Sunday, January 31, 2010

My first Poltergeist

This is just a similar looking house and basic set-up of the house in the following story.

Bethal, Gauteng, South Africa, 1980

I was 7 years old when we went to visit my uncle Jan and aunt Lizette on a smallholding in the old Transvaal (now called Gauteng) province. They had just moved there and I'll remember that weekend forever.
It was an overcast day and when we arrived I could not even see the house. It was enshrouded in dense trees and I remember the atmosphere being dark. Like the house was in another dimension.
It felt like time stood still there. The house was painted white and looked a bit run down, but inside it was vast and beautiful. It was virtually empty, because they had just moved from a regular sized 3 bedroom home and did not have nearly enough furniture to fill this huge house. Many of the rooms were empty which just made it feel more melancholy.

Maybe it was the overcast weather, but it seemed very dark in the house, even though a lot of rooms had massive windows with no curtains, so you'd expect a lot of light coming in. One of these rooms were at the very end of the house and resembled a ballroom of sorts. Either that, or it was an extremely large dining room. It had to base walls and the rest of it, were windows, like a giant bay window! The floors, you guessed it, were wooden and some of the furniture were very old, like a few wardrobes and side boards, that were already in the house when they moved in.

I overheard my aunt tell my mom that she hates the house and it scares the life out her, but they did not want to discuss it around me and sent me out to play. My dad and uncle were going out that night to go fishing, leaving the women home all night. There was a loud machine outside among the bushes next to the house and my uncle told me it was a generator, because they had no electricity. The immediate vicinity outside the house was ominously quiet --- no birds or crickets and such, just the horrid generator idling on and on. I stayed away from the various little out buildings, most of them filled with old farm tools and fire wood.

The men left at 8pm or so and it was getting dark, because it was summertime and the sun only set about that time.
This was hands-down the most terrified I had EVER been in my life. And although not much happened to me that night, I wish I could describe the terrifying atmosphere of rage and despair in the house. It was like walking into a wall and you could almost hear the static in the air.

I remember being quite bored, as they just sat in the kitchen all night.
In hindsight, I'd take the boredom over what was to come anytime!

We took baths in shifts, with the other two "standing guard" right by the door. It was a creepy old bath. I dunno what the real name for it is, but it was a beautiful old free-standing bath tub, but I remember it being very cold, like a winter crispness in the bathroom. They put me to bed in a makeshift cot in the ballroom of all places. I remember looking at the black trees outside the windows and thinking there is only glass between me and whatever was hiding out there! But I dozed off later.

I woke up when the generator was turned off for the night, the silence deafening. At once I felt dreadfully alone and listened to my mom and aunt whispering far off in the house. I dared open my eyes and vaguely saw the lamp light of the paraffin lamps they lit, wandering down the corridor to their rooms.

It was quiet. Dead quiet. So quiet that I could never sleep. It felt like time stood still. No stirring of anything.
Then I heard a door open and shut quite loudly and obviously.
My mom scared the shit out of me, coming racing down the corridor in hysterics with her lamp, sweeping me up in her arms and running back to my aunt's room as if the devil was at her back. More than anything I remember the pounding of my heart that night. Even while nothing happened, my heart was racing.

We all got into my aunt's bed together, and I recall the two women were adamant on keeping their lamps on all night. We settled to sleep, feeling as safe as we could. We were all together, in light, so there was a bit of comfort.
My aunt's voice cut the silence like a knife : "It feels like someone is looking at me"
I will never forget that. The words cut through my soul like an ice pick. I tried not to open my eyes as I got the sensation that someone was indeed looking at us and I was convinced that, if I opened my eyes, I would stare into the face of something evil. I opened my eyes slightly and all I saw was a calendar on the wall. The light in the room was yellow and in the mirror I saw my aunt get up briskly to shut the bedroom door off the corridor. My heart almost stopped as my 7 year old eyes caught sight of Lizette's shadow on the wall, distorted by the lamp's fire light, swiftly sliding along the old walls of the room like a witch intent.

She closed the door and literally ran back to the bed.
At once it felt like we were now fair game, as if we just made our presence known to whatever it was and it was on!
And it was on!

I listened to Lizette and my mom whisper hysterically to each other and Lizette kept saying : "It's him!!! It's him!!!!"
Apparently a farmer who owned the house shot himself when his crops failed a few years before.
Her high pitched hysterical whisper was hardly done when we heard a door slam so hard, as if it was coming off the hinges from the force!!!! They screamed next to me and I started crying.
The windows shuddered from the force of the door and my mom held me so tightly that her fingertips dug into my skin!

