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Terror In The Prison

 

I was one of those incredibly stupid (or naive) young people, that didn't read the fine print before 'signing on the dotted line'! I found myself hundreds of kilometres away from where I had intended, at the gates of Kroonstad Prison. Thankfully, not as an inmate, but as a new prison wardress.

I had decided to join the Correction Services, in the thought that I would be stationed in Johannesburg, where my fiancΓ© was stationed as a police man. What a fiasco! Karma had other plans for me.

Kroonstad is a predominantly Afrikaans city, with all the staff of this medium security, long-term prison, being Afrikaners'. I, on the other hand, had never had to use Afrikaans in a conversation, outside of school. English was my home language, and still is.

I decided to make the best of a bad situation and 'knuckle down'. I was allotted a room (to share with another wardress) in a house across the wide dirt road from our Lieutenants' house. It was August, the windy month here. It was also the year of the great drought, 1966. Sometimes the wind and dust were so bad that the Lieutenants' house was barely visible as I stepped out in the mornings, to walk the short distance to work. The red dust was suffocating, playing havoc with my sinuses.

As a novice, my first duty was as a gate-keeper. I was given a 'Union' key, which opened the gate to the main corridor, leading to the court-yards and kitchen. I was only allowed to let uniformed personnel in or out. At first, I took a great interest, watching the comings and goings of the staff, hearing snippets of their conversations, and trying to string together the meaning of their words.

I soon tired of this, as I became accustomed to the language. After a couple of weeks, I was sent for fittings for my uniform. (I was still wearing 'civvies' at this point.)

Seeing that I was in civvies, and did not need to change out of uniform, my Lieutenant ordered me to guard a prisoner, whom had to go for treatment at the doctor in the city. I soon learned that this prisoner was the only English speaking woman (of the 16 whites, at that time) in the prison.

Fraternising with prisoners was expressly forbidden. On the ride into Kroonstad centre, when this woman heard that I was English, it was as if the flood gates opened. She poured into my ear, the tale of how she and her husband had been 'nabbed' for fraud. Both had been sent to Kroonstad Prison to spend their sentences. Both in the same prison, but widely separated from each other; seemingly never to see each other again.

On the ride back to the prison, this woman told me how she had been sent to the sewing room, within the prison walls, to help make postal bags. According to her, this room had a window (or windows) very high up, near the ceiling, to let in sunlight. One day, while working in there, she heard a noise coming from the roof. (It is a high one story building.) She looked up to see what was going on. To her utter amazement, she espied her husband, dangling from a rope, outside the window. He saw her, let go of the roof and waved to her. Suddenly, he let out a yell, and disappeared from sight; this was followed by an ominous thud.

She was shocked and alarmed by these events. She later learned that her husband had been sent on a maintenance detail, to fix something on the women's side of the prison. (I don't remember what.) He had by great chance, seen his wife through the window; while waving to her, the safety rope had broken, and he had plunged to his death.

It was allegedly through this experience, that this woman had to go for treatment. I never found out if this was all true, because I was too scared to admit to any of the staff, that I had spoken to her, or even listened to her. I did not want her (or me) to get into trouble.

I don't know if listening to this woman's story, had any bearing on events which followed. I will leave it to my readers, to be the judge of that.

A month or so later, I was assigned to 'first night shift' (4 until 12pm). I was shown the route I was to follow, clocking in at various points, to prove that I had actually done my rounds. This route led through the kitchens, near to the sewing room and chapel.

At first, I had no problem with this. It was actually great! I had the whole day off (until 4pm) then had to report for parade, and then go on duty. I could even put reverse calls through to my fiancΓ© from the Lieutenant's office; but we fought a LOT over the phone. I started to become very 'nervy' and somewhat depressed.

