The Charity Hospital in New Orleans was abandoned by everyone after Katrina, but has it really? “The bodies may have been removed…maybe…but the souls are still there,” writes nurse Jovonna Johnson Dean in response to the eerie light seen at the New Orleans Charity Hospital. To which nurse Lisa Walley Staggs replies with “What a powerful thought.”
The Charity Hospital in New Orleans had to close after the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and was never reopened according to a December 29 New Orleans news report. Nurse Lisa Walley Staggs works directly across the abandoned hospital and wrote the following on her Facebook page on Sunday, December 27:
“For those few of you who may not know…I work at an inner city New Orleans hospital that happens to be situated directly across from Charity hospital. Charity hospital has been closed, it’s windows darkened, since hurricane Katrina, and is a gloomy and dreary sight on the best of days…at night it’s down-right scary. Until tonight. See, I park on the roof of my parking garage, and tonight as I was leaving work, I glanced over at the forgotten building, only to see the lights of a tiny Christmas tree! I wish the pictures did it justice. 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!”
Nurse Staggs is not the only person who saw the eerie light at Charity Hospital, which was – before Hurricane Katrina – one of two teaching hospitals as part of the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans. Mike Arbon also saw the lights during his shift at Tulane Medical Center:
“It’s really pretty and little creepy,” Arbon said. “It gave me chills when I saw it and, of course, made me think of my brother, who passed away at Charity Hospital.”
When university police investigated the eerie light coming from the abandoned New Orleans Charity Hospital, they found some 2×4’s wrapped in lights. Since it was Christmas time, it appears the simple-build structure was to resemble a Christmas tree. But as to who put it there – still remains a mystery.
For those of you who know the story of the “Little Prince,” there is always the adult way of dealing with things: “Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, …,” he says. The Little Prince would have loved the eerie light at the Charity Hospital and one can hear him laughing out there on his little planet. More than anything, he would have been proud of the comments under nurse Swaggs’ photo of the eerie light:
“Woah…is somebody living in there? What in the world? That kinda makes it creepier to me…like are ghosts having xmas up in there?”
“Looks like a figure of a person. … “I was thinking the same thing… Not so much a Christmas tree as a glowing human!”
“That’s beautiful momma. I love when someone brings a spark of life to something dead and forgotton. Sort of a macabre beauty that I appreciate immensely. Thanks for sharing.”
“It’s so high up. If it was on the 1-3rd floor, I wouldn’t be this awestruck!! Creepy but very moving!!”
“Cool pic. So many places in NO look so sad still since Katrina.”
The Charity Hospital in New Orleans, the other places left abandoned by Katrina, and the people who died at the hospital were mostly forgotten – until that eerie light appeared. “It’s so people don’t forget. The bodies may have been removed…maybe…but the souls are still there,” reads nurse Jovonna Johnson Dean’s full response in regard to the eerie light at the Charity Hospital in New Orleans.