10 Incredibly Creepy Facts about Bangkok's "Ghost Tower"
It’s dirty, dangerous and tetanus is surely lurking, but the Ghost Tower is quickly conquering the hearts of urban explorers seeking the strange, less trod corners of the Big Mango. Here's a cheat sheet on everything you need to know.
1. Originally named the Sathorn Unique Condominium, it was originally designed to house the city's most luxurious apartments.
Prominent Thai architect Rangan Torsuwan had epic dreams for Sathorn Unique. Construction began in 1990 with plans to build 49 luxurious stories boasting some of the finest views of Bangkok. But, then came a curious twist and a stroke of bad luck...
2. Its architect was arrested for attempted murder.
In 1993, Torsuwan was arrested for allegedly plotting to murder the President of the Supreme Court. Though no actual assassination attempt was made, he was found guilty in 2008 (though later acquitted in 2010).
3. Construction started...but was never completed.
Financially crippled by the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, Torsuwan’s company halted construction of Sathorn tower and was never able to resume building, leaving the massive structure abandoned and only 80% completed.
4. It's set on an ancient burial ground.
OK, so this one's not a verified fact. But rumours persist, and when mixed in a slew of local superstitions and folklore, it all adds to the building's haunted character.
5. In 2014, the body of a Swedish backpacker was found hanging within.
Adding to the above rumours, the body of a backpacker was found in 2014. Left undiscovered for weeks, the body was so badly decomposed that his identity could only be confirmed using DNA verification. The death was ruled a suicide.
6. You can now climb it for just THB500.
A caretaker lets visitors up the building's 49 flights of stairs for this small fee. It's open from 2-8pm each day.
7. It is terrifyingly unsafe.
Bits of expired sunlight stream into the Ghost Tower through gaping, open balconies. Only thin air separates the unfinished rooms from a terrifying drop to the street below.
8. It's now completely uncared for.
Rainwater has collected in the half moon patios, springing forth mold and moss; signs of colorful life among the neo-Grecian remnants. Rumour has it that its owners are still asking US$60 million for the building.
9. It's a graffiti artist's paradise.
It is incredibly eerie, with spooky graffiti blanketing walls and sinister messages scrawled in every nook and cranny, mocking you. You stop and think someone is watching you, then continue on your journey to the top of the world.
10. It still features some of Bangkok's best views.
Though forlorn, the Ghost Tower looms over Bangkok like a dark king. The city splays before it for 360 degrees, unveiling some insane views. The Chao Phraya River is an olive python snaking around silver skyscrapers. Hundreds of lights dazzle like the starry heavens.
Peering over the unprotected edge of the building, the wind rushes in your face and you not only see, but your senses come alive. Here, the magic of Bangkok is in your pores.