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 out....as 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.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Port Elizabeth Opera House, South Africa

Yes, the title line is a link to the website ;-)

This is one of the few remaining British buildings that had NOT been destroyed or renamed inappropriately by the "new" government and I am very thankful it is still standing, because it is the most beautiful little theatre, the oldest in Africa in fact, having being built in 1892.

Unfortunately I was unable to obtain any pictures of its fancy old world interior, but I have been inside for a production I went to see (in 2005, when I lived at a hotel a few yards away) and I must say, aside from the distinct ghost vibe in it, that of bygone patrons still having wine and standing amongst modern day guests, the interior does make one forget what era one lives in.

The curtains and carpeting lies regally in dark maroon and the wall decorations are laid in gold, giving it a very royal feel. The furniture and design of the balustrades are truly old English, with heavy Rosewood furniture and velvet drapes, and engraved posts along the majestic corridors and stairs that go up to the gallery. Even the odor in the Opera House is delectably musty, reminiscent of a well-kept museum, because, well, that is what it is.

The top end of the road with the modern Opera House on the left. This pic must've been taken VERY EARLY, as this road in the city center is usually overcrowded with Nigerian drug dealers, vagrants and hookers that makes it one of the most dangerous places in the city.

Today's story comes from Nush's one school friend, Matt.
He told us that he had gone to see a show there and was one of the first people to be seated up in the gallery. Matt had two friends with him who sat three seats in from the side isle and he seated himself two seats in, as not to be bothered by passing people selecting their seats.
He sat for a while chatting to his friends when he noticed a gentleman come down from the back of the entrance and seat himself right next to Matt in the first seat.

The old man was approximately 70 years old, well dressed and had a newspaper which he proceeded to read after he sat down. Matt greeted the old boy and the man returned his gesture with a polite nod.
And so they waited for the rest of the audience to fill the seats below on the ground floor when Matt passed a glance to the gentleman's newspaper, in which the old man seemed quite interested.
To Matt's surprise, the newspaper was dated 6 July 1956!!!

His body shivered at the oddity of it and he quickly turned to tell his friends of this in a most secretive whisper, of course.....but as he turned back and his friends peeked round, the old man had disappeared without a trace, never having walked out of the gallery area!
As they were seated toward the very front, they would have seen the man leave, because it took a bit of a walk to the exit and Matt only had his head turned for a second.

I guess the old man still enjoyed a good show now and then and like many other specters one can clearly feel in the Port Elizabeth Opera House, he fancied a bit of entertainment before joining his gravemates in a toast to bygone days.

Monday, January 31, 2011


Yellow Sands, East London, South Africa --- 2004

My mother told me once of something she had seen, that she experienced while looking for shells on the beach, that made her flesh crawl. I had put it out of my mind until her an I had recently had lunch at a restaurant with an ocean view and she recalled under her breath, the Ghost Ship she claims to have seen years ago and I finally asked her to recount.

It was in 2004, when her and my father had just moved to East London, on the south-east coast of South Africa. They had not found a house yet and so they had to stay at a holiday resort near his work in the meantime.
She is very fond of collecting sea shells, and therefore this is how she spent every day while my dad was at work. Yellow Sands, she said, was a retirement resort and the owners knew them, so they got a spot there. It was a private beach exclusively for the residents.

One morning at approximately 9am, she was walking along the pristine beach that stretched out ahead of her, looking for shells as always. She said that the morning mist had not cleared yet and she thoroughly enjoyed the cool fog that only allowed her sight a few yards ahead. She knelt to pick up a shell and when she stood up, her blood turned to ice.

Not more than 50 metres into the surf the mist revealed a ship, as high as her eyes could perceive it, about 5 stories, she guessed. At first she only thought it was scary for its size --maybe it was coming into the bay --- but then she realized that a ship of that size would not be able to be so close, if not running on the rocks nearby.
Then something else startled her. Had it been a ship coming in, it would have MOVED!

It lay in dead silence, not a stone's throw from the tide line at her feet, leviathan and sinister and reminiscent of a ship that would not have sailed after the turn of the century, for the giant ship in the mist here, was built of wood and rope!

