The Mysterious Hanging

TranquilpenStarred Page By Tranquilpen, 21st Mar 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1otj1ps0/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Paranormal>Ghosts & Spirits

An old farmer named Daniel Botha, farming on the outskirts of the small town of Mooi River in the Midlands of Kwa Zulu Natal in South Africa was suspected by his neighbors of having murdered a smous the Dutch name for (peddler), whom he had invited to spend the night at his house.

A Dubious Benefactor

It was the year 1868, and peddling was common place in the farming districts of South Africa in those days. Peddlers either toting their huge tin trunks of trinkets, combs, cheap jewelry, knitted clothes and books, strapped to their backs or in the case of a minute few more affluent peddlers among them, making use of mule drawn wagons, had traversed the country by all manner of lonely trails and dirt roads, and in the absence of any hotels or boarding houses, were compelled to rely upon the kindness of country folk for hospitality which sometimes brought them into contact with some strange characters, some of whom were not altogether scrupulous in their methods of earning a living, murder frequently being an acceptable means to that end. It occasionally occurred that a peddler with a swollen purse would be traced to the isolated farms of some such rough characters and could seldom be traced beyond that point. The peddler in question, Mr.Samuel Cohen was still working his way towards eventually owning a wagon and a mule some day. One such dubious character was the farmer Daniel Botha or"old man Botha," as he was always called. (Such names are usually given in the farming"settlements" to elderly persons who are not necessarily held in high regard for their social worth within the community, but is rather a reference to their approaching old age.) Over the years, several peddlers had stayed overnight at his farm, purses bulging, on their return journeys to the coastal city of Durban to replenish their depleted supplies. None were ever seen leaving old man Botha's farm or even heard from again for that matter. That is all that anybody knew.

A Trunk-like Object Tied To His Back.

Several years after the strange disappearance of the Jewish peddler Samuel Cohen, a preacher, Rev. Groenewald, a Dutch Reformed minister well known in that farming district, was driving by old man Botha's farm one night. It was not very dark and there was a full moon somewhere above the light veil of mist that lay along the ground ahead of his horse drawn buggy.

The Reverend , who was at all times a cheerful person, was whistling a favorite hymn, which he would occasionally interrupt to speak a word of friendly encouragement to his horse. As he came to the familiar little wooden bridge crossing the dry ravine, he saw the figure of a man standing on it, clearly outlined against the slate-gray background of the nearby pine forest. The man appeared to be hunched over from the weight of a large trunk-like object which appeared to be strapped onto his back.

Climb Aboard If Your'e Going My Way

In the pale moonlight, the man had a vacant look and appeared to be sleepwalking. When the Reverend's Buggy drew up in front of the man, he gave him a pleasant salutation and invited him to board his Buggy"if you are going my way," he added. The man raised his head, looked him full in the face, but neither answered nor made any further movement.

The minister, good-naturedly repeated his invitation. At which point, the man slowly raised his right hand from his side and pointed a shaky finger downward towards the bottom of the ravine, directly below to where he was standing on the extreme edge the bridge. Groenewald looked past him, over into the shadowy ravine, saw nothing unusual and withdrew his gaze to address the man again but the man had simply vanished! The Reverend's horse, which had all this time been uncommonly restless, gave a snort of terror and started to bolt headlong out of control. He managed to eventually regain control of the animal at the crest of the hill a hundred yards along the trail. He looked back and again saw the figure, standing at the same spot and carrying the same object on his back, as when he had first observed it. Then for the first time, he was becoming conscious of a feeling of dread and of being in the presence of supernatural forces and drove home as rapidly as his horse would go.

Witnesses To A Hanging

On arriving at home he related his strange tale to his wife, and early the next morning, accompanied by two neighbors, Johannes Du Toit and Albert Malan, returned to the spot. They found the body of old man Botha hanging by the neck from one of the beams of the bridge, immediately beneath the spot where the apparition had stood. A thick coating of dust, slightly dampened by the night mist, covered the floor of the bridge, but the only tracks visible were those of Reverend Groenewalds' horse drawn buggy.

In taking down the body the men had disturbed the loose, friable earth of the slope below it, revealing a partially clothed human skeleton already uncovered by the erosive actions of rain water and wind. Inside an inner jacket pocket, Johannes Du Toit found a photograph and documents identifying the remains as that of the missing peddler Samuel Cohen who had mysteriously disappeared after visiting old man Botha's farm.

Perhaps Retribution From Beyond?

At the double inquest the coroner found that Daniel Botha had died by his own hand while suffering from temporary insanity, and that the peddler Samuel Cohen was murdered by a single crushing blow to the back of his skull by some assailant or assailants unknown.
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EPILOGUE

The bridge crossing the ravine has virtually disintegrated through disuse over the past
100 years and the modern Mooi River highway bypasses the ravine bridge entirely. The area is very picturesque and is often frequented by campers and hikers alike. Some of whom have over the years reported the presence of supernatural activity in the vicinity of the ravine on particularly misty, moonlit nights.

Tags

Apparition, Ghost Story, Ghostly Apparitions, Ghouls, Murder, Murder Crimes, Murder Mystery, New, Peddlers, Spirit, Spirit Guide, Spiritual Forces, Spiritual Realm, Supernatural

Meet the author

author avatar Tranquilpen
As Andre' Hartslief, I strongly believe, that In life, there are no justified resentments.”We the old legends will become relics and fade away, while new giants emerge in our world of sobering truths.

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Comments

author avatar Songbird B
21st Mar 2013 (#)

What a great tale Andre', this made a great read, and I could almost picture it..
There are many tales about supernatural spirits being seen on roads..Great Star page dear friend..\0/x

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author avatar Tranquilpen
22nd Mar 2013 (#)

Hello Bev, Thank you for reading this tale. Glad you enjoyed it.

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author avatar Retired
21st Mar 2013 (#)

Haunting! Good storytelling touches, too, with the 'whistling of a hymn' and the horse's restlessness...good contrast and 'accent's. Interesting tale. Thanks for sharing. Indeed, a great star page. :)

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author avatar Tranquilpen
22nd Mar 2013 (#)

Hello RDN, inspiring comments, thank you dear friend.

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author avatar M G Singh
22nd Mar 2013 (#)

Its a great post friend. I have had some supernatural experiences also and will pen them

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author avatar Tranquilpen
22nd Mar 2013 (#)

Hello Madan, thanks for reading it, looking forward to reading your own supernatural tales.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
22nd Mar 2013 (#)

Wonderfully scary...thanks Tranquilpen..

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author avatar Tranquilpen
22nd Mar 2013 (#)

Hello Delicia, glad you liked it dear friend.

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author avatar johnbee
23rd Mar 2013 (#)

Good thought

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author avatar Tranquilpen
26th Mar 2013 (#)

Thanks?

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author avatar C.D. Moore
23rd Mar 2013 (#)

Wonderful ghost story!

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author avatar Tranquilpen
26th Mar 2013 (#)

Hi CD, glad you liked it. Thank you for reading.

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author avatar Djbrat
25th Mar 2013 (#)

I love this story, I love a great ghost story, great read. ♥

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author avatar Tranquilpen
26th Mar 2013 (#)

Hello Djbrat, Glad you liked it, more to follow. Thank you for reading.

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author avatar Mariah
29th Apr 2013 (#)

So do I, especially one's which are so descriptive of the scenes
you can almost see it as the story unfolds.
Brilliant
Mariah

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author avatar Tranquilpen
29th Apr 2013 (#)

There you go again with your inspiration, I simply thrive on it. More to follow as soon as I get my research done. Thanks for reading.

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