Suddenly, my trips through the kitchens, (2 LARGE ones back to back) became a nightmare! I got a feeling of dread every time as I approached them. I could not pin-point the cause. It was not that I saw anything out of place, or heard anything unusual. Under the harsh electric lighting of the long corridor, all that was heard was that damnable wind, howling through the eaves, and my scurrying foot-steps. I was just plain scared sh*tless!

I would feel my palms become sweaty as I clasped my large key; my heart would feel like it was clutched in an ever tightening icy grip. As I entered the first kitchen, it would seem as if all the hounds of hell gathered at my heels, to gnash at me with their fangs. This caused me to make a frantic dash to reach the other side, and the 'safety' of the other side of this phalanx shaped building. There to continue my rounds and afterwards, turn around and retrace my steps, back through the dreaded kitchens.

This eventually became too much for me. My sanity was hanging on by a thread. I started self-medicating on pills. I felt as if something very evil resided within the walls of those kitchens!

My health took a sudden dive. My nerves and sinuses could no longer take the pounding! On the insistence of my superior, I visited the doctor. After listening to me, he hhrruuffed a few times; then made a phone call from another room. On his return, he wrote something on what looked like a report sheet; wrote something else on a note pad, which he tore off and handed to me. I learned that I had just got a medical discharge from the Prison Services.

The next day, I was on my way to Randfontein, courtesy of the Correctional Services bus. The Correctional Services Band was on its way to Johannesburg, Pretoria etc., and the driver was very obliging. He made a small detour, and dropped me off at my future mother-in-law's house. She was, of course, very surprised to find me on her door step, but very welcoming. I boarded with her until my wedding the next March.

Thank you for reading my tale of terror. I have no idea if any of this was paranormal, your input would be most welcome!

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Fergie, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

ConfederateGhost (16 posts)
-1
4 years ago (2013-09-02)
What is it with south africans and prisons? You need to visit Pollsmoor prison, it's a site to see how the boer people ran things.
Shlain (13 stories) (246 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-11-10)
I will take your word for it!

Thanks for sharing this story. Will keep an eye out for the rest!

❀
Fergie (36 stories) (1094 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-11-10)
Hi Shlain,
Not to contradict you in any way, but when I was in Europe, we visited Belgium as well as Holland. I found that Flemish is actually nearer to Afrikaans than Dutch.

No, I wasn't 'brave' to be a prison wardress... Only so, so ignorant, and naive!

Thank you for reading, and your comment.
Shlain (13 stories) (246 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-11-10)
It seems to be going around. Ai tog!

Dutch and Afrikaans could be sisters.

You were very brave to be a wardess. Prisons hold too much negativity.
Fergie (36 stories) (1094 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-11-10)
[at] folly, ek het nooit Afikaans sprekende mense as minderbevoorregtes beskou nie! Van my beste vriendine is Afrikaans sprekend. Die taal is nog steeds 'n uitdaging, vir my. Al is my huis taal Engels, "Die Stem" in Afikaans, is nog steeds die enigste "Anthem" vir my!

[at] Isolde, my step-mother is from the Netherlands, so I could understand what you said. Few 'uitlanders' can really comprehend the situation here.

My apologies to all the non-Afrikaans speaking people.
This little outburst, had nothing to do with my story. πŸ˜•
Isolde (guest)
+1
5 years ago (2012-11-10)
Folly, persoonlijk vind ik het Afrikaans prachtig, maar soms wel een uitdaging om het te begrijpen. Over de sociale context van de taal in Zuid-Afrika weet ik echter heel weinig.
folly (7 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-11-10)
In die verlede was afrikaans gesien as taal vir die minderbevooregtes
En om engels te wees was gewoontlik die beter uitweg. Kan jy darem nou bietjie afrikaans praat of sien jy dit nog steeds as taal vir arm blankes en kleurlinge. And then people wonder why South Africa is in such a mess πŸ˜•
Fergie (36 stories) (1094 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-10-31)
Dear Ari,
Thank you for your comment. 😊
Yes, I was terrified! I don't remember a time, previously, when I had felt such debilitating fear! I was reduced to a 'gibbering idiot', and the crazy part is, I still have not come to a solid conclusion, as to why!
Thanks for reading, Ari.
Sceptic-Ari (2 stories) (604 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-10-31)
Dear Fergie,
Although it must have been terrifying for you, I love this story, more so because of its ambiguous nature.

