Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Candle's Mass & The Singing Ghost - Port Elizabeth, 2013

My room sometimes holds an electric charge, usually associated with stuff being flung about, but not very often and also not very aggressively.
The pewter vase in the picture was once my book-end and stood fast for months next to my microwave. One, day, in front of our eyes, three of us of which one is a sceptic, the damn thing simply shifted briskly behind the microwave, leaving my books unsupported and they all fell to the side WHILE WE WATCHED.

Now that, as I explained it away, being a believer who prefers to debunk the hell out of something before I call it 'supernatural', I figured could be the pressure from the books eventually pushing the vase away.

However, three days ago something happened which could not be so easily discarded.
The candle in the picture is impaled on a spike which is quite long. I haven't used it or lit it for weeks when one morning I was woken by a supreme crash next to my bed.
This candle had fallen to the floor. No big.
I figured it had splintered at the base and came off the spike and IF it were the singing ghost (I shall explain further down) she probably pushed it over, forcing it to crumble at the base and break free from the spike.
However, on closer inspection I found that the base of the candle was completely un-frayed, intact with only a small solitary little hole where the spike fitted.

Something lifted it off the spike and then threw it on the floor.
Now, whatever is here has been dubbed "the singing ghost', because sings.
One night my kids and I were mimicking opera singers and after our resulting fits of laughter, I jokingly told the ghost to 'give us a tune'.
It did.
From the corner which you can see in the picture, right next to the vase, came an off-note humming which trickled itself over three or four tones!!! It was an old woman's voice, clearly not a strong singer at all, humming off the pitch.
Astonished we fell silent after it stopped and stepped a few meters back from where she sang right next to us.

I am a vocalist and I often record songs in this very room on my very expensive microphone. Sometimes, when I playback, I can hear another voice, which I do not hear while recording, singing with me in the worst harmony imaginable...but she knows enough about her vocal lack of prowess to sing only parts with me, and to keep her tone relatively low.

It still gives me the CREEPS, though, that a disembodied voice is singing with me!

Sunday, April 28, 2013


I am making another short film!!!


It is called “VREEMD”.
And yes, it is an unprecedented idea that I myself had never before seen in any film....and to top it all, it will be shot in my mother tongue, AFRIKAANS (with English subtitles)

Now, I need your help with this.....
Would you mind sending out this link to friends you think would like to help us fund the making of this short film for this year’s annual South African Horrorfest? Tell them they can contribute as little as $5 and we have about 30 days left to reach our goal. Every bit helps! So even if you just contribute $5, I will give you a personal THANK YOU on Facebook!

It would be great if we can make this monster happen! And feel free to join us at the VREEMD page too….in fact, I insist ;-)

The Indiegogo site has all the details, including the Youtube video of the pitch! Also, it has a synopsis of the film and believe me, more than two people were thoroughly surprized by the odd sort of horror I am writing for this one!

Things are about to get HAIRY!!!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


THE SEAVIEW HOTEL, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

 This is Seaview, Port Elizabeth. It is what I call "the home of the modest millionaires", because it is extremely expensive, obviously for it's location right on the sea, but the houses are not extravagant beyond reason. It is a place of a nice isolated community of locals and vacation homes of those who do not live here full time.

I have been coming here for many years, because of the isolation, and, being a rocky shore of wild tides, it is not the favorite haunt of surfers, bikini brats or the party crowd. You come here to be with Poseidon. You come here for serenity. You also would have come for great cheesecake and coffee, a few years ago!!

In the middle of a hillock stood a majestic hotel, much resembling the Stanley Hotel from THE SHINING.
My mom gigged here with her band in the 60's and I grew up coming here to play on the rocks. One fine day in 2008, I threw my kids in the car to treat them to cheesecake, which we would always have on the hotels deck, overlooking the sea.
When we arrived around the back, in the parking lot, however, I immediately knew something was seriously wrong.....

 Needless to say, the condition of the once beautiful garden had my heart sinking to my feet. We kept driving slowly, as I hoped we were just subjected to a lazy maintenance manager's feats.
But I was not so lucky.

 I noticed the main entrance and the tubular bay window that used to mark it, was now utterly vandalised. We decided that this was so shocking, we drove all the way across the city back to my house to get the video camera, because this was unbelievable. Here we were, expecting to have cake and tea on the great deck of the "MINETTI HOTEL" (As my mom called it), and arrived to find a ghost hotel with only memories inside its windows.

It was like a crew-less ghost ship, hovering in the place where it used to be a crown jewel, now nothing but a tarnished remnant of the gem it once was.

