at this hour and there was no way someone could go inside my patient’s ward. Plus, how come this man could turn up out of the blue and reach my patient within seconds after her fall?

I ran down the stairs towards my patient to check on her pulse. Her heart had stopped beating, blood was streaming from her nose and mouth, and her skull must have broken after such a concussion. Her eyes, which remained open, were filled with bewilderment.

Knowing that her situation was beyond remedy, I called local police to handle the rest of the situation. 

After that tragic incident, I couldn’t stop thinking about that man who suddenly turned up and disappeared in the dead of the night. I wondered who he was, and why he was embracing my patient. His hypnotic gaze was on the back of my mind for nearly 6 months and kept me wondering if he was a human or a ghost. I also kept asking myself why my patient, though showing major health improvements, had jumped to her death. 

This case has remained a puzzle that I have yet to find an answer to.

Source: Tâm Linh Đời Sống


A practicing physician’s exposure to supernatural encounters


For centuries, many world-famous scientists such as Stephen Hawking have denounced the existence of a supernatural world and tried to reduce every paranormal sighting to the work of the brain. Therefore, it’s become common knowledge that people grounded in science tend to not believe in supernatural stuff. 

However, Dr Lê’s stories show that anyone, including  die-hard atheists, can sometimes believe in the spiritual once they see things that they can’t deny. 

Stay tuned for the next part of our three-part collection featuring ghost stories in Saigon hospitals and morgues.

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Cover image adapted from: Tumbrl/form9, TimeToast, and Stuff

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