It had intricate engravings and signs of craftsman skills from a time before our century. She recalled that it boasted four masts with dirty gray sails that fell triangular from the yard arms....therefore being a Barque or a three-masted Schooner, both of which, if I am not mistaken, are from the 17th to the19th Century.

And so she stood in awe, frozen in fear of the improbability and the sight of the massive wooden vessel trapped on the rocks hidden in the mist around her, and the relentless silence that the fog brought, as it does while it envelopes one in a shroud of a forgotten world that left no witnesses apathetic to its story.

As she told me the story, I could see the hair on her arms stand erect and gooseflesh so taut, that it became contageous and I felt mine follow suit. Her eyes widened as one by one, we debunked the probabilities of it NOT being paranormal.
It was too big to be that close to the shore.
It was wooden andfixed with tar.
It was lying dead still.
It was on the rocks that surfaced near the shoreline when the tide was low.
All this convinced us that our debate for realism was running thin and we realized that it had to indeed have been a bona fide GHOST SHIP.

I asked her if maybe it was a wreck that was rotting on the rocks....(yeah, and it has not rotten away in a million ebbs and flows since 18-what-the-fuck? Unlikely.)

Every doubt in my mind that it was spectral was cast out when she told me that she looked down on the sand, because it scared the crap out of her, and when she looked up, it had completely disappeared!!!! Like mist before the sun....which was exactly what revealed the geography of the beach to her.

The fog evaporated and the day was clear and there was no vessel trapped on the rocks, no ship in sight and only her tracks lay in the sand now, witness to her presence there that morning and no sign of the giant vessel that had visited Yellow Sands' rocks in the mid of morning in the plain light of day.

Friday, January 28, 2011


I sat in the dusky room, lit solely by the flashing blue light of the TV.

Nothing interesting was on, so I decided to read some documents on my computer. The screen was on the lowest illumination because it hurt my eyes when the rest of the room is dark. The words danced mockingly in front of me as I felt my energy drain and the fatigue caused me to momentarily doze off.....and awake more alert.
All the different hues and flashes in blues, grays and purples had me in a trance of semi-sleep and the Sandman had definitely paid me a visit already.

In all this, a carnival of letters and punctuation, I suddenly heard a soft sigh. It came from no particular part of the room ---more from
everywhere in the room.

A sigh. Just a sigh.

No distinct emotion or intention, just a....sighhhhh........

I looked over the screen of my laptop and there he stood in the doorway.

Not a day older than nine, dressed in old clothing from the 1920's or so, he stood looking me square in the face.
Well, I guess he was, because the little darling had absolutely no face! No face!

He just stood there and sighed with his faceless body and then I felt the numbness in my legs become unbearable. What I saw made my heart explode in my chest. Where his eyes were supposed to be, blood seeped from the luminescent skin and his sighing just escalated into full-on panting. Then his neck snapped hard and quickly to his left and he promptly disappeared.

I still don't know if this was real or not, so that is why I'm up right now, typing in the ill-lit room of TV florescence and eerie computer shadows, ready to look up over the screen....... right.......... about.............now............

Sunday, January 16, 2011



I open my eyes to an inexplicable impulse. The dark wraps itself around me like a cocoon and I feel the atmosphere stop. Just stop.

It ceases to breathe around me and I feel its silent constriction take hold of my uncertain mind. It’s alive, you know. The dark lives. It moves and breathes and shape shifts all the time, but it usually leaves me alone. Not tonight. My ears start hissing. At first it’s very subtle, then it grows louder here in my mind, hissing like a thousand snakes in the house of the sun beetles. Hissssssss….

Where is the night? My eyes widen under the peer pressure of my sanity. I make them see reason, but they refuse me and show me the truth. The dark blankets my vision, like a solid entity. Now, I’m aware of it. It will not be denied. I stop trying to make sense of it and I just admit to myself – the Night Things are here.

The silence is deafening now. All sound seems to be locked away from my room. The hissing progresses into a horrible feeling of helplessness in the back of my mind and I become aware of the tiny hairs on the back of my neck raising. More. More, it becomes more taught with every moment I spend in this nocturnal purgatory. Eventually it feels like an invisible hand pulls my skin so tight that I fear it will rip from my flesh. Tight, my skin pulls my hairs and I hear them, sucking the life from the darkness. The reverse reverb of the dying atmosphere glides in my ears and I know they will make themselves known to me soon.

