Reader Submission: The Haunted Farmstead

graveyard at night

“I previously submitted “Terror on the Farm” Here follows a more recent encounter:

I was in my second year of university studying law. Most of my friends were from farms and we spent quite a lot of weekends and holidays on the different farms. The summer of 2005, one of my friends, Charl, invited me and another friend, Rudi, over to his farm for the December holidays as his parents went to the coast to visit relatives.

The farm was a beautiful, but typical, South African Great-Karoo farmstead dating from before the 1900s. The farm was about 75km (47 miles) from the nearest town and about 15km (9 miles) from the nearest main road which itself was not paved or traveled frequently.

The Cemetery

We were looking forward to a good week or two of dirt biking, hunting, and drinking beer. We were there for two days when Charl’s brother, his brother’s girlfriend, and a female friend came to visit. At around 1:00 in the morning, Charl’s brother remarked that the time was right for the farmstead’s ghost to be active and that we should go see if it was around the cemetery. We laughed as ghost stories are a common scare tactic on remote farms in the area. Still, we decided to go. Charl’s brother led everyone to the wooded area at the back of the house and opened a rusty gate which made a high-pitched squeaky noise. To be honest, that sound changed the mood of the party as we were about 50m (164 feet) from the old graveyard.

The Ghost

As we got a view of the graves, we all stopped dead in our tracks (no pun intended). There was the ghost, sitting on a grave about 10m (33 feet) from us! It is difficult to describe, but the ghost looked like a solid, and very bright white, one-dimensional humanoid figure in a sitting position. It was so bright we could barely see the trees through it. There were no light sources nearby. We didn’t even have a single torch or cell phone with us. Then the ghost started to move.

It slowly stood upright and start to pace the graveyard. A feeling of dread overcame us. The only thing that convinced me the ghost wasn’t a hoax was the way it moved. It seemed like there was some type of lag in its movement. Gamers will understand what I’m talking about. It would take one slow step, freeze for a moment, and then instantly appear a few feet ahead, repeating the process. We watched it pace for a minute, then it turned and sat back on the grave. It was at that moment that we left, quickly but quietly.

We went back to the house and had a few cups of coffee to reflect on everything and get our nerves back together. Charl and his brother tried to convince us that what we had seen was real as the rest of us started to have doubts. We all decided to return to have a second look, though in the back of our minds we knew that it could not be a practical joke as there was no one else around for at least 20km (12 miles).

Back for More

As we approached, we saw the ghost still sitting on its grave. One of the girls whispered something, and we could see whatever it was turn its head towards us. It then stood up in a smooth motion and started walking towards in its characteristically weird manner. Previously, the ghost had been quiet, but now we could hear its movement over the dead leaves.

We all froze in shock until it was about two meters (six feet) from us. Suddenly, we heard the sound of something bipedal sprinting towards us from the right. However, nothing was visible under the moonlight. That was the moment all of us hauled tail back to the farmstead. Everyone was a bit shaken up after this experience, and we stood around the kitchen for awhile, this time drinking something stronger thn coffee! We decided to call it a night and everyone went their separate ways to their rooms.

The next day, Rudi and I got up before everyone else and decided to check out the cemetery. Everything looked familiar in the daylight, and we noticed no footprints around the fence aside from our own made the night before. The inside of the fenced-off cemetery was untouched, there were no prints, no drag marks, nothing. That evening, Charl’s brother, his girlfriend, and the female friend left, leaving only me, Charl, and Rudi behind. We had a braai and a few more beers, and around midnight Rudi and I decided to head back to the cemetery.

Thwarted by a Ghost?

We left the lounge and walked through the kitchen to the backdoor. As I laid my hand on the door handle, my car’s alarm went off. Charl flipped on the outside flood lights and ran back to the house to fetch a shotgun as he thought there was an intruder messing with the cars. My car alarm wasn’t sensitive and never went off unless someone messed with it. We looked outside but saw no fresh footprints. Guessing that an insect had somehow entered the car and triggered the alarm, we went back to the house to lock up the shotgun then head to the cemetery. Literally, when I touched the door handle, the alarm went off for the second time. I still had my keys and remote in my pocket and quickly shut off the alarm through the window. Needless to say, we laid off our plans to visit the graveyard that night and my car’s alarm was quiet from there on.

We enjoyed the rest of our visit, but I must admit that it was hard to sleep the last few nights! Was it a well-played hoax? I guess we’ll never know as my friend insists to this day that it wasn’t. The farm is a bit far from where I stay now, but I do plan to visit sometime in the future. This time, however, I will take a camcorder and maybe a voice-recorder!”

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