Thanks
Regards
galleygal (3 stories) (150 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-06)
Electromagnetic radiation creates bad vibes, or rather, one's perception of bad vibes.

EMR is emanated from everything, living and inanimate. I've wondered if exposure to a previously unknown level of EMR can create feelings of unease, simply because it is new and unfamiliar.

So many ghost stories take place in a new location: a new home, a new workplace. Maybe it is just the different level of EMR emanated from the new location that gives people the heebie-jeebies?
Miracles51031 (36 stories) (4802 posts) mod
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-06)
Fergie - it must be that Mars/Venus thing πŸ˜‰ or the natural inclination for men and women to see different sides of things 😊. Whatever the case, most of the time, in cases of the paranormal, it ends up being a good thing ❀
Fergie (36 stories) (1094 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-06)
Well Miracles, it seems, by general consensus, that the ladies seem to think that it was 'bad vibes'; while the gents think that it was high EMF, plus negative energy from myself! My personal opinion... I think that you ALL could be right!
It is highly probable that it was a combination, of all of the above, that caused my big scare. Up until this point in time, I don't remember ever encountering anything paranormal. πŸ˜•
Fergie (36 stories) (1094 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-08-06)
Well Jav, if I made you smile with my 'adventures' or 'misadventures', I am glad! 😁
Mmm, not quite knives being thrown at my head, but I get your point! (Pun intended) LOL
I have had a few jobs, that were 'poles apart'...a window-dresser for a large department store, a prison wardress, the manager of our local 'bug-house' (cinema), and supervisor of export for a large textile factory... Amongst others.
My hardest 'job' of all, was trying to be a good Mom to our three girls! They turned out well, so I must have done something good, along the way. 😁
galleygal (3 stories) (150 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-05)
[at] Miracle - I see what you mean, and I agree. No matter how "pleasant" prison can be (relative to other prisons, or for a habituated prisoner), I'm sure nobody goes in the first time feeling delighted to be there. And the feeling is compounded every time a so-called fresh fish is introduced. I can't imagine a lot of positive energy is flowing around in those places.
Miracles51031 (36 stories) (4802 posts) mod
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-04)
Fergie - I agree with geetha's thought that all prisons are "haunted." After all prisons, whether they are minimum or maximum security, state or federal, men or women, or even juvenile, are still prisons.

This is only my opinion, but I strongly believe this. Everyone in that prison is still in prison... Regardless of what that reason is. Whether or not that reason is justified, whether they are guilty or innocent, they are still in prison. Some of them have families that have turned against them, are ashamed and no longer have anything to do with them; some have had family members commit suicide over what they have done. Some die alone in prison protesting their innocence to the end. Some of them mark the minutes until visitation, just so they can see their families. This is just the "good" things that go on in prisons. I can't, and won't, talk about the evil that goes on in prisons. My daughter's dad was a guard at a maximum security prison. I heard so many horror stories that I've tried so hard to forget.

What I'm trying to say is, all of this stuff creates it's own energy that does create "hauntings." I apologize if I'm not explaining what I mean well enough. I still have this migraine 😒, but I really wanted tell you that I think I understand what geetha was saying and that I do agree with her.
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-04)
Fergie,
I am simply amazed at some of these adventures you have had. One day you are a wardress at a prison in South Africa, another you are on stage in a genie outfit getting knives tossed at you. I can't wait to see what you bring next! 😁
Dear silly, sweet, wise and wonderful Fergie. It is a joy getting to know you through your stories and conversations.
Thank you for making me smile.

