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CASTLE OF GOOD HOPE

(CAPE TOWN CASTLE)

CORNER OF CASTLE STREET & DARLING STREET, CAPETOWN, SA

+27 21 787 1260

Status: Former Military Fort; Tourist Attraction; Museum

Website

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History

This fort was built between 1666 and 1679. It was originally designed as a waystation for Dutch East Indian ships sailing between The Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). It was heavily fortified due to the ongoing threat of war with Great Britain.

The fort was updated in the late 17th Century changing the entrance and adding the bell – now the oldest in South Africa.

During the Second Boer War the fort served as a prison – even imprisoning the famous British spy Duquesne – with cells that still exist to this day.

In 1936 the fort was declared a National Monument and was extensively renovated in the 1980’s. The fort is the best historical example of a Dutch East India Company fort.

The fort is now the Castle Military Museum and home to the Cape Town Highlanders Mechanized Regiment.

 

Paranormal Activity

Phantom footsteps are heard between the bastions of Leerdam and Buren. One of the first ghosts reported at the castle – in 1915 – was seen here as an apparition of a man who jumped off the wall and then walked between the 2 bastions. Since the 1940’s an apparition has been seen accompanying the footsteps of a man with no legs. This ghost is thought to be that of a soldier who hung himself in the bell tower some 3 centuries ago.

The Grey Lady – named after the long grey cloak she wears – is thought to be the Lady Anne Barnard who lived in the castle in the late 18th century. She has been seen wandering the castle in her cloak and is most known for joining any social event held here. She’s also seen in the fort’s ballroom dressed in a period ballroom gown.

Disembodied screams and cries for help are heard coming from the Donker Kat – the dungeon – and a sucking like energy has been reported here as well pulling people toward the entrance.

It is very rare that people are granted permission to spend the night here but anyone who has tells stories of apparitions – even some who interact with the living – unexplained noises, touches, tugs and pulls by unseen presences and feelings of being watched and never being alone.

There is also a Lady in Grey – who may or may not be the same as the Grey Lady above – who is seen running through the castle crying violently with her face in her hands.

The bell in the tower will sometimes ring completely on its own.

The apparition of a large black dog is seen on the site that will often charge toward witnesses and disappear just short of jumping on them.

SOMERSET HOSPITAL

PORTSWOOD ROAD

GREEN POINT, CAPE TOWN, SA

+27 21 402 6911

Status: Operational Hospital

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History

This hospital is the oldest in South Africa.

Built between 1859 and 1864 this hospital was opened to replace another hospital with the same name on Chiapinni Street that had been founded in 1818.

The hospital was originally given it’s name from Lord Charles Somerset the Governor of the Cape Colony (as it was known then) who donated the land on which the first hospital was built on.

All the medical staff for the new hospital were brought over from the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing in London. In 1877 Sister Helen Bowden – a fully qualified nurse - was brought from England so the hospital could open it’s own nursing school.

It was the first hospital in what is now South Africa to train nurses who were not white. Unfortunately, in those times this was nothing short of a miracle.

From 1918 until 1937 this hospital was the main partner hospital with the University of Cape Town

Throughout out the 20th century until the end of apartheid in 1994 – finally putting an end to the segregated N and W wings – the hospital continued to grow.

In 2005 with the high incidence of AIDS in the area the hospital became the first antiretroviral distribution centre in South Africa.

Since 2010 the hospital has become a multi-use area with BBC Studios on the top floor for covering the 2010 World Cup, offices, restaurants and a museum of South African medicine.

 

Paranormal Activity

Stories of full bodied apparitions abound in this hospital. A blonde girl is seen in one of the washrooms forever brushing her hair. A nurse who’s eyes are pure white is known for suddenly appearing and helping patients who need it most before disappearing just as abruptly.

The ghost of Sister Henrietta Stockdale – who was instrumental in the passing of the Medical and Pharmacy Act in South Africa in 1891 – is often still seen in the hospital where she once practiced as a nurse.

Other Reported Activity: apparitions of former patients wandering the halls at night; shadow figures; disembodied voices and other unexplained sounds; objects moving on their own; light anomalies and feelings of not being alone.

KEMPTON PARK HOSPITAL

(KYALAMI HOSPITAL)(TRANSVAAL PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL)

CORNER OF ELGIN ROAD AND MIERVRETER STREET, KEMPTON PARK, SA

Status: Former Hospital; Abandoned; Government Property

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History

Built in 1978 this hospital was once a state of art facility in Kempton Park; a suburb of Johannesburg.

It was suddenly closed the day after Christmas in 1996 leaving behind millions of rands worth of equipment. There had been an announcement previous to this that the hospital would close down briefly due to staff shortages but it would not be closed permanently.

People who have explored the site have say everything was left behind – that the operating theatres could still be used – including all the equipment, beds and everything in a modern hospital in the mid-1990’s.

Equipment that is desperately needed in other hospitals.

