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Sitting on the railing in her red dress, the ghost waves her victims closer, urging them to jump to their death. This is the tale of the Lady in Red of Bang Pakong River. 

Over the river, there is the bridge Saphan Bang Pakong. Over the years, this has been a place where a lot of jumpers have tried to kill themselves according to legends as well as the local police force. And local police reckon that there has been over 60 suicides since 1992, at least that they have record on. 

The legend is believed to be of a spirit who drowned in the Bang Pakong River which is situated in east Thailand. Who she can be and if she is real at all, is still speculated on by people crossing the bridge in the dead of the night. 

The Wave to Their Death

The legend of the Lady in Red drew attention from the media when the story of a 25 year old lady who was pulled from jumping from the bridge in 2018 was published in the local papers. Afterwards, the lady claimed that although feeling stressed, she had no intention of killing herself that day. So what happened then? Why did we then find her at the edge of the railing? 

According to the woman herself, she was driving home when she noticed someone sitting on the railing of the bridge. She parked the car and followed the person, as it was something that drew her towards it and the bridge. A waving motion, a feeling of despair growing. At the same time the woman had this vision, another man came by on his motorcycle and saw the young woman approaching the railings of the bridge. He stopped and came to her rescue. He called out to her, but she wouldn’t answer and he knew immediately something wasn’t right. 

Both the woman herself and her rescuer o n the bike talked about seeing a middle aged woman with shoulder length hair, waving at her trying to make her jump before she herself threw herself in the water. 

The Many Victims

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This was however not the first report on the matter, and might not be the last. Over the years iI i is often from the bridge witnesses claim to have seen her spirit at night. Many of these legends also tell of a middle aged woman, often seated on the railing, waving the people towards them, urging them to jump. The victims often describe a sense of blackout or a trance like state until they hopefully are helped by a person that can pull them back from the railing. 

Rescue teams have also told stories about people they have helped that told the story  of a lady in red they tried to help when she jumped from the bridge. All with the same story, either waving at them from afar or looking like she is jumping to her death. 

Who is the Lady in Red?

The legend of the Lady in Red is a fairly new one. Many connect her to a case from 2006, where a body of a woman was found floating in the river on November 23rd. She was wrapped in a green sheet, with her hands and feet tied up and her mouth covered with a rope around her neck. After this it is said that her spirit is seen sitting on the rails of the bridge, or hitchhiking underneath it, waving before jumping in the Bang Pakong river. To this day her death is still not cleared, and the mystery surrounding it all is just as when she was first found.

The Lady in Red in History

She is sometimes said to be dressed in white, but most often, it is the stories of the red clad lady that are mostly reported on. Something that quite often pop up in ghost stories.  

When talking of ghosts that are described as a woman clad in red, it is often in the same street as a lady in white or lady in black. The one difference is that often, the lady in red has a story of a jilted lover, being a prostitute, often killed in a fit of passion or a vain woman. All in all, a woman victim to objectification. Especially in western ghost stories. 

However, in Asian legends particularly, the lady in red is sometimes connected to jumpers. Just like this story, as well as in the Malayan legend of the red woman on the ninth floor in an apartment building in Little India in Malacca, an area known for jumpers. Can this be a trend of the ghost stories itself or the nature of the ghosts? Only the Lady in Red has the answers, and it looks like she doesn’t want to share.

A Scary Ghost or Cry for Help?

In the case of the lady in red on the bridge over Bang Pakong river, we can only speculate what the truth is. About the origin of the story, or if the countless cleansing rituals that have been done to purify the bridge has helped at all. Or if the ghost story is more of a solemn reminder of the importance of an open conversation of mental health, not only in Thailand, but everywhere a legend of ladies in red is told. 

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