Jav ❀

~ πŸ˜‰ ~
Fergie (36 stories) (1094 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-08-04)
Gallygal, I agree with you, a conscious rejection by our Grans' for a whole culture... Plus language? My Grans' bitterness lasted many years... Till she HAD to accept an Afrikaans daughter-in-law! Her youngest sons' bride...

No, thankfully I was not transferred... They kicked me out... I went on to get a job in a Pharmacy... Which lasted until I was far pregnant with my first daughter.

I was only surprised at geetha's question, of the prison being haunted, because it was only a medium security prison. No executions... No hard labour! At that stage, not even a high wall, or barbed wire fence. One inmate, from the male side, was in for life. He was allowed to go into town, on his own, without escourt, with transport.
In those days, from what I saw, the only time inmates ran into trouble, was if they asked for it! They actually ate better than we did, the food that we ate at the mess hall (cooked for about 500) was of an inferior quality. I often wished that I could eat with the prisoners... Their food was that good!
galleygal (3 stories) (150 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-08-04)
I forgot to add: because I saw someone comment on here that they thought that most prisons were haunted, or they were supposed to be haunted, and I thought your reply to that person indicated surprise at that idea. So I wondered if you went on to work in many prisons and never had problems in them.

I've never been in prison (yet!) but I'm not surprised that people would think they are spooky places. So much unhappiness there...
galleygal (3 stories) (150 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-04)
Differences in specifics aside, I'd bet that the bitterness and anger our grandmothers felt was the same. Certainly the results were the same - a conscious rejection of the responsible culture and heritage.

So after this, did they send you to another prison to work?
Fergie (36 stories) (1094 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-08-03)
Lol! Gallygal, I don't think that my Gran ever considered herself a South African, per se. Remember, when she was young, SA was under British rule.

When I joined the Prison Services, it still all fell under the Government. One huge umbrella for the whole of SA. All that they took into consideration at that time, was that you had a "Matric Certificate"; in other words, that you had completed 12 years of schooling. They then sent you to wherever they needed a replacement. My marks at school, for Afrikaans, must have been high enough for them to deem 'worthy'...or they just didn't look that far? πŸ˜•
Maybe the phone call that the Dr. Made, was to my Lieutenant? Maybe she said that I was not 'fitting in' so well, as far as language was concerned? Who knows? All I know is, that I was nothing short of hysterical, at that point!
Thank you for your reply 😊
galleygal (3 stories) (150 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-02)
I had a grandmother like that - she renounced her Italianship (?) over something historical.

I understood that you didn't choose the posting, what was strange to me was that the powers that be would be send you there when you didn't know that language... And then just as randomly send you away over what most would consider 90% vapors, 10% adverse physical reaction to the environment.

In the US, Correctional Services falls under the Civil Services umbrella, at least is does in my state. People apply for specific positions that they want, but I think Civil Services make plenty of mistakes here... Maybe that's true all over the world
Fergie (36 stories) (1094 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-08-02)
Gallygal, thank you for your interest. As stated in my profile, I was raised by my paternal grandmother. What I omitted, was that "the family" came over with the 1820 settlers, from the British Isles. My Gran was a child when the 'Siege of Kimberley' took place; she, along with her mother & many other women & children, were lowered to tunnels in the "Big Hole", for safety, while Kimberley was being shelled by the Boers. My Gran's 'aversion' to Afrikaans stemmed from that. I was not allowed to play with any other than English children.

As you will notice, at the beginning of my tale, I didn't 'choose' to go to Kroonstad, I was posted there, much to my chagrin! With my deficiency in Afrikaans, that would have been the last place that I would have liked to go.
As for the doctors, the one I was sent to was on site. The Dr. The inmate went to see in the city center, was a specialist... Possibly a psychiatrist?

I hope I have answered all your questions to your satisfaction. If you have any more... Please don't hesitate to ask,

Sincerely,
Fergie.
galleygal (3 stories) (150 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-02)
What an odd story... I believe you were picking up on bad vibes (really, really, bad vibes)!

Other things about your story were strange to me; I mean, things peripheral to the story.

I don't mean to badger you, but I am curious!

I see that the story originated in South Africa, so I looked at your profile and see that you were born and raised in Kimbereley, where today nearly half the population speaks Afrikaans. Back then, probably more did!

It seems weird that you never picked up at least conversational Afrikaans (despite exposure at school), and weirder yet you still got a job at a place where that is the predominant language!

I was curious too about something regarding the doctors in the story: did the prison not have any doctors on staff?
Fergie (36 stories) (1094 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-02)
Hi Ashville, the Dr's reactions were strange, on reflection. I thought I would get a bottle of pills, and a slap on the back! Maybe also a lecture; instead, I got a discharge... What a surprise... My head was spinning with these sudden developments! I had never heard of these happenings before, nor since! Just maybe, that Dr. Knew something that I didn't!
Well, at the time, my Afrikaans was very bad, so I didn't have anyone to confide in, or hear of anyone else that might have had a similar experience, while alone on night-shift. πŸ€”
I hope you are very happy in your new job... It sucks, if you aren't!
Thank you so much for reading, and your comment.
Fergie (36 stories) (1094 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-02)
LMAO Jav, you are always welcome at my shows; late or not, I will always make space for the Arizona Lady! 😊
The turnout has been great... All are welcome, to see what a 'ninny' I was back then. Mmm... Under the circumstances... I wonder what I would have done differently now? It sure was spooky for me!
Yep! A prison wardress for almost four months. Lol! It just goes to show, what silly things can happen, when you are young and naive!
Thanks for reading, and your great comment Jav.
ashville (3 stories) (42 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-02)
Hi fergie. Perhaps the doctor who signed you out new something...? As you say he didn't ask much but with out relucting, discharged you after just hearing your story and your symptoms. Have you found out if anyone who works there or previously worked there suffered similar experiences. Imagine what long term effect that could have had on you... So happy you got out. Yes, topped with the fights... Depression and not wanting to be there prob all contributed. I SO know that feeling of like, wanting to tear at myself because I so badly can't handle where I am at, needles to say I got a NEW job... So happy! Look forward to hearing more:)
Fergie (36 stories) (1094 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-08-02)
You are welcome JS, 😊
You are looking forward to my next story? Humm! I have a serious decision to make! Which one do I post, at the end of the month? A sad one?...maybe not yet; maybe I should post one about my 3 daughters' experiences? You will just have to wait and see. πŸ€”
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
+2
5 years ago (2012-08-02)
Of course this is what happens when you arrive late for the show, all the good seats have already been taken. Looks like the membership was on the ball for you here Fergie. And of course Lou is pretty much dead on with his assessment. The 'fear cage' phenomenon would be something that would grow in intensity with time and exposure, our systems can only protect us for a time before we fall prey to these outside influences. I can see how this could happen quite easily, given the surroundings.
On another note... You worked at a prison? In South Africa? Fergie, you are simply a wonder to behold, I mean it. What in the world will the next adventure bring us? Whatever it is, I'm ordering my tickets now.

Jav 😁
Fergie (36 stories) (1094 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-08-02)
HappySpirit, thank you for your comment and compliment.
I had an inkling that there may be more to my tale than the paranormal! Lou and Rook, were both a great help. 😁
I think that those great clouds of red dust, didn't help much with anyone's mood, at that time... Probably many more were depressed by that weather. We were only allowed to bath once a week, in about 2 inches of water, because of the drought... Tea and coffee was made with milk, to make it drinkable... The water was recycled! Ugh! 😐
Thank you for reading, HappySpirit
Jesus_soldier (3 stories) (416 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-08-02)
Fergie: Thank you for those sweet words 😊. I didn't think about how it would be if you were a SLIder. Your right, you would probably need another pair πŸ˜†. I'm looking forward to your next stories.

JS aka Brandon ❀

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