Reader Submission: Terror on the Farm


“This ordeal turned a very religious, anti-paranormal family into stern believers! Here it goes:

This happened between 1986/1987. My father bought a farm in the Free State province of South Africa which the locals called Gapamadi. It’s Sotho for ‘the place where the blood flows.’ The first week or so everything went without incident. I was about three at the time, so this story is partly what I remember and mostly what I’d been told.

Unearthly Knocks

Around the third night on the new farmstead, there came a knock at the master bedroom window. My dad opened the curtain to find no one there. Just as he got into bed, the knock came again, but this time from the kitchen at the other end of the house. My dad got up, but again found on one there. As he turned his back on the door, all hell broke loose. The knocking started again but went in rapid succession from one window to the other covering the whole house! As my dad gathered all of us together, it suddenly started hailing STONES!!!!

It went on like this for the rest of the night until the first African Plovers started their calls in the morning. Then all went silent! Apparently, it did not only torment us as the owners of the farm. The farm workers who were left the next morning didn’t want to start work out of fear for the tokoloshe (similar to Russia’s domovoi). They believed it responsible for the phenomenon. Most workers even left the same day!

A Glimpse Into the Past

Things slowly escalated from there, as if testing my parent’s tolerance. Lots of times I called for my mom while playing, bathing, etc., telling her to make the ‘uncle’ leave, only for her to find no one around!

Other spirits also started appearing around the house and garden. I believe that these were former owners and inhabitants of our farm. They appeared to be wearing clothes from the early 1900’s. An older gentleman in his sixties haunted the house, smoking a pipe (the smell of pipe smoke would sometimes fill the living room) with a young man around his early thirties. On bright, sunny days, we’d see a woman in her thirties cutting roses from the formal garden. A young girl around five years old ran around her mother, both of them wearing bonnets as was the custom among Boer-folk for centuries.

A few nights later, my family heard the neighing of horses in the old stone kraal (corral). There was the sound of hooves on the ground, the muted voices of men talking or discussing something, and the sound of the heavy iron gates swaying open, followed by a voice calling: ‘Voorwaarts manne!’ It roughly translates from Dutch to ‘Charge men!’ The ‘horses’ would then bolt from the open gates, circling the house, accompanied by the sound of horsewhips. This usually lasted around 30 minutes every night. The creepy part is that the kraal was used by the Boers during the Anglo Boer war of 1899. There are also some British graves in the middle of one of the cornfields as reminder of a Boer victory during some unnamed battle in 1900.

Dog Trouble

One day, my mother cried out in fear. Our healthy Boerboel dogs were lying on their backs with their eyes turned back in their sockets, their mouths foaming. At first, my parents thought the animals had been poisoned. My father fetched the pick-up, put the dogs on the back, and rushed towards town to take them to a vet. Just as my father exited the gate at the border of the farm, the dogs suddenly got up and acted as if nothing was wrong. This continued countless times with the dogs immobilized for up to 15 minutes!

Brother Attacked

Things quickly got worse from this point on. The sound of stones raining on the corrugated roof got worse, and the entity started finding human targets. My father and my 17-year-old brother were on the patio one evening when a stone hit my brother on the forehead. My father and brother both described the sound as a high-pitched whizzing noise, as if the stone had been hurled from a slingshot. The next day, my father installed powerful spotlights around the house and cut all of the lovely fruit trees surrounding the home down in an attempt to catch the culprits. It was all to no avail! Everything continued as usual with no one in sight. It seemed as if the rocks being thrown materialized from thin air.

At this stage, the activity started to focus on my brother. He stayed in his own one-bedroom flat about 10 meters from the main house. One night, he was studying for a year-end exam when something unseen attacked him from behind. My brother was big and strong and into body building at that time, but an epic struggle ensued with the creature trying to strangle him for 25 minutes. When my brother finally broke loose from the creature’s grip, he was covered in blood and looked like he’d been strangled with a garrote wire. His chest looked like it had been slashed by claws or blunt metal blades! Today in his forties, he still bears the scars on his chest.

