Friday, August 1, 2014

South Africa: The Ghost Wagon

Route from Ceres to Beaufort-West

This ghost legend is told in an area just northeast of Cape Town.

A ghost wagon is often seen chasing across the fields in the early morning hours--when all is silent. It is stated it travels at great speeds near routes in the Western Cape area.

One witness account about this strange phenomenon was shared in a book about South African Legends written over a century ago.

A Major Ellis was traveling from Ceres to Beauford-West. It was a beautiful morning, so the Major had opted to ride in the front with the coach driver.

They were making good progress when one of the coach wheels broke. The driver pulled the coach to the side of the road to inspect the damage.

As soon as the two men hopped down, they heard a wagon swiftly moving toward their location. Ellis expressed the fear that this wagon would collide with them.

But the coach driver--a man by the name Anthony de Beer--reassured him that the sound they heard wasn’t coming from the road.

As this racing wagon drew nearer, the sound became deafening. As it drew abreast of the two men’s location Anthony shouted, “Where the devil are you going?”

A loud voice answered, “To hell.” The two men then heard a horrible laugh. They caught a fleeting glimpse of the wagon driver’s face--he was deathly white, had cold dark piercing eyes and a bandana covered his mouth and nose.

Again they heard an evil laugh.

As the wagon passed a blast of cold air followed it. Once it was out of sight, Anthony mumbled, “never seen a spirit before.”

As Ellis and Anthony headed back toward the coach all was quiet again. They stopped in their tracks when they spotted two ashen men sitting near a roaring fire.

As they approached the fire-- these two men disappeared. When they approached where they had seen the fire, there was no trace of it.

For the next several days Anthony fell into a deep depression. The Major tried to snap him out of his malaise, but nothing seemed to work.

Anthony knew the legend about the ghost wagon. The Major did not.

The legend states if the ghost wagon races toward you but no one calls out it will crash into you and everyone is doomed. But if one person shouts out to the cart--as Anthony did--he will save everyone’s life except his own.

A week later Anthony’s body was found dead at the bottom of a cliff next to his coach and horses.

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