Armed, second time round, with our video camera, we parked the car in a hidden nook of trees and quietly decided to explore the corpse of the Minetti. And we were not disappointed.

The Reception desk still looked as always, relatively inviting.....
 The urine stains on the once beautiful, full wall mirrors, were no surprise....but it still infuriated me, that the vagrants have no fucking respect for true beauty from yesteryear.

Of course, all kinds of lame shit had to be scribbled by the half-brained in-breds who put them  there. Whatever is written on this mirror, does not even make sense in my language!

So we decided to brave the deeper bowels of the massive, sleeping titan I used to run the corridors of when my parents came for a drink. I could not believe the deafening silence that floated through this palace, raped and pillaged from her former brilliance of people and music and posh to-do's. The Shining really came to mind as we walked deeper into the hallways, because of the loneliness of the sound of the past being the only company....and the fact that I knew well how haunted this hotel was even in the days of its splendour.

The hallways I used to walk, where I could feel something rushing me off when I visited, had not lost it's sense of urgency, but now it was exacerbated by the destruction.

It was as if the hotel was ow angry for being gutted this way and that the inhabitants of her realm were simply waiting for fresh meat.

 Broken mirrors lay everywhere and the ropes you see here, used to line the walls of the corridors to give it a stunning nautical look. The sea used to rush softly in the background of the teeming life in the rooms and hallways, whereas now, the ocean rushes furiously through the deathly silence of the building, the wind howling through the emptiness like a lonely soul begging for redemption.

The bathrooms in the rooms used to be filled with luxuries, in a very old world, oceanic feel.

Now it was just shattered porcelain and waterless bath tubs.

We continued exploring the places that the staff would never let us go to. On the third floor, the manager and some staff rooms were located, as well as the store rooms and cupboards full of towels and sheets and all the housekeeping stuff. But first we had to pass THE CORAL, the famous Seaview Hotel Bar.

As we walked towards the door of the bar, we heard a radio on somewhere. Obviously, being trespassers, we hid in a corner for a while, but the radio music did not come closer. But it was not outside, it was in the hotel!!! Okay, its a huge hotel. It could come from anywhere. Who said we were the only trespassers? The evidence of transient vagrants were everywhere. The radio music kept playing, crackling every now and then like an old AM Frequency would. I decided to follow the sound and see where it comes from.

 The door to THE CORAL.
The radio music, like old jazz, became louder the closer we came to this door. Me, Ivan and Nush looked at each other, squealing with terrified delight.....then Ivan said : "After you...."

And so we entered in a line.

To our twisted delight, disbelief and paranormal getting-off...the radio continued playing right behind the bar ahead of us!!!
To the right of this room is a small dining room where I had a Christmas lunch with the engineering company I worked for in 2005.

I can not tell you how utterly eerie it was to walk into the room where we had a feast, and find nothing but solitude and damage.

The jazz kept playing behind the bar, louder as we approached the sliding door that led out to the famous outside deck where we used to have tea in the fresh ocean breeze, even on stormy days, so that I could feel the wet sea spray on my face.

My astonishment and paranormal wariness gave way slightly to a sad nostalgia as my eyes saw the testament of how even Rome could fall.
As we came to the bar counter, the music ceased suddenly. Dead silence where there was just a blaring jazz fest going on! I turned to the kids, motioning that there is no radio anywhere. There was not even electricity! The kids pulled their faces in a sign of serious creeped-outness and they made for the door. I followed suit without invitation. I could almost picture a half rotten bar tender laughing behind my back....

And so we found the stairs up to the "off limits" parts of the hotel. Through long, and I mean LOOOOONGG corridors, we ventured to see what was hidden there. The rooms were severely damaged of course, but the view remained breathtaking.

We each picked a place to investigate, but I told the kids not to leave the floor before we regroup. On the floor of the room I entered (above), I picked up a defiled Bible, scratched full of blasphemous symbols and some pages torn out. A knot formed in my stomach, because I knew well of these symbols. It was just then, that I felt someone behind me without question. It was more than one person, and I knew somehow that they were not my children sneaking up on me. The hair on my neck rose as I could clearly hear someone breathing behind me, but I tried to act like a skeptic and just called the kids to come and look at the view. I closed the Bible and dropped it on the floor, denying the Devil his lunch. Thank God.

This was the office of the manager, situated on the top floor. We used to call it "The Tower Room" because it was the only one facing the ocean that had this circular window.
Looks at the breathtaking view!

I swear, if I was a billionaire I'd live in this room, along with my pet ghosts from the old days frequenting my haunt.....see what I did there? LOL!!!

Anywho....we decided to go to the ground floor so that I can show them where Grandma and her rock band, THE SKELETONS (how apt) used to play on Saturday nights.

