News / Africa

On the Paranormal Prowl with South Africa’s Ghost Hunters

  • A GPS member pores over old documents during a probe of an abandoned hospital near Johannesburg where they recorded a very loud noise “like a man that took in his breath. We have no logical explanation for that sound.” (Photo Courtesy the Gauteng Paranorm
  • GPS investigators listen to audio recordings they’ve made, trying to find evidence of a haunting in Pretoria. The owner of one house said that was the voice of her father humming a favorite tune. (Photo Courtesy the Gauteng Paranormal Society)
  • GPS members at the scene of an alleged haunting near De Deur, where a father accidentally decapitated his daughter and her boyfriend while they riding a motorcycle. (Photo Courtesy the Gauteng Paranormal Society)
  • GPS investigated a “haunted” building near Johannesburg where their devices measured high electro-magnetic fields, “bundles of energy” that indicate the presence of ghosts. (Photo Courtesy the Gauteng Paranormal Society)
  • Paranormal investigators examine photographs they’ve taken for evidence of a ghost. They believe the Pretoria bar was haunted by a man who died in a fight over a game of pool. (Photo Courtesy the Gauteng Paranormal Society)
  • The GPS often investigates abandoned buildings for evidence of the paranormal. Sometimes they refer cases to priests and demonologists and mediums. (Photo Courtesy the Gauteng Paranormal Society)
  • Paranormal experts load evidence into a computer at a restaurant in Pretoria
  • The Gauteng Paranormal Society investigated a Pretoria restaurant for evidence of a spirit in the bar area where “an old guy likes to touch women.” (Photo Courtesy the Gauteng Paranormal Society)

Looking for Gauteng's Ghosts

Darren Taylor
A pouting Marilyn Monroe looks down with smoldering eyes from a wall poster on two bulky, bearded men tucking into bloody T-bone steaks at the bar counter of a suburban restaurant in Pretoria.
 
The venue is filled with people who are eating, talking and laughing – blissfully unaware that the popular hangout is apparently haunted in recent years by two ghosts said to have terrified staff members cleaning up after hours.
 
“The pub’s said to have one very dark spirit at the bathroom area; he died there during a fight over (a game of) pool,” said Taryn Oliver, case manager for the Gauteng Paranormal Society (GPS). “The other spirit is in the bar area - an old guy who likes to touch women. A medium confirmed this.”
 
Darren Taylor reports on ghost chasers in Gauteng
Darren Taylor reports on ghost chasers in Gautengi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

A photograph taken by a GPS member during the group’s investigation of the premises shows a long, dark but translucent shadow hovering high above customers near a fireplace.
 
“This is a common manifestation of a spirit as captured with our photographic equipment,” said Olivier. “You usually won’t see it with the naked eye.”
 
The GPS probes supernatural sightings and “paranormal events” across the province of Gauteng.
 
“Paranormal to us means anything from poltergeists to demons, but mostly we come across your normal ghosts – the spirits of people who have died that haven’t found rest yet,” Olivier told VOA.
 
Energy spikes on the K2
 
To gather solid evidence of the paranormal, the GPS uses electromagnetic field (EMF) meters, digital video and still cameras, night vision telescopes, digital audio recorders and laptop computers.
 
But perhaps the organization’s most important apparatus is a K2 - a type of EMF meter that uses LED lights to measure the strength of an energy field. Olivier describes paranormal entities as “bundles of energy.”
 
“The K2 catches energy spikes,” she says. “The moment we walk into a site, we will do a base reading. Normal areas with no electricity leakages will have readings of between zero and one. So, the moment we have an investigation and the meter spikes up to three, seven, we know obviously something is there…”
 
Olivier recalled visiting a house where an EMF meter peaked to a reading of 1,500. “That was shocking, considering that the highest we (previously) ever got was 32. Our technical guys established that there were no electrical leakages in that house that could cause that dramatic energy spike.”
 
Olivier added that the GPS has so far been unable to establish the nature of the paranormal phenomenon present in the house.   
 
“I think it would be a very powerful spirit, and very active, or it could be that there are multiple spirits there,” she speculated. “We’ll have to investigate further, maybe using a medium to contact the spirits as well.”
 
