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South Africa is rich in ghost stories and haunted places. For those who can’t resist the urge to have their skin crawling and hairs standing, check out these Top 10 Haunted Places in South Africa and feed your horror curiosity this Halloween. Perhaps even pay a visit… if you dare
The hospital has long been a hotspot for paranormal enthusiasts. The hospital was closed a day after Christmas in 1996. Some equipment was moved from the hospital, but much of it remained, including the patient files. There were plans to refurbish the hospital, but to date, that has not happened. Ghosts from the psychiatric ward are apparently the most mischievous.
The Cleghorne, Harris and Stephen’s building, next to where the present Port Elizabeth Public Library was later built, burnt down on 6 May 1896. Police Constable Maxwell was killed when stone coping fell onto him while firemen tried to put out the fire.
A remembrance stone was placed on a low wall in what was to become the Library grounds. When construction of the Library started, the stone was moved to the Library gardens. From then on, his ghost haunted Room 700 until the stone was returned to its original place, after which no more sightings were reported.
Another Library ghost is caretaker Robert Thomas, who died on 6th February 1943. He was a bachelor and started looking after the Library in 1912 until his death. Staff say that doors open and shut of their own accord, books are removed from shelves and stacked on the floor and books fall for no reason. Others felt his presence, including one man who hid in the building in the 1980s at night as a dare and had to call the police to let him out.
The splendid Matjiesfontein hotel in the middle of the Karoo is full of ghosts. You may hear Katie shuffling her cards in Katie’s Card Room, or see the ghost known as Lucy wandering around in her negligee. Ghostly British soldiers from the Boer War are said to haunt the staircase while the hotel insists that the spirit of the founder of Matjiesfontein, James Logan, is still present in the Hotel. Just 250 km from Cape Town off the N1, a frighteningly good weekend in Matjiesfontein is a few hours’ drive away.
On New Year’s Eve be sure to visit Tokai Manor House set amongst ghostly trees. It is a National Monument which has escaped damage from terrible fires and now houses the headquarters of the Table Mountain National Park.
The house has a dramatic entrance with steep stairs and at one of Eksteen’s raucous New Year’s Eve parties, his son Frederick accepted his father’s wager to ride his horse up the staircase and into the dining room. Frederick circled the dining room table on horseback before tragedy struck and he fell down the stairs with his horse, breaking his neck. These days one can hear a horse galloping at full speed in the forest, and on New Year’s Eve the ghostly rider attempts to ascend the stairs once again.
Centuries of violence and slavery in the Cape of Good Hope Castle have left the legacy of disturbed and restless spirits. There was a Donker Gat (dark hole) where prisoners were held and tortured. Consequently, there have been many ghostly sightings such as that of a 2-meter-tall ghost which haunts the battlements, striding up and down, semi-luminous and terrifying. There are rumors that you can spot a large black dog which will lunge at you, disappearing at the last possible moment. Lights switch on and off by an invisible hand. Pay the castle a visit on Halloween if you dare.
In a countryside hotel just an hour outside of Durban, you will find a young lady called Charlotte. Charlotte was in love with a British soldier where she apparently took a leap of the balcony of Room 10 as she felt that this would be easier on her heart. She would nowadays spend her time arranging flower bouquets, fixing mirrors in the room as well as arranging bed sheet.
Somerset Hospital, situated in Green Point area, is one of the oldest hospitals within South Africa. They say that this hospital is haunted by multiple ghosts, such as a Sister Bowden that still help the nurses on the routes, a girl combing her hair in the hospital rooms and a man walking around the ward singing songs of Schubert.
Grahamstown is a very lively college town and even a backpacker’s destination nowadays, but the violence and execution still exist. A former jail and gallows built in 1824 still has cells where people can feel the cold darkness of these brutal times that past. Or, you could experience the presence of a man called Henry Nicholls, which was the last person publicly hanged on charges of rape in 1862.
The red-and-white striped Green Point lighthouse has its significance when it comes to ghost stories and paranormal activity which have been experienced by generations. The popular story being told is the one of the lighthouse being guarded by a man named W.S West who disappear for unknown reasons. However, people still experience its presence within the tower as a one-legged figure as well as his voice late at night along the tower walls.
Smuts House, owned by a renowned philosopher, statesman, scholar, botanist and soldier called General Jan Smuts. He lived in this very idyllic house for over 40 years. The Smuts House, better known as Doornkloof, is now a museum filled with indigenous trees which was planted by the Smuts within their garden. Visitors have reported seeing an old man floating on the grounds and bedroom, as they believe he is guarding this hidden fortune.
Would you add any other place to this list?
If you feel brave enough, take a look for yourself at the places above and send us your ghostly pictures.
South Africa is rich in ghost stories and haunted places. For those who can’t resist the urge to have their skin crawling and hairs standing, check out these Top 10 Haunted Places in South Africa and feed your horror curiosity this halloween. Perhaps even pay a visit… if you dare
When it comes to travelling across South Africa, I am definitely a veteran, which I regard as an incredible honour. Although I was born in Namibia, I have lived in the Rainbow Nation my entire life. It is my home, I love it here and I want to see as much as possible. This drive to explore my country makes me reflect on an important matter though. The age of content creation has brought a new dimension on what travel means to us, especially via platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and Facebook.
Within reasonable bounds, I have always been a big advocate for embracing the fact that mistakes happen and that they are a necessity to life that you need to learn how to turn into a positive. Through the last couple of years I have also learnt how to apply this ethic to my travels. Many mistakes were made on my part, which is why I am super excited to share a few tips and hacks so that you don’t have to make them.
Every creator has a few local spots that they love more than any other; I am no different. Before I share my top picks with you, allow me to divulge some wisdom – if you can call it that: A location is only as good as your eagerness to be unique and drive to be creative. Regardless of how ordinary or spectacular, you want to get as much out of it as possible, and I say this from both a creative and traveller’s perspective. I definitely urge you not to be limited by location. With the right mentality, anywhere can become magical.
So you have managed to get that extra special time off with your mates and head down to the coast for that much needed break. Once you have booked your holiday, filled the tank and sorted out last minute items there is only one more thing left to do, pack your suitcase.
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