6 paranormal pitstops in SA

Posted by Anita Froneman on 10 October 2019

South Africa is known for many interesting and beautiful places. What many people don’t know, is that there are numerous locations that will give visitors a chill down their spine. Take a look at these.

1. The Owlhouse

Often mentioned in the same breath as Nieu Bethesda, the Owl House is one of the primary reasons why visitors stray off the N9 National Road past the Karoo town of Graaff-Reinet.

This art museum was the much-loved home of artist Helen Martins between 1945 and 1976. The artist constructed the Camel Yard, which she filled with sculptures of bottle-skirted hostesses, mermaids, camels and pilgrims, all journeying to a mystical east.

Tragically, she took her own life by drinking a mixture containing caustic soda. It is suspected that she suffered from a mental illness.

Miss Helen, as she was locally known, touched the lives of many while she was alive, even supposedly inspiring the playwright Athol Fugard to pen the much-loved play, The Road to Mecca, which was later made into a film.

 

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2. Nottingham Road Hotel

‘Notties Hotel’ in Kwazulu Natal is reputed to be haunted, like many hotels are. In the past, guests and staff have reported that the spirit of a woman roams the hotel and its grounds. Seemingly not malicious, she apparently roams the halls moving flower arrangements and making beds. She goes by ‘Charlotte’, rumoured to be a lady of loose morals or a chamber maid depending on the source of the tale. Legend has it that she threw herself to her death over the balcony outside her room when rejected by a lover.

Another story goes that a farmer, Christopher Groom, tried to reach the hotel years ago to shelter from a storm, but was unable to reach it in time and was struck by a bolt of lightning just outside. He and his dead horse were discovered some time later when the storm had passed. The unconscious man was quite unaware of his narrow escape. A hole straight through his saddle showed where the bolt of lightning had struck.

 

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3. Mountain Park Hotel

Built in 1940, the hotel in the midlands has the grace of an old Tudor homestead, with authentic blackwood beams and ceilings. Crooked doors, creaking stairways and floors also abound.

Doors that close by themselves, footsteps pacing the corridors, apparitions spotted on stairways and in rooms are common occurrences. However, there appears to be just as much strange activity in the large bar and billiard room downstairs.

The owners, Mike and Jill Wardquite proudly announced that they have ‘eight different spirits roaming around,’ according to IOL. ‘One is definitely that of original owner Mr McMenigel, who went bankrupt and apparently committed suicide by burning down his house. There’s even a small white dog, nicknamed Wisp.

A thick book of guests’ comments on their ghostly sightings is testament to the hotel’s supernatural visitors.

Tripadvisor

4. Kimberley Club and Boutique Hotel

The venerable Kimberley Club was founded in 1881 by Cecil John Rhodes, after he formed De Beers Consolidated Mines at the age of just 28. As one early visitor observed, ‘the place was stuffed with more millionaires to the square foot than any other place in the world.’ Visitors over the years have included King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, who famously left a diamond ring in the bathroom.

Known as an old mining town, Kimberley in the Northern Cape allegedly has various haunted houses and more ghosts than anywhere else in South Africa. The Club itself is said to have a ghostly waiter who haunts the dining room, an old man who wanders the upstairs passages, and a woman in Victorian dress who stands on the beautiful wooden staircase under a stained-glass window. Guests have reported lights swaying mysteriously in the old De Beers boardroom and balls of fire falling from the veranda ceiling.

 

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5. Kempton Park Hospital

No haunted list is complete without an abandoned hospital on it. The hospital has long been a hotspot for paranormal enthusiasts. Closed a day after Christmas in 1996, some equipment was moved from the hospital, but much of it remained, including the patient files. As with any abandoned hospital, not much needs to happen for it to seem creepy. The unused medical equipment and thoughts of suffering people treated there is sinister enough.

 

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6. The Notre Dame Convent

There’s something about small towns and spooky places. On top of it, this old convent in Kroonstad in the Free State stands alone in an open field outside of town. This once magnificent structure was vandalised and abandoned in the 1980’s. Rumours went around that satanic groups used it as a place to perform certain rituals. It has since been bought and sold and bought again, apparently used as a wedding venue, but that didn’t take off. We wonder why. It was later restored and transformed into a private catholic school. The school is still up and running today, but many travelling through can’t help but go and take a look.

Google Maps/St Peter Claver High

 

Image: Pixabay

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