8 ‘haunted’ South African buildings even paranormal investigators find eerie, including an abandoned hospital where children haunt the neighbours
- Paranormal investigator Charmaine Roos, Phoenix Paranormal South Africa (PPSA), gave us a list of the 8 scariest places in South Africa.
- Roos did not disappoint with locations that include an abandoned hospital where child ghosts haunt the neighbours.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
As Halloween festivities get under way, we spoke with Charmaine Roos, a paranormal investigator at Phoenix Paranormal South Africa, who gave us a list of the 8 scariest places in South Africa that even they find eerie.
An original founder of the paranormal activities group, Roos did not disappoint with locations that include an abandoned hospital where child ghosts haunt the neighbours.
Roos and her team aren’t strangers to Business Insider South Africa. This is the same team that in 2018 gave us a list of the 5 most haunted buildings in South Africa that they had investigated, as well as a list of the most haunted hospitals in the country.
The team consists of sceptics as well as believers. They document their investigations using an arsenal of equipment from thermal cameras to EMF meters.
The list of scariest places in South Africa is well and truly eerie:
8. Abandoned Property in Pretoria
Situated just outside of Pretoria, Phoenix Paranormal South Africa investigated a crumbling relic of an era long gone, and untouched for more than 30 years. The mansion holds eerie traces of its opulent past.
“Most of the activity it seemed, took place in the garage. Here we found log books of entries dating back to the mid 80's, and we have caught EVP's (electronic voice phenomena) revealing a name written on one of the tins found in the garage, a ‘no answer’ responding to a question, a man coughing and a the sound of a man humming as we left the garage,” said Roos.
In the living room Roos say they picked up another EVP of a woman telling the team to "get out" as we entered the room, as well as various strange and unexplained light anomalies.
“There did not seem to be much activity in the bedrooms, save for a strange entity that our Kinect device (skeletal tracking system which can possibly pick up anomalies during an investigation) picked up, depicting an entity climbing up the wall and disappearing out of the window.”
7. Ewing Street, Benoni
Eerily, this house located in Ewing Street in Benoni is allegedly haunted by an old lady in a wheelchair, who can sometimes be spotted on the veranda.
Its homeowner, Gavin, has been living on this street since 1965. He recalls strange events from a toy car that just went hurtling across the floor by itself to his dogs repeatedly jumping and barking at something in the kitchen. He has also seen unknown apparitions outside, which he originally mistook for burglars.
Roos says a local claimed that when their family stayed, their parents would also tell him of similar stories: cats jumping against the walls and things moving on their own.
Another said their niece used to visit a friend staying on Ewing Street. They recalled her phoning her parents in the middle of the night, crying for anybody to come and fetch her. The girl claimed that real 'creepy stuff' happened that night, such as doors opening and a whispering in her ear.
“With vast claims of paranormal activity and fear among the locals, we cannot dismiss this as a local legend, as most of the encounters corresponds. Phoenix Paranormal has also in the past, investigated different locations in Benoni, and we have found some of them to be very active,” said Roos.
6. St Elmo’s Convent, KwaZulu-Natal.
This location situated 10 kilometres from Durban is any ghost hunter's dream, said Roos. St Elmo’s was erected in stages from 1918 until 1939. It was a Catholic convent used as a retreat for nuns of the Third Order of St Dominic as well as a remedial school for children with learning disabilities.
The Convent was forced to close down in 1994 due to a cut in government subsidies. If you visit it now you will find it in a dilapidated state in most places.
“Almost every window is broken, most of the Oregon pine flooring had been lifted and the building itself was stripped and ironically, someone had written on a dusty window the words: ‘God restore this place',” said Roos.
“When a group of friends dared to venture to the convent a couple of years ago, they stood before a closed door, and when they entered the room it suddenly turned very cold, as every hair on the back of their neck stood up. They immediately left. It is also believed that a spirit of a child still haunts the grounds,” said Roos.
5. House in Walkerville
This house in Walkerville, south of Johannesburg, has a dark history. Feared by locals, the story goes that its last two owners shot themselves in it.
