Outdoor ideas for South Africa from The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
Many sightings over the years
LAST year around October an independent film producer spent the night in the Castle, leaving audio and film recording equipment behind locked doors. Those who have seen the video footage say that what was captured was very interesting.
But what was most interesting was the audio recording from inside the Garrison cells. When the producer listened to the audio of him calling out for those who were there to speak up, a voice from the furthest point of the empty cells clearly stated: “In here.” When Ghost Hunters International visited the Castle they took their usual steps of setting up cameras and audio devices, and calling out for any ghosts to speak or show themselves. But they called out in English and, for a laugh, expert on the history of the Castle Willem Steenkamp told them that calling out in English would do no good because these were Dutch ghosts.
The Ghost Hunters were quick to hire a translator. One US cameraman called out to the ghosts in the Torture Chamber and was slapped in the face by an invisible hand. Steenkamp said you could see clearly that he had been slapped. “He was so shaken that he couldn’t speak,” he said.
The Castle’s resident restoration artist had to work late one night. She doesn’t believe in ghosts and knew she was the only person in that section of the Castle. The door behind her had been open, but when she turned around it was shut. There was no wind and not one person in sight.
The secretary of the defence reserve office in the Castle is, according to Steenkamp, a down-toearth and practical person who is not “a believer”, but even she is shaken by the fact that every night she closes all the windows in her office – and many mornings one window, always the same one, stands wide open. “It happens often enough to freak her out,” he said.
One of the older Castle legends is that of the woman in the grey cloak. In the late 1860s there were at least two sightings by “responsible citizens”. When they started building the Castle they found a temporary graveyard, moving the bodies to another location. Shortly after the grey woman was spotted, they found another grave, that of a woman. They moved it and she was never seen again.
One night Steenkamp was doing a ghost tour and had lots of fake ghosts organised to add to the entertainment. While facing his audience he spotted someone on a bench below. At the end one woman complimented him on the “ghost” on the bench, and asked how you could see the bars of the bench through the man. And how did the smoke from his cigarette seem frozen in the air? Steenkamp just said: “Well, he wasn’t one of mine.”
The only known sighting in broad daylight was in 1915, when a sentry spotted a man in old-time clothing. The man was leaning on a wall, looking out towards Darling Street.
The sentry shouted: “Who goes there?” and the man vanished.