And so, dear friend, I led my cubs to THE BALLROOM....

It was as beautiful and vast as I recall, but again, the neglect just made me so sad. We danced on the open floor in a ring holding hands, like the Irish Faeries did....and it felt as if we were joined by the spirits of the dancers from the '50's who used to waltz and feast there. The floors creaked under our individual steps and a while later.... I felt an ice cold snake crawl up my spine. I looked about, and saw my kids were gone and I was alone in this massive hall.

I heard them discussing something nearby and found that they had discovered a trap door!!
See left, there is a trap door in the floor among the mess. There used to be a corner bar for the dance parties and apparently this trapdoor is where they stored the alcohol.

It was black as pitch in there in mid-daylight and I was almost thankful that I did not have a flash light. Sometimes NOT seeing is better. It was empty, though, and like Jack Sparrow, I wondered why the rum was gone :-)

After this we proceeded to the basement floor, where some staff had stayed when the place was "alive". The narrow little corridor led on into a dead end, though and we had to come back all the way to get to the back door, so to speak, a door "under" the hotel that comes out on the ocean side, down some old grass-eaten stairs and onto the rocks.

As we got right to the end of the corridor, we heard tables moving in the ballroom on the other side of the wall from which we just came. I went back up to see if there were vagrants or cops...but there was NOTHING. Not a living soul.

Still I heard right next to me, the shuffling of furniture in an empty ballroom!
My stomach churned and I hastened back to the children downstairs, who were shocked to tell me that something shifted in the farthest bedroom of the basement floor.
In all this discussion, we kept hearing tables moving. That was it. In broad daylight!

Our way out the back door, lucky as we were, happened to be past the ballroom, so we made a run for it!
As we ran past the ballroom, we heard an unholy crashing sound, two or three times, before we sprawled out the door in sheer paranormal panic.
It sounded as if a giant took two porcelain bath tubs in each hand and brought them down on the floor one by one as hard as he could, smashing it and the floor alike. 
As we scampered from the back door onto the back steps....we noticed that, inside the ballroom, it was deathly quiet!

The Stairs outside leading to the rocks.

If you ever come to P.E., come to Seaview and see if the chills chase you as you look up at the decrepit splendour of the land-bound Titanic....The Seaview Hotel : "Jewel of the Ocean".

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Voodoo imitating Life?

Now, as some of you know, I wrote a novel about Louisiana voodoo and creepy stuff in general. This might not be a huge ghost story, but I tell ya, it raised my hair somewhat. The coincidence was just too uncanny.

We were shooting the book trailer on my mother's farmhouse porch the first day. Watch the trailer, so that you will know what the porch looks like....

As we wrapped the scene, we switched off the camera and my mom teased me about the Kudu heart in my hands and how it reeked, when suddenly, from nowhere, the bottle of sherry, that I drink from in the clip, flew off the table and smashed at my feet!!

We just looked at each other, then joked about the real voodoo spirits we lured drawing the Veve's (sigils) of the various Loa (spirits) on the walls for decor. Our words had not properly left our mouths when the vase that held the roses, jumped and smacked against the OPPOSITE side of the wall from where it was standing!!! There was no explanation! No wind could blow it over....and it had been standing still for over 12 hours without even toppling once.

Of course my overly Christian mother started with her dooming warnings about my dance with "alternative" religions and how this proved that drawing Veve's indeed brought spirits she so clearly told me why she does not watch Amityville or Poltergeist.
"they come through the screen, Axy, " she always says. "they know we watch things about them, so they have power."

Well, maybe I should call a money god and prove her wrong ;-)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


*No, this is NOT about Eddie Izzard in a horror film*

Table Mountain, South Africa -- somewhere in 2010

In my hellish time in Cape Town I often yearned for the outdoors and all there was in the form of outdoors where you were (mostly) left alone, was the famous (and overrated) Table Mountain.

One time I recalled my kids and I walking on one of the "highways", as we called it --- pathways that were more like driving roads where the Rangers could drive their cars. It was a particularly quiet time late on a week day, so we were alone as far as earshot and visuals were concerned.

Even in broad daylight, the twisting road that coiled and disappeared over raised parts of the terrain lay in sinister silence. For once the sun had taken a time-out, thank goodness and it beautified the colors of the foliage and the rocks. Through the vast rows of trees we could hear the call of birds every now and then, but it gave us the overall effect that those calls came from another dimension instead of the same forest we stood in.

It had a melancholy loneliness to it and as we came around one of those sunken bends all three of us saw someone in a bright red head cloth/ turban round some trees, disappearing behind them in a nano-second! We all went :" Did you see that??"

