Christmas lights shine from abandoned New Orleans hospital

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(Credit: Lisa Walley Staggs)

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Photos of a Christmas tree shining through a window of an abandoned New Orleans hospital have gone viral.  On Sunday, a Tulane Medical Center employee posted several photos of a lite window in Charity Hospital, and almost immediately the post sparked the question, who turned the lights on?

The hospital has been closed since Hurricane Katrina struck the city in 2005.

We don’t have an answer to that question, but we now know what exactly the lights were.

Officials with the  Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center put an end to the speculation Tuesday. Lesli Capo said, “University Police investigated and removed what turned out to be two-by-fours wrapped with lights.”

Many people thought it could be the Christmas tree that homeless people had placed under the Pontchartrain Expressway.

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

Lisa Walley Staggs’s original post of the mysterious lights has been shared more than 17,000 times.

“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!” Staggs wrote on her Facebook page.

Another employee, Mike Arbon, took some pictures of the tree as well.

He wrote, “I work across the street from the old Charity Hospital and when I went up to the roof of the garage, in the middle of the dark building is this small bright Christmas tree that was put in the window. 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. But a very nice sight to see in the window of a dark building.”