The Sunday Mail
Famous ghosts that saved lives
Though stories of the dead returning from the afterlife to involve themselves in the affairs of the living are as old as humanity, they still send chills down many people’s spines.
When terrifying stories about ghosts are told during the night, those listening often experience nightmares.
But while the majority of ghost stories are frightening, some are not as horrifying as those involving Count Dracula, the main character of Bram Stoker’s 1897 gothic horror novel, Dracula.
Throughout history, people have often interacted with “friendly and helpful” ghosts.
Bongani, a dreadlocked ghost who reportedly patronised some Bulawayo suburbs, is among those paranormal beings that somehow “endeared” themselves to the living.
In an article published by The Chronicle, several Bulawayo residents said they came into contact with this ghost. Described by those that came into contact with him as “charming, helpful and well-mannered”, the supernatural being often courted women at night, introducing himself as Bongani, before proposing love.
For unknown reasons, Bongani did not talk to males and often disappeared when men got close.
Bongani was known to possess charm.
A woman who was quoted in The Chronicle recounted: “I think I met this ghost on New Year’s Eve around 2am when I was coming from church and it talked very nicely to me. Ordinarily, I would have been scared to meet a man at that time of the night but I did not feel threatened. When I was about to get home, a car appeared and blinded us with its headlights. When it had gone past, I could not see the man.”
The same article also quoted Nobuhle Hlatshwayo, 71, saying she had had a brush with the charming ghost in 2011.
“I was coming from Botswana and I arrived around 1am on Christmas Eve. I saw a well-built dreadlocked man who was dressed in white. He offered to help me carry my luggage. He said he was Bongani. He was polite and very charming. I let him carry my bags,” said Hlatshwayo.
Hlatshwayo said although it was dark and she was afraid of being robbed, the figure, dressed in white, was reassuring. But Bongani reportedly disappeared when Hlatshwayo reached her gate.
Apart from chatting up women, Bongani was also a vigilante who reportedly saved a woman from being gang-raped.
“A woman who lived about two houses away from ours was attacked by four men one night. They dragged her into the cemetery with the intention of gang-raping her.
“They were about to rape her when they saw a flash of light from a distance. When the light appeared again, it was very close to them and the figure of a dreadlocked man became visible. They all shouted that it was a ghost and fled,” Beatrice Moyo, a local resident was quoted saying.
In a related case, another dreadlocked man believed to be a ghost was believed to roam the Chiadzwa diamond fields during the time when illegal mining activities were rampant.
According to the accounts, the mysterious man would randomly pick a diamond panner and lead him to a pit. The pit that would have been picked by the mysterious man often produced bountiful high-quality gems.
Then Mary, who posed as a sex worker in Mbare during the late 1980s, drew the imagination of many and became a “celebrity” of some sort. Children often sang songs about her exploits, drawing both fear and laughter from the kids.
Mary, according to the folktale, would frequent bars and pose as a sex worker. She would mysteriously lure men to cemeteries.
During the late ’80s and the early ’90s, reports of a ghost prostitute that patronised the Bulawayo City Centre as well as the high-density suburbs of Pelandaba (Number 6), Mpopoma and Old Magwegwe spread like veld-fire.
Jane, “the ghost prostitute”, was famous for vanishing on clients who would have engaged her. According to media reports then, Jane would lure men, only to disappear mysteriously when they reached the Pelandaba Cemetery.
Jane’s legendary vanishing acts drew the attention of a local film producer and a film script that narrated Jane’s life was penned. However, a proposed movie on Jane’s exploits never materialised.
After reading about the aforementioned ghost experiences, one might be tempted to conclude that after all, ghosts are not as terrifying as they are often portrayed in the movies.
As it turns out, there are actually “nice and charming” ghosts out there.
Ghosts that reportedly saved lives!
The Gray Man
The small town of Pawleys Island in South Carolina in the United States is home to beautiful beaches, historic homes and apparently a lot of ghosts, the most famous of which is known as the Gray Man.
For 200 years, there have been numerous sightings of the mysterious grey figure, typically right before a major hurricane hits the area.
Seeing the grey man could not only save one’s life but also one’s home.
Dead wife appears
According to the Chicago Tribune, a farmer named Charles Henry Durand was heading home late one evening when his horse stopped in the middle of the road. This happened back when people still rode horses. His horse stopped and would not move any further and began to tremble.
Suddenly, the air grew oppressive and a faint light appeared, gradually taking the shape of a woman beside Durand’s wagon.
At this point, Durand wanted to run away, but he was too scared to move a muscle.
The white figure then spoke in a whisper and said, “There is danger at home, stay away until morning.”
It was then that Durand said he recognised the voice of his late wife. As soon as the warning was uttered, the figure disappeared.
Durand just went straight on home where he noticed that a window he had locked was now open and there were muddy footprints inside the house.
As he walked inside carefully, he noticed a string, which he pulled with his umbrella.
Right then, a gun went off, and the bullet would have hit Durand straight in the chest if he had not noticed the string, which was hard to see in the dark. Durand told the paper he would have died if it was not for his late wife’s warning. – Online sources