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

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents 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.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid