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The Old Businessman


Here I will give you another account of my brush with the supernatural, as it were. The account is rather lengthy, so please bear with me.

During the years between 1997 and 1999 I worked as a DJ and hosted the karaoke events at a karaoke bar in Sunnyside, Pretoria. We would usually close up in the very early hours of the morning, usually anything from 2am to 6am. In those years I lived in an apartment in Schoeman Street, Arcadia, and since it was not too far from my workplace, I usually walked home after these long nights. My path home always took me through the park surrounding Pretoria's Art Museum in Arcadia, and for the most part it was usually quite uneventful. That was, until early in 1998.

I had just left my workplace, since it was a quiet night and I was already heading home just after midnight. I walked the stone pathway through the park when I caught a glimpse of someone on the other end of the path walking towards me. At that point I could not make out much of this person, since it was quite dark, and I could only see the shape of the person's body as he walked on the path.

As I drew closer, I could see that the figure was wearing a hat and was carrying some sort of briefcase in his hand. He was walking in a slightly stooped manner, like an old person. Then it hit me. This person was walking, but wasn't getting anywhere. He was on exactly the same spot he had been when I first saw him. I stopped walking and just stared in shock at this strange event playing off before my eyes. Steeling my nerve, I decided to suck it up and walk toward this strange old fellow, mostly to make sure that I hadn't lost my marbles. As I drew closer, however, the old gentleman started to simply fade away, until he was completely gone by the time I had reached the spot where I saw him, next to a large tree and a park bench.

Completely baffled and still wondering if I had truly lost my mind, I started looking around me to try and figure out what might have caused me to see the man, only to see him again on the other side of the path (where I had just come from), walking in my direction once more! I stared for a while, in shock, when he eventually faded again I decided it was high time to get myself home.

Several nights after that the old businessman would show himself again in exactly the same way on my early morning walks home. I was never able to get very close to him to see any facial features, but I was eventually able to see that he wore a light colored suit and a dark tie, and the hat's color matched the suit pretty well.

On one of these nights, a friend and fellow DJ decided to accompany me home through the Art Museum's park, since his girlfriend lived in an apartment block which bordered my own, and he wanted to pay her a visit. The moment we set foot on the path, the old businessman made his appearance once more next to his tree and bench, and started his never ending walk towards us. We continued walking and I studied my fellow DJ as we drew closer to the old man. My colleague suddenly stopped dead in his tracks and simply pointed a look of sheer terror on his face. I looked over to the where he pointed, and saw that the old man was now several meters above the ground, still continuing his walk, an event that had never happened before. My colleague refused to continue further down the path, and we ended up taking the long route around. As a side note, to this day my colleague has not set foot on that path at night.

A few months later I attempted to speak to the old gentleman, so on one of these nights that I saw him, I walked towards him until he disappeared, then sat myself down at "his" park bench and started to ask him questions, of which I sadly got no reply. Other than my initial feeling of shock and confusion after our first meeting, I never once felt any ill will from him, merely a rather displaced calm. The old gentleman eventually stopped appearing in the park as the year went on, until he was just a rather interesting memory.

Now the account doesn't end here, though. In an apartment building right across from the Art Museum lived a very nice old lady who my girlfriend at the time and I would visit and help to go grocery shopping on occasion. One day in 1999, while enjoying tea and cookies at her apartment, she told us of an event that happened in that very park at the art museum to her, her grandson and some of his friends in the early 1980s.

The boys and girls were playing in the park in the early afternoon while she was watching them from one of the park benches nearby. An elderly gentleman in a hat and a light tan business suit and a suitcase walked towards them. With a warm smile he greeted the children in Afrikaans: "Goeie more, julle klein engeltjies." (Good morning, you little angels.) He then proceeded to walk straight through two trees and simply vanished, leaving the children in a state of panic, and the distraught and utterly confused grandmother doing her best to calm them down.

I believe that this was the same old gentleman who I happened to meet on my early morning walks home, though he seemed far more communicative and much more mobile in the 80s. I have on several occasions tried to find out who he might have been, but could not find anything that would explain his presence there, since no old news reports or even word of mouth tales had any account of an old businessman dying in that park.

Perhaps the old gentleman loved strolling through the park in life, and merely wished to continue visiting the place he loved so much even after death.

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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 Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Hexotericka, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Hexotericka (6 stories) (45 posts)
15 years ago (2009-07-31)
Hi, Summer. Ek is ook bly om nog 'n Suid Afrikaner hier te sien! Daar is 'n klomp Suid Afrikaanse stories hier, maar so ver het ek nog net jou gesien as aktief hier by Your Ghost Stories. Bly te kenne!

Sorry folks, just needed to share a greeting in Afrikaans with Summer.

Surya, thank you very much for your nice comment on my experience.
Surya (39 stories) (867 posts)
15 years ago (2009-07-31)
This has to be one the best stories have have read in a while. A business man walking through to the park, home or to work, maybe he was a spirit who is actually stuck in time. Repeating the same thing day in day out. Sad really.

Thank you for a fantastic story.
SUMMER (1 stories) (5 posts)
15 years ago (2009-07-31)
Hi Hexotericka

Dis regtig so lekker om te weet ek is nie die enigeste een van Suid Afika nie, ek is in JHB. Groete
Hexotericka (6 stories) (45 posts)
15 years ago (2009-07-30)
Tonith and Rhodes68, thank you so much for the comments. And Rhodes68, thank you for the compliment!
You have both brought up some interesting points which definitely got me pondering the change in the old gentleman's actions over the years.
Since the park is a very public place, I'm sure that there must have been several others who have encountered him at some stage, therefor I hope to investigate a bit further now that I have some more resources at my disposal. I am hopeful that I can get some more insight into this.
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
15 years ago (2009-07-30)
What an amazing account and a very well told one I must admit!

Just when I was about to cry "residual", you gave me a shock with the elder's narration of her own encounter... Could it be that he had gradually become no more than a memory rather than a strong energy able or willing to communicate its presence? Probably. Even the strongest memories, the most cherished ones seem to fade with time so maybe his favorite walk in the park had become a residual event gradually.

Then again maybe he was just more attached to children than adults which might explain his unwillingness to communicate or answer your questions.

What a fascinating encounter!
Tonith (1136 posts)
15 years ago (2009-07-30)
What you and your friend saw sounds residual in the haunting world. What the grandmother and kids saw in the 80's seems more an intelligent haunt. He may have been recently deceased in the 80's and didn't realize he was actually dead. They say there can be visiting spirits and ones that are stuck here. I hope he's the visiting kind and has found peace. What you experienced has been sought after by many investigators but ironically it seems to happen mostly to those least expecting it.
Hexotericka (6 stories) (45 posts)
15 years ago (2009-07-29)
Thank you for the comment. Yes, it is rather sad. Having not heard any more accounts about him in the following years, I only hope that the old gentleman has finally found peace. Perhaps he merely wished to say goodbye to his favorite spot before passing on.
BadxGood24 (2 stories) (14 posts)
15 years ago (2009-07-29)
That is so interesting! Its kind of sad at the same time. He probably did enjoy the park while he was alive.

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