We could hear heavy boots walk down the corridor, towards the room. I thought I was gonna die when it paused in front of our door, my heart exploding with every beat. Then it continued onward as I listened to my mom and aunt's terrified whimpers.

Then it was quiet for a bit and the women decided to stay awake and chat to relieve their nerves. It comforted me somewhat and I fell asleep. Much later I awoke with a piss like a racehorse......which had been the cause of much of my distress in supernatural situations throughout the years. Many more stories there. LOL!!!!

I found my mom and Lizette fast asleep and did not know what to do. I was relieved to hear some crickets outside while I was contemplating peeing in my pants :-)
Eventually I worked up the courage to wake my mom and break her the bad news.
She was not angry or anything, but I could hear the fear in her voice when she said we should make it quick. We got up and as we neared the door, Lizette whispered :" No way I'm staying here alone" and grabbed her lamp.

Now, going down that corridor was something I will never forget. Just the feeling, the vibe. I had never been that scared since in my entire life! It felt as if Farmer John was following us with his half blown off head and a 12 gauge in his hands. There was that consistent tingling in my tummy as far as I walked. You know when you are so scared that you want to walk INSIDE your companions? You don't wanna be in front. You don't wanna be in the back. You don't wanna be in the middle. Hell, it could grab you from above, for all you knew. THAT is how I felt.
Our hair stood on end as far as we walked and when I finally got to pee, I already dreaded the walk back.

We did a brisk run-walk back to the room and I tried not to see how pitch dark, matte black the corridor was and I tried not to think about what would happen if Lizette's little flame went out from our rush!!!!
We cruised into the bedroom, slammed the door and jumped right back into bed. It was now 3am, I remember as my mom asked Lizette the time. Yeah, 3am......the real witching hour.

Farmer John must've woken up from our minor disturbance. Once more the boots trod down the wooden floor towards the room where I would have slept!! The ballroom with its wardrobes. We held our breath in shivering silence as we listened tot he footfalls going up the corridor, into the ballroom and then we heard him opening the wardrobe doors and drawers, as if to look for something. He was frantically looking for something, slamming the drawers shut and slamming the doors. Then he came thundering down towards the kitchen and proceeded to slam the cupboards violently, and shattering glass, smashing the dishes all over the floor with such violence that my aunt for some reason grabbed her shotgun and pointed it at the door.

It would not have helped, but I guess she was so spooked, she felt that she needed to protect us.
The ruckus continued in the kitchen and then we heard the back door creak open and slam shut, as if to rip it out of its hinges. A loud gunshot shattered the air and echoed away, and it made us jump. My mom and I both looked at Lizette, cause for some ridiculous reason, we thought it may have been her shotgun.

It was suddenly dead quiet.
Lizette sat with her shotgun, talking to my mom until the sun came up and I felt like my eyes were swollen and my entire body was exhausted. We went to the kitchen because we had to go and switch on the generator for some much deserved coffee. There was no evidence of any disturbance!!!
There were no smashed plates, no open drawers, no broken glass and the door was still LOCKED!!!!
Lizette seemed completely unfazed by the phenomenon and unlocked the door to go out. When the men returned my mom told them of our nocturnal ordeal. My dad, a skeptic, laughed and mocked the "hysterical bitches" all day long, but my unle remained silent and just laughed along, but the look in his face told all who beheld it that he was very well aware of the night we had experienced.

Research and heresay:
Years later my mom called me all excited and told me that she met some people at a party who lived in Bethal for years. They apparently knew about that house from word of mouth. Family of theirs knew the people who stayed in the house and there were stories in town about how the farmer had stashed some money in a secret drawer and apparently his wife took it with when she left him after the crop failures.

When he needed the money and frantically searched for it, and could not find it, he lost all hope and shot himself.

I never went to Bethal again.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Angry soldiers?

Grahamstown rural, 2008

While we lived in P.E., my daughter went to visit a school friend and I was told her parents were "loaded" and had a farm near Grahamstown, where I usually have my films screened at the Arts Festival. So this is what she told me after she returned two days later, quite spooked and excited. It is a desolate farm, flat and empty with red soil, save for the dry bushes and thorn trees, typical of the Eastern Cape climate and plant life.

Nush was told that the house is haunted, but she dismissed it as fun small talk....until she saw it.
It was a typical old farm house, huge and cool with a stoep (porch) that goes all round the house. Inside the ceilings were high and intimidating in its majesty. The corridor ran high and long into the bathroom at the end. And this is where the girls had their first encounter that Saturday night.

Lizbe, Nush's friend, decided to take a bath and asked Nush to keep her company. Now, I raised my kids very privately. We never share baths or come in when someone is peeing or bathing and such, so she thought it odd that this chick did not mind her parking her ass on the toilet lid while she was taking a bath. But she kept her friend company, nonetheless.

Now we know why......
The tub was filled and the tap closed. Lizbe stripped in the corner and Nush parked on the toilet. As Lizbe was about to get in the bath, both girls were astonished to see an invisible hand run strongly up and down through the water!!!! Like someone was testing the water.

They bolted out of the bathroom and ran straight into the guestroom, which was apparently the worst thing they could have done, because it was the most haunted room.
After composing themselves and trying to find some rational reason for the water disturbance, they each had a bottle of Coke and chilled out on Lizbe's bed. There were two single beds in the room, but they both sat on the one bed.

As they were chatting, the bed started rattling a little, stopped, and then slowly began to slide. They thought....or shall I say was maybe a slant in the floor that made it slide under their weight, but then the bed violently shifted and ploughed into the other bed!!!! They squealed and sat dead still, as not to piss it off.
All calmed down.

They started talking about what to do, as Lizbe's parents did not believe her before and they dreaded the night ahead. While they talked, Nush's Coke bottle flew off the dressing table and crashed against the opposite wall, sending the two girls screaming down the big corridor and they took refuge in the small TV room, where two lamps were shedding very welcoming light.
They watched TV for a bit and every few minutes the room would turn icy cold. Every time the cold spots came, the TV screen would show static.

They decided to try and brave THE ROOM again.
As they left the TV room, both lamps died simultaneously!!! Needless to day, the girls decided on an all-nighter.

Another blatantly creepy thing that happened earlier that evening: The girls were all over the farm with quad bikes. All afternoon. At dusk, they made a move to the house, as it was "not wise to be outside after dark". Lizbe knew the roads much better and sped ahead of Nush, leaving Nush pretty much alone on the ridge, at dark dusk.

Nush told me that she was driving really slow, because she could not see the road and ditches very well in the dark and did not want to speed on unknown terrain. She looked ahead to try and find Lizbe ahead of her, and then she saw a sight that made her blood run cold.

All around her, like an old camp site, she saw light grey shapes take form into what looked like soldiers from a forgotten era. Anushka did not know anything about Grahamstown's history at the time, so that is how I know she was serious. She saw soldiers take shape and walk around as if they are in a military camp, surrounding her completely. The fear numbed her legs and she was unable to call out to Lizbe. At once, her adrenaline kicked in and she revved her quad bike into action, jolted out and sped down the black road she could hardly see.

I did some research on the area around Grahamstown and lo and behold, there it was!!! This farm was part of a military post in the 1800's !!! Anushka was not impressed :-))

"In 1812, the Colonial Office in Whitehall received a dispatch informing them that Graham had succeeded in his task by using “a proper degree of terror”.

The war of 1811-1812 was in fact a very nasty and bloody conflict, unlike the earlier skirmishes. Stockenstroom was killed and Graham was lucky to escape with his life.

Before the action in which Stockenstroom died he and Graham were scouring the countryside and looking for a place where they could establish a military base.

They came across an overgrown and abandoned Boer farm called the Rietfontein which seemed to be a most ideal spot, and the military base began to grow. The tree which they sat under is now marked by a plinth in High Street. Cuyler named it in Graham’s honour and called it Grahamstown."

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My brush with African Black Magic

The wonderful thing about this event, was that we only realized that it was supernatural in nature after it was over. At the time, all I felt was awe and excitement, as I usually do when something unexplained happens to me. After re-running the chain of events in my head, fear hit me like a ton of "what-ifs"......

It was Barberton, 1999.
I had been retrenched from my well-paying job in Pretoria and had to relocate, against my will as always, to my parents' house on a farm where my dad worked at a meat processing plant there.

Barberton is a very old town in the province of Mpumalanga ("place where the sun rises"), the old Eastern Transvaal of old South Africa, situated in the north-east of the country and known for its incredible beauty. Mountains and forests stretch as far as the eye can see, and the area is known for forestry, mostly. The atmosphere reminds me a lot of what I imagine Santa Fe must be like, without the desert ---- motorcycle rallies are held throughout a myriad of small old miner towns that all have their own appeal of old world charm. A very laid back, faerie kinda place.

