Swartberg Pass Ghost Spices Courtship

Long ago, a  romantic young Karoo man tried to impress his future in-laws, but instead ended up  in the company of a ghost. Hansie Odendaal, who lived in Prince Albert in 1949, offered to take his prospective bride and her parents on a drive across the Swartberg Pass.  On one of the steep gradients the car stalled. The engine refused to fire up again and darkness was approaching.  So, in a rising mist, Hansie packed rocks behind the wheels and started to walk back to the Old Toll House where he thought he had seen someone.  As he approached, the figure still stood there, but did not react to his calls. Then, when Hansie arrived at the tollhouse, it was empty.  Shrugging off what he had seen as simply an unfriendly hiker, Hansie decided to run down the pass to  borrow a car in Prince Albert.  Then he felt a shadow following him.  Each time Hansie  turned he saw nothing, yet he felt the presence. He became nervous and ran faster. When Hansie reached Tweede Water, the shadow  vanished, as did his anxiety.   Hansie  managed to find a car and return for Hettie and her parents, who had also started walking down the pass.  They were convinced  a young man had accompanied them all the way down until they reached Fonteintjie, where he vanished. They were not concerned as they thought he lived somewhere on the mountain. Later, according to Helena Marincowitz’s book Prince Albert, Local Stories, Hansie discovered that a young police constable, who had accidently shot himself in 1885, was said to haunt the Swartberg Pass in the area where their car had stalled.

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