IF you’re looking for more ghostly thrills, then make sure you’re onboard the next Mystery Ghost Bus tour of Durban on 4 November.
Mark Rose-Christie, owner and creator of the ghostly bus tours countrywide for the past 17 years says the Durban version begins with a meal and drinks (not included in the ticket price) at the Protea Edward Hotel on the beachfront, so arrive early at around 5pm to eat and drink.
The bus departs sharply at 7pm, its first story being about the ghostly Grey Nun and White Lady of Addington Hospital – a story less fierce than the murderous brothel-owning Rosey O’ Dry around the corner who allegedly killed a client who was a sailor. However, it is the story accompanied by sad music, about the tragedy of a young boy who committed suicide at the Art Deco styled ‘Victorian Mansions’, which has reduced some to tears in previous years.
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Then comes the ghost of the country’s last working ‘atmospheric theatre’, The Playhouse, the ghost being witnessed by none other than well-known actor Joseph Clark, who encountered an apparition in the dank and musty basement under the stage, where there are only two dimly lit blue working lights – already enough to chill one to the bone.
“Everything slowed down, and there was this young man in a plaid shirt and jeans who walked across the floor. I turned to say hello, but he just walked right through the wall,” Clark told Rose-Christie.
Clark later came to hear that a young man was killed down in the basement, whilst ex-Playhouse manager, Robert Cross, added that there were once stairs where the wall is today, and so the ghost is actually still “replaying its old actions” and walking up the stairs, but to us it looks like he is going through a wall.”
After some stories about spiritualist meetings held at the City Hall in the old days, one then encounters the story of South Africa’s most famous poison murderess, Daisy de Melker, outside the old Berea Nursing Home, where she learned nursing, but more importantly, how to use poisons and hoodwink doctors, so that they would never suspect her of her foul deeds.
Not only did she poison two husbands but her 21 old son as well. As if this not enough to digest, some eerie music plays to the well-known Durban legend of the road phantom hitchhiker ‘Highway Sheila’, as the coach winds its way along some more darkly lit streets.
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Then it’s onwards to Durban High School to learn about how a well-loved science teacher met with an untimely death due to an accident in the science lab. But then comes that other highlight of the evening, when the bus stops to see famous ‘The Spookhouse’ of Musgrave Road – one of the most scary looking buildings apart from the Poltergeist House, which burned down on Campbell Road – which just happens to be the next stop. “These days people download free cellphone apps like EVP recorders, Spirit Boxes and EMF meters onto their cellphones, where on our last tour folk picked up some very clear EVP’s that sounded like someone saying ‘it’s time to go’ when we stood on the poltergeist house plot”, Rose-Christie said.
After those spine chills, it’s time for a pub stop to calm the nerves before heading to the Innes Street Reservoir to try one’s hand at using dowsing rods to detect force fields, including the detecting of water there, whilst taking in the magnificent view of Durbans, the stadium and casino lights from the hillside. This is the fun part of the tour and just as well, for after that it’s straight off to the cemetery, where a surprise thrilling climax awaits one at midnight (of course).
These are just some of the highlights of the evening, where EVP’s (electronic voice phenomena), and dramatically recorded old radio style stories are also played on the bus, whilst other surprise venues and stories await one when climbing off and on the bus at the various haunted stops. Rose-Christie, who is well known for his theatrics, scare tactics and even key-bending, (take along your old or spare keys) will conduct the tour himself..
All details can be found on the website www.MysteryGhostBus.co.za where one can book on the site directly. Ticket price is R369 per person for the 5-hour highly entertaining tour, returning to the hotel just after midnight.
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