Port Elizabeth ghost stories

2012-11-02 15:54
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Many people are sceptical about the existence of ghosts, but lately, their stories seem to be making headlines.

In fact, a woman in PE actually won an epic battle with her insurance company after her home burnt down in a suspected case of arson. She was cleared of any wrong-doing and the probable cause of the fire was attributed to a... wait for it... a poltergeist.

So we thought it was high time to give the ghosts of PE the recognition they deserve.

The ghost of Richly House

Some call Richly House "the most haunted house in PE".

Built by William James Wills in 1906, Richly House has been used for many different purposes over the years, from a general nursing home to a World War II brothel and a post-war boarding house - giving it many different resident ghosts.

People have had encounters with a nun, who is accompanied by the chilling cries of an unseen baby. A woman and a child in period clothing are often passed in the hallway and a grumpy man in a grey coat storms through the dining room to the kitchen where he rattles pots and pans in an unknown frustration.

Most of these ghostly inhabitants are fairly oblivious to their human onlookers, except for the one that appears in the domestic quarters and tries to strangle the staff members...

The ghost of the PE Library

The PE public library is one of the oldest buildings in the city, but was not the first to stand where it is today. In 1896 the building that stood there was destroyed in a raging fire. Police Constable Maxwell was one of the first on the scene, but was killed when a stone coping broke away from the burning building and fell onto him.

The imposing building of the Port Elizabeth Library

When construction on the new library began, the remembrance stone that had been placed on a low wall was removed to the library gardens. This clearly upset the Constable who then haunted Room 700 and was very disruptive, until eventually the stone had to be returned to its original place.

But the haunting of the PE Library did not end there...

The library had a dedicated caretaker for 31 years. Robert Thomas devoted his life to the upkeep of the beautiful building and passed away in 1943. His attachment to the building didn't let him move on and today he goes around banging doors and stacking books only to knock them over again - just so that no one forgets his presence.

The ghost of Cradock Place

Cradock Place is said to be haunted by the uneasy spirit of a young slave girl who was horrifically murdered by her lover.

Nobody knows why, but one day her lover was overcome by insane jealousy and attacked the young woman. In a fit of rage her threw her into the great oven in the kitchen, locked the door and built a huge fire to power the oven.

The girl died an agonising death.

She had been employed in the house and had quickly impressed with her care and thoroughness, which won her the task of dusting the drawing room. Her favourite item was the room's piano with which she took particular care.

After her death, the piano's keys seemed to take on a life of their own and soft music was often heard to fill the drawing room - without anyone there to take credit for it.

The ghost of Old Mount Road Power Station

In the 1880s, there was serious conflict between the British and Irish. A group known only as ‘The Invincibles' took it upon themselves to protect Irish interests from interfering Britain. When the seemingly incompetent Lord Frederick Cavendish was chosen as the new Chief Secretary to Ireland, the group was enraged and Cavendish was assassinated in a heinous manner.

However, Dublin-based James Carey turned state witness against the assassins and sent five of ‘The Invincible' leaders to their deaths. In exchange, he was granted a new name and life in South Africa.

When he boarded the Melrose Castle bound for Durban, Carey was followed by an ‘Invincible' assassin. The loud and large Carey did not keep to his cabin, but rather celebrated his escape on the lower decks. The assassin simply shot him when a passing fishing boat caused a distraction.

The assassin was arrested, but Carey's body was left on the ship and eventually buried in a pauper's grave in Port Elizabeth.

Shortly after his burial, the cemetery was moved to make way for the new power station. An employee tasked with the moving the remains from the cemetery took a liking to Carey's skull and its clean bullet hole, using it for many years as an ashtray and candle holder.

The long-dead Carey still finds this offensive and refuses to leave the boiler room or the site where the cemetery once was, instilling fear in all those who work there.

Do you know of any other PE hauntings? Let us know in the comment section below.

Intrigued by ghosts? Book a trip to PE with one of our affordable packages and investigate these sightings yourself...

Find out more about South Africa's legends with GoTravel24:

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