South Africa’s hitchhiking ghost is an infamous legend, but did you know that some of our game reserves have creepy stories too?
You’re in a remote location, the wind is howling, the moon is dark and thick, fog starts moving in from the sea, creating an eerie darkness. Chills run down your spine as you wonder about people who roamed long before you. Whether you believe in ghost stories or not, there are some interesting ones around some of our national parks…
The ghostly manor
The Tokai Manor House in Table Mountain National Park stands out from the average Cape Dutch homestead with its raised veranda and steep curved stairs. In the early 1800s the house belonged to the Eksteen family, known to host the finest banquets. During a New Year’s Eve party, one of the sons accepted a bet to ride his horse up the stairs into the dining room. He succeeded, but a tragedy followed upon his descent… The animal tripped and fell, leaving the rider dead next to his horse. It’s said that they try repeat the act every New Year’s Eve and that laughter and neighing are sometimes heard late at night.
The lonely lady on Bird Island
In 1908, a lighthouse keeper and his wife (the Hansens) stayed in a wooden house on this island in Addo Elephant National Park’s marine protected area. Life was lonely, until a carpenter and his wife eventually joined to assist with repairs. The keeper suspected infidelity from his wife, and mysteriously, she was found dead in a well. Years later, the new keeper claimed that the house was haunted. People claim to have witnessed someone walking on the island in pyjamas, but as to who the mysterious walker is has never been solved, despite several investigations. The house was demolished in 1979 because, unsurprisingly perhaps, nobody wanted to stay in it. Since SANParks took over management, there have been reports of blankets being pulled off officials. In 2006, one was tied to his bed with rope, the same rope found in a house on the south western side of the island next to where the wooden house once stood.
Painting the Agulhas Lighthouse
Visitors often enquired about the friendly man painting one of the landing sections of the steep stairs leading to the top of the lighthouse – while nobody was ever there. He was reported on a number of occasions until the lighthouse was revamped.
Murder at Ratelrivier
This property in Agulhas National Park has a tragic history. Dirk Geysbert Swart, one of the sons of the second owner Hans Jacob van Breda, tragically shot and killed his wife on 21 March 1871 while hosting a party. The murdered Jacoba Alida’s bloody handprint was visible for years until the wall was replaced by a door during renovation. No paint or water ever removed the mark. In more recent years, a group spent a night in the Ratelrivier house. One of the ladies heard music, but the group joked that it was too much red wine. When the story later came out, it was discovered that it was on 21 March, the anniversary of the tragic murder.
Have you ever heard or seen anything supernatural? Let us know in the comments!