Bloemfontein – city of the supernatural


Alzane Narrain

Ghost stories are everywhere. Some people believe it and others don’t. Those ghost believers believe the Free State and especially Bloemfontein are full of “hair rising and cold thrills down the spine”-stories. Bloemfontein Courant spent a cold night with a ghost tour guide called Gideon de Beer. He showed us the spooky spots where urban legends originated.

One of these stories is about a beautiful woman dressed in white that seduces drunken men who drive across the dangerous bridge at the Show grounds late at night. Her mission is to cause a fatal accident. Her dwelling place is allegedly the mortuary next to the bridge. One just wonders that if everyone dies in these accidents caused by her, who told the story of a women walking in front of drunken men’s cars.

The ghosts of Bloemfontein are a dramatic lot. They are made up of murderers, victims, battlefield spirits and road-accident fatalities.
In the case of the woman in white no one knows why she is on the bridge or why she targets cars over weekends. Many have speculated that she comes from the mortuary located near the bridge or that she died tragically on that bridge and is now looking for her killer.

According to De Beer, Naval Hill has been the subject of culture and cult killings. Even though many people visit the top of Naval Hill during the day, very few dare to set a foot there when night falls.  If you are lucky you might hear musicians of yesteryear reliving their most prominent performances, a piano creeping down the passage in the Observatory, now known as the Sterrewag theatre.
De Beer further says that even though information is scarce, there are lots of reports of satanic cults abducting people and sacrificing them in an abandoned house on the top of the hill.

Ghost sightings have been reported at the ruin, but what people experience most is the sound of a man whispering for you to get out.
A girl mysteriously disappeared in 1961 at Jim Fouché High School and in 1967 the remains of a young girl, thought to be hers, were found underneath a newly built swimmingpool. To this day there have been reports of a series of strange events, such as flickering lights, doors opening and closing and a girl singing on the school premises.  With this city’s long and colourful history, from world wars to cult presence, it is understandable that Bloemfontein might have paranormal entities roaming around in the streets.