A 50-year-old South African man thought to be dead woke up in a chilly morgue on Sunday and shouted to be let out, scaring off two attendants who thought he was a ghost, local media reported.
"His family thought he had died," health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo told the Sapa news agency.
"The family called a private undertaker who took what they thought was a dead body to the morgue, but the man woke up inside the morgue on Sunday at 5:00 pm and screamed, demanding to be taken out of the cold place."
This caused two mortuary attendants on duty to flee the building in the small town of Libode in the rural Eastern Cape as they thought it was a ghost.
After calling for help and returning to find the man alive, an ambulance was sent to fetch the man who had "been exposed to extreme cold for nearly 24 hours" said Kupelo.
He said the public should not assume that a sick person had died and contact a mortuary, the report said.
"Doctors, emergency workers and the police are the only people who have a right to examine the patients and determine if they are dead or not."