The Hellhound

My brother was not the only victim as it turned out. My mom was lying on the bed one day, reading a book, when she suddenly became paralyzed. Shortly thereafter, a bulldog appeared at the bedroom door. My mother said it felt like eternity as she soaked in every detail of the entity. It also was a Boerboel dog, but he had a white spot between his eyes whereas ours had black masks. Its face was tinted reddish pink, as if by blood, and red slime dripped from its mouth. The dog then started towards her, jumping on the bed, pinning her down, and staring into her in the eyes. After what must have felt like an eternity, the dog jumped off and left the room. This happened a few times more, even at night with my father next to her. Being paralyzed, my mother could not alert my father.

An Aunt Investigates

Being a stout Protestant Christian, my aunt did not believe the accounts she heard from my mother, so she came to visit with my niece who was around 15 at the time. My sister and my niece were sitting in the bath when a stone flew through the window and cracked the tub between them. My aunt decided to brave the night and sleep over, but when we woke up the next morning my aunt and niece were gone. They’d packed their bags in the middle of the night and drove the nearly 400km home. I actually admire her for her bravery as she had to go outside and walk the 20 meters to her car! She said something happened in the spare bedroom shortly after she switched off the lights, but she refuses to tell us what happened to this very day!

Things Get Worse

Although the activity usually started around dusk and continued until the first African Plovers called in the early morning hours, activity started to happen during daylight hours as well. There would be whispering around the house as two dark shadows moved around. These same two dark shadows also circled the house every night. We believed that they were the cause for the poltergeist like activity. It is actually reported by the natives that tokoloshes usually work in pairs!

At this point, the only time the activity ceased was when the police or people who did not have a close bond to the family visited. It immediately resumed after they left. Around this time, spontaneous fires started around the employees’ homes. It started out almost harmless, but one day some of the employees came bashing at the door screaming that one of the other worker’s house was burning down and that flames were leaping from the windows. The worker was on leave and the door was locked from the outside with a strong deadbolt. When they finally opened the door, witnesses saw that only the edges of the kitchen cupboards were burning. After the flames were extinguished and all of the smoke subsided, they were shocked to find that there was NO damage apart from the burst windows and smoke damage.

The Witchdoctor Arrives

My parents now got desperate as my father had put all of their savings into a deposit for the farm. Selling it then would have financially ruined them. The church did not seem to care and even alleged that my parents did this for attention! My parents used to be respected people in town as my father was head of the traffic department and a deacon in church. Suddenly people laughed behind their backs and most in town had abandoned my family at this stage. Some even accused my brother of staging it all. My dad now was being fed up of nothing working and contacted a traditional African witch doctor from the old Bophuthatswana.

When the witch doctor came, he asked for a glass of water, looked into it, and told my father things of a very personal nature, things very few people knew – certainly no one in town knew. The witch doctor started to perform a cleansing ritual before he removed a few boxes filled with stuff like fingernail clippings, hair, etc. He then went on to tell my dad that the previous owner had put a curse on the farm as he was pissed off because he went bankrupt and wanted no one else to stay for long. The night after the cleansing, a storm came up but instead of thunder there was the crying of a baby… very freaky! The wind blew from one border fence of the farm to the other, about 1500 hectares, and then almost everything stopped as suddenly as it had started! Most people don’t believe my story, but trust me, sometimes the truth really is stranger than fiction!

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8 thoughts on “Reader Submission: Terror on the Farm

    • Hi Ashley, thanks for the reply! Unfortunately my family did not take any footage during the haunting. As I said in the beginning of the story they were very religious and did not believe in the paranormal, their only concern was to stop the happenings. I must admit that if it happened now I would have certainly recorded it using the technology available today.

  1. Your story gave me chills! One of the big problems with some Protestant Christian sects is their belief that they have it all figured out. No witches or ghosts because they are ‘unbiblical’? The witch of Endor raised Samuel at Saul’s request, how much more biblical evidence would the church need for the existence in the paranormal? My house was haunted and I’ve seen, smelled and heard unexplainable things all my life. Oh yeah, I’m a Christian and have no problem admitting there are supernatural things we cannot understand.

  2. Pingback: Reader Submission: Life in a Haunted House | Ghosts and Ghouls

  3. I am also from South Africa and happen to be from the same region. It is not uncommon for the farms to be haunted. It does sound more demonic/satanic to me, maybe the man who casted the curse did so through a satanic ritual or witchcraft. More intellegent than residual, but yet the people in old fashioned wear might be residual spirits.

    • Hi Gerhard, unfortunately it is not in the family anymore and is in private ownership. All I’m willing to say is that it is about 80km west of Bloemfontein.

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