Haunted Houses in SA
Halloween is around the corner and at PropertyFox, we’re getting spooky.
Ashley James, co-founder of PropertyFox, says, “For those of you currently property hunting, it is worth looking out for a few tell-tale signs that the house you are viewing may be haunted: excessive amounts of sage hanging in the window is always a big clue, as is a cat watching ‘something’ invisible across the room, and a feeling that you and the person showing you the house are not alone.”
We decided to do some digging to uncover some of the spookiest houses and hotels in South Africa. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the stories behind South Africa’s most haunted, still make for good reading.
The Ghostly Horseman at Tokai Manor
Built in 1795, the Tokai Manor House is a national monument. Located in Tokai Forest, the house has served many purposes; a venue for lavish banquets, an asylum, and most recently, the headquarters of the Table Mountain National Park. It is rumoured that the grand Cape Dutch-style Manor House is also home to the spirit of Frederick Eksteen. This young man was the son of Petrus Michiel Eksteen, the owner of the house back in the mid-1800s and a lover of wild, drunken parties.
Legend has it that one New Year’s Eve, while Petrus was entertaining a number of guests in his large dining room, he challenged Frederick to ride his favourite mare up the steep steps of the manor and into the house. Young Fred did this proudly and all the guests cheered, but as he turned to trot back down the stairs, a slave rang the bell to signal midnight and the horse spooked and tumbled down the steps, dragging Frederick down to his death.
Ever since then, people who have worked at the house have reported hearing strange sounds, like those of drunken laughter or horse hooves. Some claim they have seen a man in period clothing galloping along on horseback in the forest outside the manor, particularly on New Year’s Eve or in the dark early hours of the morning.
The Jac Loopuyt House – Cape Town
According to IOL, the scary reputation of the house looms large among the many ghost stories and urban legends in the history of Cape Town. Named after the Dutch ambassador for whom the house was built, this Edwardian residence, also known as the Rondebosch Ghost House or “The Spook House”, is rumoured to have housed an evil cult in the early 1970s. Reports of doors and windows being opened and then banging shut are common. Some even claim they see an old man roaming the grounds.
Richly House – Port Elizabeth
Built in 1906, Richly House has been home to many people. A nursing and maternity home, a World War II brothel and a boarding house. Needless to say, there have been a fair few reported encounters.
People have claimed seeing everything from a nun to hearing a baby crying. Others say an angry ex-resident goes stomping through the dining room, rattling pots and pans in the kitchen. Scariest of all is the ghost in the domestic quarters who reportedly tries to strangle the staff.
The Kimberley Club and Boutique Hotel – Kimberley
The acclaimed Kimberley Club was founded in 1881 by Cecil John Rhodes, after he formed De Beers Consolidated Mines.
The venue is said to have a ghostly waiter who haunts the dining room, an old man who wanders the upstairs passages, and a woman in a 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, a ghost dog howling on the veranda and balls of fire falling from the veranda ceiling.
Hotel Glencairn – Simon’s Town
The hotel was built by architect John Parker in 1904. The first people to stay were a George Scott along with his wife, Renée, and son, David.
The place changed ownership after the mysterious death of Mrs. Scott and her son. There have been reports of a dark-haired woman in a white gown appearing in mirrors in various hotel rooms. Others say they have seen a young boy running around in the kitchen. The youngster is apparently a prankster, moving things and breaking glasses.
He plays pranks by moving things and breaking glasses. It is believed another three entities haunt alongside them.
Room 10 at the Nottingham Road Hotel – KwaZulu Natal
Built in the 19th century, this hotel is home to a ghost named Charlotte, who is rumoured to have worked as a prostitute during the Boer War.
Legend has it that she fell madly in love with a soldier, but her love was unrequited. She threw herself off the balcony in Room 10.
She has been known to rearrange flower displays and move mirrors around to her liking. Guests who stay in her room have woken to find their clothes neatly folded and even heard her chatting to one of her many clients. Don’t believe it? We dare you to go and stay in Room Number 10 to find out!
Investing in haunted property does not have to be scary at all. The interesting stories could make for peculiar but fun dinner table talk and could get the conversation going quicker than you can say, BOO!