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August 12, 2013

Cape Town’s Spectre Spectacles: Legends and Ghost Tours

We’ve shared our top haunted places in Cape Town with you but there are loads more spooky tales and ghostly wails to come out of the Mother City, including one of the ghost of Verlatenbosch (“Bush of the Forsaken”).

Spooky tales. Our Wonder of Nature, Table Mountain, is said to be the home of a restless ghostly flute player. Photo courtesy of Anni Bremicker

It's an intriguing Table Mountain tale ... a distant governor of Cape Town made enemies of a citizen who proceeded to offer a fine-looking flute to the governor's son as a gift. The flute was once used by a leper and so the boy contracted leprosy. He was forced to live in exile in a lonely hut in the forests of Table Mountain and to this day the gloomy sounds of his flute can sometimes be heard on the slopes of Table Mountain.

But it's not all grey ladies and distant whistles. Visitors to the Cape could find the southern coastline very creepy with around 300 – 400 shipwrecks dotted around the Peninsula dating as far back as the 1500’s. The Shipwreck Trail can be followed from Cape Point Nature Reserve starting at Olifantsbos Bay, and includes the most famous wreck of all,  the Flying Dutchman. Legend has it that the Dutch ship was making its way around a stormy Cape under instruction from a drunken Captain. A fight ensued and the captain killed the crew leader and threw his body overboard. As his body hit the sea, a shadowy figure appeared on board, cursing the captain to sail the seas for eternity, never reaching port or having a moment's peace. Today, it is believed that the Flying Dutchman appears out of the mist and then suddenly disappears again.

A number of tour companies in and around Cape Town also offer guided wreck-diving tours. The Blue Monkey Tours offers a scenic Peninsula tour called “Shipwrecks of the Cape of Storms”.

* Don’t miss the very last Mystery Ghost Bus Tour for Cape Town on 28 September 2013. It begins at 19h00 with a quick meal and introduction at a pub then visits a plethora of eerie places around Cape Town before a late night visit to a cemetery. Book at Computicket.

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