Macrorie House: friendly ‘Ghosts and Gluwein’ evening will raise funds for museum

2012-05-01 00:00

MACRORIE House museum in Pietermaritzburg is hosting a fun “Ghosts and Gluwein” evening suitable for the whole family on Friday, May 4.

“We have hired two fantastic storytellers, who will be telling ghost stories about Pietermaritzburg around a bonfire,” said Roxanne Thomas, curator of the museum on the corner of Jabu Ndlovu (Loop) and Pine streets, which enjoys a reputation of being haunted.

The event will start at 6.30 pm. “As an added bonus this year we will also be conducting our first night tours through the museum, of which our resident ghosts will hopefully approve,” she adds gaily.

Thomas assured The Witness that the ghosts of Macrorie House are “friendly” and don’t pose a danger to the public.

The ghosts of Macrorie House are said to be all women.

“I haven’t seen any ghosts myself yet, but when I’m working in my office all alone I can hear a lady’s tread in the passage upstairs. Its reputed that one of our ghosts is a lady who wears a long black dress and paces the passage. Another one, dressed in white, sits in the study and a third has been spotted in our Chapel.” Thomas said there have also been reports about eerie sounds of singing emanating from the Chapel.

Thomas said the museum will provide complimentary Gluwein or other hot beverage for adults and marshmallows for the kids with every ticket sold.

Car guards and other security guards will be on duty outside the museum on Friday night.

Tickets cost R50 for adults and R25 for children.

Visitors are advised to bring along picnic blankets, mugs and chairs.

Booking by phoning 033 394 2161 is essential.

Funds raised by ticket sales will go towards the upkeep of the museum which is in need of some maintenance.

Macrorie House is a major historic attraction in Pietermaritzburg. Built around 1860, it was occupied by the reverend bishop of Maritzburg, William Kenneth Macrorie from 1869 to 1892. According to KZN Tourism’s website Bishop Macrorie came to what was then Natal, as a result of a schism in the Anglican church created by controversy surrounding the bishop of Natal, John William Colenso.

The early to mid-Victorian (1863-1880) double-story house is furnished in Victorian style and contains a display of historic and ecclesiastical memorabilia. “An upstairs room features a display on the lives of both Bishop Macrorie and Bishop Colenso. For the children there is a dolls` house, a collection of dolls in historical costume and a ‘touch room’.”

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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