Now I'm not big on research when it comes to things and places I know, so what I am about to tell you about the entity in question, is just what I heard from the local Black people throughout the years, and if you Google it, you might find something slightly different. I prefer to know what I hear from the peoples whose culture this thing belongs to. That's enough for me.

On the farm were resident workers who lived up the ridge from where my parents' house was. Among them a matriarch called "Betty"......her "White" name. A forward, loud old Black woman who adored me and the kids and constantly stopped by to help us in the garden and such, but she was sometimes a bit of a nuisance and over-zealous and when my mom politely told her off, you could see her demeanor turn dark. Betty was known as a practitioner of "muti"....the dark version of New Orleans "hoodoo" and then some ;-)

One night, my mom, dad, children, and a few friends were hanging out in the living room. It was about 8pm and as always, we were jamming on the guitar and they were drinking and chatting. Somewhere during the conversation, we heard an unbelievable noise in the ceiling. We all kept quiet and listened. It sounded like something big dragging itself along the length of the house. We were used to having cats and snakes in the ceiling so we weren't too alarmed. We figured it was a big cat and we continued our conversation.
The sound became much louder, as if to drown out our voices. It dragged so heavily in the roof now that we looked at each other in amazement, guessing amongst ourselves what thing THAT BIG could have gotten into the ceiling in the first place.

Then it started dragging chains. At one point we actually thought whatever it was dragging would come cutting through the ceiling boards and fall on us. It now moved overhead, stunning us with its apparent size and weight. It was as if there was a horse up there, dragging a multitude of iron chains and spikes behind it. But no distinct footsteps, just the leviathan dragging sound, deafening us!!!

My dad went to call King. King was a teenage boy from the settlement nearby and we always had him round to take bees nests out of the ceilings. He seemed to be immune to bee stings.....and to fear, at that! King crawled up into the ceiling for us and we could hear him walk from the entrance to where we were in the living room. All was silent. King's footsteps covered the whole length of the house and back and his muffled voice announced that there was absolutely nothing in the roof....not even cats. He was alarmed when we told him what the disturbance was, but I will not disclose it at this point.

He left and the party continued. Chatting, laughing, sounds of the kitchen kettle.......and BANG!!!!!! It started again. Right above our heads, the clanging of the chains, almost slamming into the ceiling boards, as if the thing had grown angry. Like a fucking HORSE!!! I was just waiting for the ceiling to cave in on us. We decided to ignore it and my dad asked me to sing.

Now here is the weird part:
You know how they say that music soothes the beast? I expect that's true, cause as soon as I'd start singing, the sound would die down and eventually cease. The moment the song is finished, the banging and dragging would become exceedingly violent, and we'd hear giant nails scratching at the roof, as if it was clawing its way through!!!

I'd start a new song and it would die down again......quietly listening to my voice. Dead silence. Not a twitch while I sang. Even without the guitar I would sing and nothing was there. As soon as I'd stop the ruckus would continue. This went on until 10pm or so and it became an amusing experience for all of us. A kind of game.
"Lets see if he likes country music or hard rock ballads....this is a Poison ballad..." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Eventually it stopped and did not come back. It remained quiet and to this day we have not heard that again. Anywhere.
King told us he thinks its a Tokolosh......a demonic "baboon man" that is usually sent to kill victims of a Sangoma or black magic witch.

Morne, one of the guys there and an old school friend of mine, affirmed this.
His father was a kind of exorcist, specifically dealing with Muti and African Black Magic. They once chased down a Tokolosh in a family's home and the father of the house cornered it in the shower, where it reached out and grabbed him, scorching its hand print into the man's arm....where it sits black in burned flesh to this day.

Who knows what would have happened if we did not fight this thing with MY POWER?

The Power of Melody!!! :-))

Friday, January 22, 2010


I have been wanting to do this since last year, but never had the time or patience.
This is a blog for ghost stories I have heard and also a lot of things that had happened to me. Ghost hunting has always been one of my passions and now I feel I want to create another space I feel perfectly at home in ---- THE NETHERWORLD and its tales.

From a very early age all kinds of spooky things have happened to me, and I want to share my creepy experiences with others who believe and those who just enjoy a good chilling tale.

Take note: I don't want any shit from anyone here. You are welcome to comment, but I want everything in good fun and creepiness. This is not my attempt at proving anything and its certainly not a place for self-proclaimed scientists to come and spoil the fun for ghosty freakies.

The next AND FIRST story I post will be the most chilling and strange thing that had happened to me in Barberton, South Africa, back in 1999.