My body feels incredibly heavy, like dead weight, impossible to lift. All my muscles strike in rebellious weakness and I can not move. I can not move! Eyes wide, vision naught.
The dark stands still in inanimate shock. The air is void of movement, too. I struggle to breathe as the entity lays it’s weight on top of me. Heavy. Heavier. Pressing harder by the second, it crawls over my entire body like an inevitable shadow, growing at dusk. Finally my whole body succumbs to it’s strength. Any resistance is futile, wasted. Like a black wall of death, it covers me, bringing with it, all the emotions in the rainbow of Hell.

Tears won’t come. Vocals absent. I can not call for help, nor cry out my desperate panic. Still I see nothing there!
My ribs feel like snapping under the pressure of the invisible intruder and I can swear I hear laughter…a cackling of whispery delight, emanating from a myriad of imps, obviously surrounding my bed. The demonic choir play audience and feed on my fear. I make them strong. I hope for the aid of Angels, but they stand afar, allowing me this well deserved torment. My heart stops. My lungs implode and my skeleton breaks in defeat. I’m so alone, lonely. I’m frightened beyond comprehension and I stand alone, my soul for the taking. An open invitation. A fortress breached. I become possessed by every horrible emotion the Devil deals. Hope eludes me as they snicker all around me. They have become the night. Darkness possessed, infested by the devil’s minions.
I feel sickly flattered. Flattered for their attention. They came all the way from the depths for me. For me.

Innocently – unaware of it all - my room remains silent. Ignorance personified. The digital time, suspended in the dark, calls out in crimson that my hell has not progressed beyond its initial commencement! It is another illusion. Time and space is frozen to the Nightmare and his devil friends. Fiends. I can feel every single soulless imp, dancing in victory as I suffocate here under the Incubus.

I wait. I allow. I submit. I yield. Let him have his way. Let him do whatever he is here to do. And he does.
Then he lifts, very gradually. Lighter now, but far from gone, my body lifts with lungs filling, but still void of movement. Finally, I scream. I scream with all the screams of a lifetime, my throat raw with friction and I sit up at once, wondering what the slumberers in this house will think. But they don’t hear me. The final part of my scream dies in the new darkness. Audible once more.

Still I am too terrified to move. I look around the room and it all looks the same, but something is different now. It is as if all the furniture saw and they know….
My paintings look at me with an ugly lifelikeness that makes me shiver and I’m sure they know too. I feel an overwhelming desire to switch on the television in a desperate attempt for company. Movement. Life.

What will happen if I get up? Will I be challenged by the Night Things as soon as I start for that tiny button? It becomes my sole objective now. I need to get to the power button, no matter what. Or they will get me. This night they will take me. Pretending to be unafraid I stand up, my heart pounding, fed by adrenaline and my entire being pitched sharp for anything that should move, but my face remains expressionless. They must not know. My fear is my secret and so it must stay.

The dark dances around me as I start my seemingly impossible feat. I accelerate towards the TV and I quietly beg my legs to hold me. They buckle and shiver with frailty, but I force them to work. As I move, I can feel that deformed dwarf pursue me and I make for the other side of the room. A tingle shoots up and down my back and through my legs, but I must not be kept from my target. I progress very slowly, for the fear runs thick in my blood, my ice cold blood. It feels as if something holds me back. Like walking uphill on a treadmill moving in the other direction. I seem to stay in one place, advancing in slow motion, but I push with all my effort and, as I hit that blessed button, I can almost feel their icy talons take hold of my hand, albeit too late for capture.

The wonderful light of the tube paints the whole room blue and my relief is immeasurable. I feel the life return to my body and I wait happily for the screen to bring me visions of, well, anything really. I sit back down to relax and my eyes fall on the only channel available. To my dismay I realize it is EVIL DEAD, my all too recent experience mirrored on the screen by demonic zombies and animated corpses, attacking humans to the music of hellish sound effects and distorted voices from Hell itself.

Quickly, my mind plays a game of pro’s and cons with itself and within a split second, I get up and switch it off.
Back in the stuffy blackness of the night, I return to bed and await once more, the Night Things.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Eerie religion?

Port Elizabeth, South Africa, last night

I had to share this, because it has a subtle paranormal feel.
Last night I prayed to the four Achangels....I'm a Pagan, we do things a tad differently. I felt like my prayer was a bit empty. As if I was not focused or as if I was not being heard.
Although I kept looking at the candle in front of me to see any unusual movement, the flame remained perfectly still.

I lost a bit of faith, and asked the angels to prove to me that they were there, because I could not feel them. But still nothing happened and I eventually completed my ritual and blew out the candle. I went to put away my candle and incense and such, and when I rounded the kitchen counter (right next to where I cast my circle) I noticed something that sent chills up my spine!!!

A napkin was standing upright on the counter!
A TISSUE napkin, not a strong one made of fabric. It was folded in three, vertically, when I last saw it, folded up, if you will to be put away later.

And here it stood on one of its sides, vertical, without falling!!!

I felt my hair stand on end when I reached out to touch it, but nothing strange happened after that.

I took the napkin and put it away in the drawer, smiling at this obvious revelation that physics as we know it is no match for the supernatural.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


While I established this blog for mostly my and my family's OWN paranormal experiences, I have noticed that I have SEVEN FOLLOWERS now and maybe I could vary my stories more widely. The title of the blog is in Afrikaans, so I thought to maybe include ghost stories from South Africa in general.

Did I mention I have 7 Followers??? LMAO!
Yes, I'm not used to being this popular, so I guess since I have not had any ghost hunting opportunities lately, my readers might get bored without a good juicy spook tale every week or so.....those of which I seem to have run out of for the time being.

So, a hearty, chilly welcome to my followers.
I shall tell you something from the country I reluctantly call home.......

Kaapschehoop, Mpumalanga, South Africa

I used to live in the Lowveld of the Mpumalanga Province and I always said that, if I have the misfortune of dying in South Africa, I would like to be buried on the mountain of Kaapschehoop, a beautiful little village on top of a mountain crest just outside Nelspruit in the eastern part of S.A.
Have you ever visited a place that feels like home immediately?
A place where you could virtually hear the faeries giggle?
Kaapschehoop was mine.

It is almost always cloudy, because of the altitude of the village and very much resembles Ireland when the mist is nigh and if you listen closely through the impenetrable white of the fog, you can hear the hoof falls of the phantom horses. I know. I actually heard it myself.
Right next to me, behind me, not a stone's throw away. Had it been real horses that close, I would have seen them. These horses are said to be the horses left by the British soldiers after the Anglo-Boer War, and still, the road signs warn of both the living wild horses, as well as the phantom ones :-)

Kaapschehoop used to be a tiny collection of houses where the gold prospectors of old settled.

To this day, most of the little homes remain unchanged, and there is a distinct vibe about the place, as if you are merely a visitor to another time. It is now the settlement of B&B's and art galleries, and of course, my personal favorite, a little biker bar where the locals welcome you with open arms, a guitar jam and a beer.....(maybe it was because I drove a 1972 Ford Fairlane V8 and looked all cool )

In the 1950's, a mother and her child burned to death in what is now one of the pubs. It is said that you can hear the child calling hysterically for its mother in the dead of night.
Also, the laughter of children can be heard among the rocks outside where I used to hike.

The graveyard looks like something straight out of a beautiful old ghost story.....about 200 years old, I often went to picnic there and reveled in the obvious presence of the curious spirits that would casually stroll through me at times.....it was both terrifying and absolutely magical.

And then of course, there was the horses.
You can hear their heavy hooves in broad daylight, sometimes a neigh a few yards off and upon investigation one would only find empty rows of trees.
This is the ghostly town, still caught in history, rife with the vibrations of inhabitants who refuse to relinquish it to a new era.
And I absolutely LOVE IT.

This was the jail back in the day.....
Can you imagine the EVP's and apparitions one would get from this building if one were to stay over night? Aaahhh....one of my wet dreams.