To people from the West, Vietnam is a country full of mystery and intrigue. And as with any place so full of history and folklore, some of the country's creepy mysteries and legends are scary enough to keep you up at night. Be they urban legends, stories of ghouls and ghosts walking the battlefields or tales of dark and dangerous cryptids and spirits, Vietnam has a host of ghost stories and legends sure to send chills down the spine of even the toughest reader.
Along with legends and lore from history, modern day Vietnam has its own tales of terror that found their way onto this list. So read on and just try to sleep tonight after learning about these ghost stories and legends from Vietnam.
The Bloodthirsty Grandma Next Door
Before refrigeration, families had to dry out their meat by hanging it in the backyard. In this tale from a rural Vietnamese village, one couple noticed their meat was going missing at night. To solve the mystery, they stayed up to watch the sick old grandmother from next door leaping their fence around midnight and devouring the meat raw with a demonic look on her face.
A few days later, the couple went out for the night, leaving their children with a babysitter. They returned home just in time to hear a scream from their infant's room. Rushing in, they found the old lady chewing off the arm of their baby on her nightly hunt for fresh meat.
Thuan Kieu Plaza
In the heart of Saigon's busy Chinatown district is a series of three towers that each stands 33 floors tall. Buildings A and B are completely deserted, while building C has just 20 units occupied. Thuan Kieu Plaza was built to be a busy shopping, entertainment, and residential area, though it is practically deserted now.
Two main stories surround this complex. During construction in the late '80s, a number of workers died due to poor safety standards. When no proper compensation was arranged a Chinese spell (called "Lo Ban" after a legendary Chinese carpenter) was cast on the site. Accidents and problems have beset the 100,000-square-meters of concrete ever since.
Additionally, people have been scared away from the complex since a taxi driver's story began to spread. The story goes that the taxi driver was called to pick up a girl at the complex, but when he arrived the place was empty. He called the girl on the phone and all he could hear on the other end of the line was heavy breathing and muffled screams. Terrified, he drove away. The driver was told the girl was likely the ghost of a girl who was murdered by her boyfriend on the site in 2005.
727 Tran Hung Dao
727 Tran Hung Dao was once known as the Presidents Building and is located in District 5 in Saigon. The 530-room building was completed in 1960 and, after being rented in its entirety by the US military, was once teeming with life. Now, the building is all but abandoned, with only 10 families remaining.
It's said the bodies of four virgins were buried at the corners of the structure to give the building the correct Feng Shui to keep spirits away. Residents have reported shrieks in the night, the sounds of a military parade, and, most disturbingly, the ghostly image of an American soldier hand-in-hand with a young Vietnamese girl wandering through the halls.
Vietnam has a sad and bloody history and there are said to be many wandering spirits, especially in the country, that need to find a place to continue their existence. Legend has it that many of these spirits bond with trees. Many people who visit the forests and jungles of Vietnam describe feeling like they've been watched from every direction.
Cutting down a tree in these areas is bad luck and many people are cursed as a result of chopping a tree down before performing a ceremony to ask the ghosts to leave.