11 South African Ghosts and Legends
You may think Europe, America, and Australasia have more than their fair share of ghost stories and strange places, but few know that South Africa still has a few of her own mysteries to intrigue locals and visitors alike:
- The Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town
The Castle of Good Hope is one of the oldest colonial buildings in South Africa, and is said to be home to several unexplained phenomena, such as ghostly footsteps, flickering lights, and specters that appear; one of which is reputed to be the castle’s first official hostess, Lady Anne Barnard.
- Adams Calendar, Mpumalanga
Much like the Nazca lines in Peru, there are strange circular designs scattered about Mpumalanga, which correspond to star signs, solstices, and equinoxes – as well as the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. Who created this 75 000 year old celestial and seasonal calendar?
- Der Fliegende Hollander, Cape Town
Made famous by the Pirates of the Caribbean movie, the 17th Century Der Fliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman) was a ship that is said to appear in the waters of the Cape of Good Hope. True to the tales, it has been sighted over the centuries by everyone from sailors to royalty.
- Lord Milner Hotel, Matjiesfontein
Matjiesfontein is home to numerous ghosts, but the most commonly sighted ones are seen in or around the Lord Milner Hotel, built in 1899. The ghostly gang includes Kate, a 19-year old Boer Nurse, James Logan, the original town founder, and a poltergeist called Lucy.
- Klerksdorp Spheres, Klerksdorp
The 100’s of strange, almost-spherical objects discovered in Klerksdorp have been viewed by thousands of visitors who believe them to be of alien origin. Science has solved this mystery, stating the spheres are geofacts that naturally occur – but we leave it to you to make up your own mind.
- Sterkfontein Caves, Cradle of Humankind
With bones and fossils dating back 4 million years, it’s safe to say the Sterkfontein Caves are definitely a contender in having some of the oldest relics of man ever to be found. And this leaves us wondering: who were these ancient hominids?
- Nottingham Road Hotel, KwaZulu-Natal
Holding a prime spot along the Midlands Meander, Nottingham Road Hotel is known for its many ghosts and ghouls, with the most notable being Charlotte. Charlotte passed under mysterious circumstances in Room 10. If you rent this room, any items strewn about will be tied up by Charlotte.
- Mysterious Mermaid, Meiringspoort, Karoo
Stories of a beautiful dark-haired, blue-eyed mermaid living in the Karoo have been circulating for the last few centuries, and myth would have you believe she lives in the bottomless pool below Skelm waterfall (or the Eseljagtspoort or Meiringspoort, depending who you talk to).
- Ponte Tower, Johannesburg
This 54-story cylindrical tower was once a luxurious high-rise that fell into disrepair. It now stands as a crumbling legacy from the apartheid era. After being a base for several notorious gangs, it was abandoned and has since had an eerie number of suicides occur, and several ghosts spotted.
- Uniondale Hitchiker, Uniondale
Just outside of Uniondale is the hitchhiking ghost of Maria Roux who reportedly died in her sleep on Easter Sunday after her fiancé crashed the car. She is said to have dark hair and stands waiting for passing cars to grant her passage, only to disappear a few km’s into the journey, leaving the scent of apple blossoms in her wake.
- Kolmanskop, Namibia
Though technically not in South Africa, the abandoned town of Kolmanskop in Namibia is well worth a visit if you’re hoping to experience the eerie desolation of dust-filled, sand-blasted buildings that, by all accounts, truly is a ghost town.
Click through to read about some of the Fearsome Ghost Tours in South Africa, or share your own in the comments below.