What better way to kick off 2011 than going on a tour through a haunted prison. Well, now that I think about it, what prison wouldn’t be haunted? All that anger and violence. And yes, death. Especially in a country with a violent history such as South Africa.
We couldn’t have asked for a better atmosphere to start off the trip – dark clouds, slight drizzle, the feeling of uncertainty that comes with not knowing where the place is you’re going to spend the night or what you're going to find.
Just after sunset our group of eleven, including the tour guide and two of his associates, made our way through what is best known as the most dangerous township in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Before I knew it, we drove through the steel gates of Ramkraal Prison.
We left our cars with the gate security and joined the caretaker. As you can see on the photo below, certain parts of the prison is now used as an arts and crafts center for the community. Only problem is there are no water or electricity available. The rooms to the left side of the photo used to be the gallows. Unfortunately we couldn’t go in there, as it was turned into accommodation for some of the homeless people. I’m glad I don’t have to live there.
We walked through the main entrance and each took a deep breath as the caretaker let us in, and locked the gate behind us. Immediately the cameras started flashing.
The tour guide first led us to the kitchen area in the photo below. On the left side of the kitchen you’ll see washbasins, and next to that, toilets. No privacy in prison, my friend.
The area below, just next to the kitchen area, is known for a headless apparition that walks up and down the area. How he lost his head, no-one knows. It's reported that a poltergeist lives in the room to the left. For safety reasons we weren't allowed to go in.
From there we made our way through another iron gate and into the woman’s courtyard. In the center is where the woman had to wash their clothes and bath themselves, even in the winter when the water was frozen.
At the far end stood four small cells where trouble makers were thrown into. The cells in the woman’s blocks held about fifty prisoners each, with two very small toilets. Most of the people in the tour felt more sadness press down on them than actual fear.
When it started raining again we moved back through the gate and towards the caretaker’s workshop, which looked just like something out of a slasher movie. In photo below, right at the end, is where a man reportedly hung himself. Some people have reported seeing his apparition from time to time.
The old caretaker opened another gate for us and let us inside his workshop, which was filled with different kinds of art and broken material.
We put down our stuff and, with the rain now falling hard, set up the braai/barbeque area, where we spent the next three hours discussing the nature of ghosts and the afterlife. The far wall in the picture below is where some prisoners were reportedly lined up to be shot.
Next time the journey continues towards the men’s cell blocks, which was just on the other side of the gate below. Be ready for true accounts of death, murder and mutilation.
All the best.
Click here for the exciting second part
In : Hauntings
Tags: ramkraal "haunted prison" bloemfontein ghosts
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