At the time the hospital closed there were other grimmer and more personal discoveries found inside it’s walls including: blood spattered sheets, preserved human organs, medical waste and confidential patient files.

Curious, to say the least.

So why?

The official story is lack of staff but even that excuse is given very half-heartedly. Plans were even made to reopen the hospital in 2015. Studies costing large amounts of money were completed that found the hospital was intact and that it could be used again. But it never opened – again, with no real explanation.

There is also another story – which seems to have real merit – about a doctor who was practicing as a pediatrician with only a grade 8 education. This led to a number of fatalities in infants and many stories of disabilities that could have been healed or were specifically caused by the fraudulent doctor.

The doctor was charged in criminal court and had many civil lawsuits brought against him. However, this was never given as the reason for closing the hospital much less why it never reopened.

If true, such a disturbing story not being used and when the flimsy excuses that are being used are so see through it begs the question what is the true behind the closure? And why does the government want the building demolished so badly? 

Today the building seems to be being used for things like airsoft play wargames and urban exploration – paranormal investigations as well – but is also said to be heavily patrolled by security so it is unclear if any of these activities are sanctioned.

Newspaper articles in 2022 indicate the government is looking to demolish the hospital now despite the studies saying its suitable for reopening. One study says it was built to stand for 100 years and 2078 is a long way off.

Obviously, it would need an extensive renovation but that seems cheaper that demolishing an intact structurally sound building.

 

Paranormal Activity

Activity reported in the hospital: the apparition of a man who only appears as a dark figure; apparitions of deceased patients; phantom sounds of babies crying; shadow figures; disembodied voices and whispers; unexplained sounds like taps and loud bangs; electrical disturbances; light anomalies; cold spots; doors opening and closing on their own; touches, pokes and prods by unseen entities; unexplained mists and feelings of not being alone and being watched.

LORD MILNER HOTEL

MATIJIESFONTIEN AVENUE, MATIJIESFONTIEN, SA

+27 23 561 3011

Status: Former Military Hospital; 3 Star Historical Hotel

Website

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History

The hotel was built in 1899 by James Logan in the early years of the South African War (formerly known as the Anglo-Boer War). The entire surrounding town was used as a spa in the 19th Century.

There were 10,000 British troops occupying the town when the hotel was completed which assured its being turned into a military hospital and command centre. The building’s turret was also used as a look out.

During the early 20th Century, the hotel fell into disuse and was closed.

In 1970 it was opened again by a famous London Hotelier and now serves guest in a level of comfort one would not expect in small town South Africa. It provides its guest with an experience from a time in history when the world was not so rushed or modern.

 

Paranormal Activity

The ghost of Lucy is thought to be a woman who died in the building. Her apparition is very misty; she appears dressed in just lingerie and is reported as being very friendly to the living. She is most often seen either in the hallways or on the stairs.

Kate is a ghost who died at the young age of 19. She was nurse in the hospital and is said to have enjoyed playing cards with the soldiers recovering from their wounds. Her presence is usually felt with the phantom sounds of cards being shuffled as well as her laughter and disembodied voices. The card games, apparently, have gone long after her death.

The ghost of famed South African author Olive Schreiner – who wrote The Story of an African Farm at the hotel – is known for showing up in photos taken on the grounds. The most famous photo of her hangs in the hotel.

Apparitions of British Officers are seen looking out from the hotel’s balconies.

What haunted heritage building would be complete without a woman in white? The Lord Milner’s woman in white hangs out in the garden and is often seen wandering its paths.

Other Activity: apparitions of soldiers in the building and wandering the grounds; time slips; disembodied arguments and voices; unexplained noises including bangs and the sounds of dishes and glasses being smashed; light anomalies; electrical disturbances and feelings of being watched and not being alone.

ST ELMOS CONVENT

(ST ELMOS SCHOOL)

ST ELMOS ROAD OFF OF GOLF VIEW ROAD, UMZUMBE, SA

Status: Former Retreat and Convent; Abandoned

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History

The group of buildings that fall under the description of St Elmos were constructed between 1918 and 1939.

It was used as a retreat for nuns of the Third Order of St Dominic and as a school for children with learning disabilities.

It has been closed and abandoned – and repeatedly up for sale – since 1994. The government pulled funding for this type of religious structure leaving the Church unable to support the property.

Its in a stunning location on the shores of the Indian Ocean and even includes 400 metres of private beach.

 

Paranormal Activity

This location has been described as a ghost hunter’s paradise.

It is said to be haunted by both a priest and a nun whose apparitions have been seen in the buildings as well as staring out of the windows.

There is also said to be the ghost of a small child who does not appear but makes his presence known with a rapid and steep drop in temperature. Some reports indicate it gets so cold your breath can be seen.

Other Activity: unexplained mists; disembodied voices; phantom footsteps; electrical disturbances; light anomalies; objects moving on their own; phantom sound of someone breathing heavily and loudly and feelings of not being alone and being watched.