Cape Town is home to many historical sites and monuments, most of which are centuries old. Many ghost stories have become Mother City legends over the years, with tales of spectres and apparitions becoming quite well-known.
Some of the most famous Cape Town ghosts include ‘Daddy’ West, who lingers around the Green Point Lighthouse; Sister Fatima, who floats in the long corridors of Groote Schuur Hospital; and Elsa Cloete, who inhabits Kitima Restaurant in Hout Bay.
And soon Damhuis Restaurant might join the ranks of famous haunted spots in the Mother City as some staff members, and patrons have experienced ghostly encounters. The Damhuis, one of the oldest buildings in South Africa, was the first structure built in Melkbosstrand and dates back to 1785, so considering its long history, it’s no surprise that a few spooks have appeared over the years.
So, we decided to do some investigating and asked some of our patrons to recount any strange observations or encounters with spirits (and by that we mean ghosts, of course, not close calls with gin or whiskey as one of our patrons Fraser Gregg experienced!).
Ghostly Encounters at Damhuis Restaurant
“I felt and saw a mother figure spirit that was very dominant in the area between toilets and kitchen. I am highly sensitive to spirits. I had to burn white sage and cleanse myself when I got home. I have not been back to Damhuis ever since.” From Judith
“I went to the bathroom with my grand-daughter, who was four months old at that stage, and she started screaming the moment we walked in and wouldn’t stop. She kept on looking at the wall above the mirror and stopped crying as soon as we walked out. My daughter and I were convinced she saw something.” Marthie Potgieter
“I knew a girl who lived in the rooms at the back of Damhuis (where the toilets are now), she always said the place was haunted.” Neil van Zyl
“I have heard the odd, strange noise emanating from the walls…could there be two ghosts?” Bryan Douglas-Henry
Meanwhile, Damhuis Restaurant’s Executive Chef, Stefan Meintjes, has also had a few spooky encounters: “I’ve been in the Voorhuijs late in the evening and saw something through the window outside. I could not figure out what it was. As I ran outside, I saw just a shady thing sailing across the wall. We have an old clock in the Voorhuijs that does not work, but sometimes it just begins to chime. What’s more, spoons and other goods fall out of their places. Over the years, I have learned that there is an elderly woman in the Voorhuijs and the little girl in bathrooms.”
But other than personal stories, is there any evidence? Cape Town Paranormal Investigations recently spent some time in the restaurant, and this is what they found:
Still not convinced? Well, pop into Damhuis for a unique dining experience, and perhaps a spirit or two (other than the gin or whiskey) will make an appearance. To avoid disappointment, don’t forget to reserve a table.