And then my sadistic knowledge prompted me to recall and share with my children, the tale of the demon transvestite that lives in our folklore and I added: " That kids,......*scary face*......was Antjie Somers! OMG, let's just go. Let's just speed up!"

And among the kids' questions about my revelation and their alarmed rushing down the mountainside -- to my twisted delight --- I did in fact pass a few glances over my shoulder in secret, because I know the tales all too well. Did we in fact see ANTJIE SOMERS?

It is one of South Africa's most famous ghost stories, but because the origin of the thing has such an insanely varied spectrum of locations and stories, I will just give you an overview of what he is supposedly.

What we all agree on is that Antjie Somers is a supernatural cross-dresser who used to terrorize travelers and children alike. The old people of all races and cultures used to warn their children to be good or Antjie Somers would GET YOU!
This sprang from the legend that he was a ghoulish vagrant who could go invisible at will, who delighted in catching and eating children that would not listen to their parents and ultimately stray into the woods....kinda like a Little Red Riding Hood deal.

It is said that it was a man who dressed up as an old lady with a head scarf and a dress, with a basket hooked over his arm and if you crossed his path he would kill you and stuff you in his basket.

Two origins that I know of is that he used to be a Torturer/ Executioner for the Dutch colonials and when the British banned executions in the 1800's, the old boy had no livelyhood and ended up on his own noose! Now he walks on the slopes of Table Mountain looking for victims to feed his lustful greed for blood.

Another tale tells of Andries Somers, a fisherman who killed a man in self-defence, but had to dress like an old lady to avoid being captured and he carried with him his belongings bundled on a stick. When he finally found a new home in a small town, he became the object of mockery because of his women's clothing, being renamed "Antjie" Somers and he apparently eventually packed up and walked off, leaving no footprints, never to be seen again.....unless you find yourself on a deserted road at night in the Paarl or Table Mountain. [[[Insert ghoulish laughter here]]]

Somers also apparently comes from the fact that he only appears when it's Summer (See? Only demons like the South African summer!), but who knows who he REALLY is. The tales vary from historical, to spooky, to downright demonic in nature and there are just way too many versions of Antjie Somers.

One thing is clear though, he sure is a prominent spook, well-known for his diabolical powers and that should be enough to avoid deserted roads and hikes at night in the Western Cape, doncha think???

Monday, February 21, 2011


My beloved friend and fellow blogger, Sonnia, tagged me to do this and I tell ya, apart from waiting three days to get my son's cell phone for camera purposes, I found it exceedingly hard to re-verse myself in cursive script!!! And this is how I used to write on a daily basis!!! :-))

So, digressing from a SPOOKY post just this once, here is my handwritten post. Oh....ehh......BOO!!!

1. The name of your blog and the URL --- and then write "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."

2. Your favorite quote

3. Your favorite song

4. Bands/ music you like

5. Anything else you want to say?

6. Tag 3 other Bloggers

Whoah!! That took a lot of time and a lot of careful hand-working...hahahaha!
If I ever get a camera, I shall do more posts in handwriting -- I kinda enjoyed rekindling it.

Thanks Ladybug!!!

Friday, February 11, 2011


Elands River
, Eastern Cape, South Africa -- February 2011

Quick one.
Last week Nush went on camp with her school and after a particularly hairy misadventure in their cabin with, count 'em, FIVE tarantulas with an uncomfortable intelligence quotient, the girls decided to go and sit by the outside fire a few yards away from the cabins, even if they had to do so all night.

The camp is situated in the Elands River Valley, known for its outdoors activities and lodges. The pathway from the cabins to the fire, was a winding path downward under the canopy of some low branch trees. Nush decided to go ahead because her roomy decided to hang around the other girls' cabins a bit longer.

Through the dark she walked, still reeling from the arachnid shock (she is Arachnophobic in its highest degree) and enjoying the dark solitude of the quiet late night when she said she suddenly felt very ill, nauseous and looked about her, as she felt really uncomfortable in a mini-paranoia as she progressed down the path.

When she reached the middle of the stretch of path, almost out of the canopy and into the open area of firelight, she claimed that something came from her right and knocked her off her feet!!

She saw nobody coming at her. Just felt a force, like a body, shoving her violently off the path!!
Ever been in a moshpit?

The experience startled her so that she told me she could not recall how she got to the fire so quickly. When she told the resident counselor by the fireside, he just laughed and nodded.
Apparently it happens occasionally and it has become a source of great entertainment to those who know about it when they listen to spooked campers' stories about the invisible mosher in the outdoors who waits for anyone who elects to flee from the devil's eight leggeds in the cabin.