Valentine’s Day is known as the Day of Love across the globe – but may also be the day of lost love for many. South Africa has many ghost tales of those who have not yet ‘passed over’ because they are waiting for their lovers.
Here are some of the most famous ones:
The hungry ghosts of Kitima Restaurant
Kitima Restaurant is an Asian eatery, which was located in Hout Bay, was found on the grounds of The Kronendal. This 17th century Dutch homestead has a tragic history.
The story goes as follows: A young Dutch woman named Elsa Cloete lived in the homestead in the mid-1800s, and fell in love with a British soldier. Her father banned her from seeing her soldier beau, and so he hung himself from a tree on the property.
Elsa died shortly after, reportedly of a broken heart.
According to Kitima staff, Cloete is dead, but definitely not gone. Staff used to report seeing pots fly off the wall hooks, and lights dim without any explanation. Guests also reported seeing her in one of the manor windows, while the soldier was often seen between the estate’s oak trees.
The restaurant used to lay a full meal and wine out for the couple each evening as a sign of respect before its closing. The estate now houses Deux Ex Machina.
The crossed lovers of Kalk Bay
There is a building located near the Kalk Bay Harbour called Spring Tide. Rumour has it that the door to this building has not been opened in many years, and there are reports of buyers upping and leaving the property, of tenants moving in and leaving before the night is over.
Even when the building is completely abandoned, vagrants refuse to sleep there.
It is said that in the mid-90s, the house played host to a créche. During nap time one day, a teacher was alarmed to hear a loud scream. At the very same moment, a child watched as a ghost of a woman come halfway down the stairs, releasing a guttural scream.
Stories soon surfaced about how a love triangle had taken place in the house, and had quickly turned sour. It is believed that a woman came home to find her husband had murdered her lover after discovering her infidelity and has been screaming blue murder ever since.
The lonely mother of Leeuwenhof Estate
Leeuwenhof Estate was built in the late seventeenth century and became the official residence of the Cape’s administrators. It was here that Sir John Kotze saw the ghost of a lonely woman in an upstairs passage.
She is reported to be dressed in white, with haunting blue eyes and brown hair. The most disturbing part of this haunting is that this apparition is often seen with a baby, and it is believed that if she hands her baby over to you, you are in her favour. There is much speculation on why exactly she haunts the halls of Leeuwenhof Estate, with many theories that she is waiting for her baby’s father to return for the pair.
It is also believed that her haunting is focused on a teak staircase created by a Chinese craftsman.