“Who knows whether this is just an urban legend, local "hearsay", or is it in fact, a curse connected to a property which causes some of the inhabitants to take their own lives,” said Roos.
According to Roos, Walkerville is known for its abundance of run down and abandoned properties, and its fair share of ghost tales.
4. The Moors Castle Investigation
Situated in Muldersdrift, The Moors Castle is a popular venue for events and weddings. However this place left the investigators baffled and unnerved.
This is a place of ritualistic healing with a local legend of a "serpent lady" in the water. The team encountered apparitions of a Victorian era woman dressed in black, and heard screams near the river.
“We stumbled upon this location by chance, following up on a story about sightings of dark shadow figures in the woods. On closer investigation, our evidence would suggest that whatever is believed to reside on the property, is something unnerving.”
3. Westfort Leper Hospital, Pretoria
Lined with towering, majestic blue gum trees, this was once the only leper hospital in the country. Roos says the tranquility of this space dissipates once you drive through its boomed gate.
Westfort Hospital was closed in 1996 and has since fallen into disrepair. There is neither electricity nor running water and is now home to informal settlers.
“It is alleged that this is one seriously haunted village - apparitions of headless spectres; little children; and a black dog with glowing red eyes are just some of the entities haunting this village,” said Roos.
You can experience feelings of being watched, hearing running footsteps behind you and being chased by unseen forces she says.
2. Old Convent in Kroonstad
Situated on a site overlooking Kroonstad, the Convent was established in the early 1900's. During 1918, the school was turned into a hospital during the Spanish influenza outbreak.
The group say that the Convent lay unoccupied during the late 80's, and that is where things took a scary turn.
For those who have dared to venture into it and explore, they’ve experienced several unexplained activities: doors slamming shut, that then would not open from the inside; audible voices; shadow movement caught from the corner of their eyes; as well as feelings of being watched and being followed around by an unseen entity.
This is also the same location where people have found candles on the graves of the nuns and priests. Roos says that police analysed the candles and found they were made from human fat. Enough said.
Locals also tell tales of suicide - a priest who killed himself after being exposed for molesting young children. Also 2 nuns had allegedly jumped to their deaths from the building. Their ghosts are alleged to roam the halls of the old convent.
The convent is currently a school.
1. Homes surrounding the abandoned Kempton Park Hospital, in Johannesburg.
The abandoned Kempton Park Hospital, in Johannesburg, is a hot spot for the haunted said Roos.
Allegedly the hospital is also built on top of a ley line, which could act as a magnet for paranormal activity.
The location is a regular spot for ghost tours and for a good reason. Inside you’ll find dusty hallways with all manner of discarded medical equipment.
Roos says they are often asked to investigate it.
“It is common for most hospitals, and perhaps in this case its nearby surrounds, to be haunted. This is a hotbed for activity – where life meets death, and vice versa - daily. It gets fuelled by the extreme human emotions people experienced in this place, in turn sparking an extreme residue enough to leave an imprint on the environment, and thereby causing unexplained activity,” said Roos.
But, what Roos says is even stranger, is that the ghosts seem to have spilled out into neighbouring homes. One family experienced poltergeist activity whereby their curtains would frequently and inexplicably be opened, and their doors would shut with extreme force.
Other reports included that of a homeowner finding a trail of wet, childlike footprints strewn across his house. While another family living next to the hospital says they have encountered ghosts of little children who would play with their children's toys.
“Stories of locals residing close by the hospital have been surfacing for a while now. Witnesses say there has been much unexplained activity inside their homes. We believe this could possibly be linked to them living next to the infamous hospital,” said Roos.
One reason why they suspect so many childlike apparitions appear here is because they are the victims of “Dr” André Esterhuizen from the 1980’s. He was a high school drop-out who posed as a paediatrician at the now abandoned hospital and treated several babies who died. He received an 18-year prison sentence in May 1992.
“We have found that negative entities often pose as childlike spirits, thereby gaining your trust and at the same time harassing you with their oppressive nature. Abandoned buildings are sometimes known for less friendlier spirits because they are used to dabbling in the occult,” she said.
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