Heavy breathing ghost at an abandoned hospital
 
Olivier said she’d been involved in many “fascinating” cases but one that “sticks” in her mind is a probe of “weird happenings” at an abandoned hospital in Kempton Park, east of Johannesburg.   
 
“We also made audio recordings there and there was something very strange on one of those tapes. It was very loud, like a man that took in his breath. We have no logical explanation for that sound.”
 
Then, at another private residence she said she recorded a tune being whistled by an invisible entity.
 
“I played it (the audio) back to the (home) owner… and she said her (deceased) father used to hum that tune.  That’s how we knew that her father’s spirit was active in that house,” said Olivier.  
 
Haunted hotel and decapitation
 
The GPS had one of its “greatest” experiences at an old hotel in KwaZulu-Natal province’s majestic Drakensberg Mountains, according to the case manager.
 
“Our two lead investigators walked through the kitchen, into the ballroom and up a staircase. And then just half way up the stairs the apparition would disappear. It was like a loop that the entity was walking. They caught it with the K2 meter.
 
“We have it on video. You can see the light from that entity on the video. You can see Chris (an investigator) standing still and the lights on the K2 going haywire. Then you see a big ball of light moving in front of the camera.”
 
On another occasion the GPS set up its equipment at a site near De Deur, south of Johannesburg, where “something terrible” happened a few years ago, said Olivier. 
 
“A farmer had a teenage daughter, and at night she would slip out to visit her boyfriend and they would go on motorcycle drives - even though her father had forbidden her to do this. The farmer decided to do something to scare them.
 
“So he had taken barbed wire and put it around a tree. From one tree he span (sic) it over the road, to the other tree – just to knock them off the motorcycle. But unfortunately when they were driving past (they were going very fast and) it actually decapitated both of them…”
 
Since then, said Olivier, there had been regular reports of paranormal activity near the scene of the deaths. 
 
“If you are on that road in the evenings you’ll see a ball of light coming up to that area, and then just vanish. Some of our team members have seen it. There are some of the public that I know have seen it.” They tried to capture it on their equipment “… but we didn’t get anything…”
 
Demons and Satanism
 
Olivier is concerned with an increase in people contacting her to report “very violent” paranormal incidents. She described people being pressed down on their beds, others with unexplained scratch marks on their bodies, and “A lot of people report being thrown around by an unseen force…”  
 
She maintained that such physical, supernatural assaults are evidence of attacks by demons.
 
“The first thing I ask people who report such things is: ‘Have you played Ouija board or have you been involved in Satanism?’ Dabbling in Satanism and playing games where you try to contact the dead is very, very dangerous,” Olivier asserted, because they “open people up” and allow “demonic entities to come through.”
 
She said the demons then “attach” to these people to “feed” on their energy.
 
“A lot of people might get sick. Some people will get angry easily; that demonic presence will have a massively negative influence in your life. You might start drinking heavily and taking drugs; you may lose your family and your job; get violent...”     
 
To any skeptics Olivier smiles and comments: “We human beings think we’ve found all the answers to everything. But we haven’t even scratched the surface of everything that’s out there…” 
 
More afraid of criminals, than ghosts
 
Olivier said the GPS would “love” to do more to help people suffering because of the paranormal, “but as we explain to them, our job is as researchers. Our job is to collect information that will give people a better understanding of paranormal events in South Africa.
 
“There are other people such as priests and demonologists and mediums who are much better-qualified to help people overcome supernatural threats than we are, and we refer our clients to those people.” 
 
In the near future Olivier said the GPS planned to focus on “boosting investigative capacity” and buying better-quality equipment, as it continues its quest to capture incontrovertible evidence of paranormal activity.
 
And, despite constant involvement with mysterious forces that would terrify most people, Olivier emphasized: “Hunting for ghosts isn’t scary at all when compared with the other dangers we face out there in the field in Gauteng.”
 
She explained, laughing: “Like if we want to go to a graveyard, we’re more afraid of being hijacked (carjacked) there than of seeing a ghost!”

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid