She wears flowing white clothes
A GHOSTLY presence joined the cast and crew filming The Story of an African Farm on location near Matjiesfontein,
The film, starring Swaziland-born actor Richard E Grant and local actress Karin van der Laag, will be released at the
Cannes Film Festival in May.
Producer Bonnie Rodini said she first met the ethereal resident of the farm Zoute Kloof when she was location-hunting
eight years ago.
Rodini recalled how the hair on the back of her neck stood up one day when she was photographing the derelict farmhouse.
“I called somebody outside to come with me, walked on and took a picture.”
When Rodini had the film developed, she saw something on the wall that she photographed. “I turned the print upside down
and saw it was a woman in a flowing white dress.”
Later, after the farmhouse was restored for the movie, Rodini was reluctant to tell fellow crew members about the farm’s
“Some of the crew felt a presence in the house while we were filming, especially people from the art department who spent
a lot of time in the house,” she said.
By the end of the six-week shoot, security guards also saw the woman. “One night the security guards heard a noise and
saw a woman in white storming down the passage of the farmhouse.
“A few nights later, she opened the front door and you could see her from the yard,” said Rodini.
But it was not only at Zoute Kloof that the cast had strange experiences. Video operator Marco Rinaldi had to move out of
his room in the Lord Milner Hotel in Matjiesfontein, after repeatedly waking up with a strange feeling in the middle of the night.
“It continuously felt like someone was looking over my shoulder,” he said.
Local historian Rose Willis is convinced the “ghost” that haunted the set is that of Louisa Margaret Green, the wife of a civil
“She was travelling with her husband, Henry, who was on his way to become the civil commissioner of Colesberg in
the 1860s, but then she fell ill with dysentery and died at Zoute Kloof.
“Her ghost has been seen often . . . She wears a kappie(bonnet), has a small waist and wears flowing white clothes that
look like they come from the 1860s,” said Willis.
John Siems, manager of the Lord Milner Hotel, was not surprised at Rinaldi’s experience.
“There have been many visitors here who told me they saw ghosts late at night. I’ve been here for seven years and I used to
feel scared when I had to close up the lounges late at night. At times I have felt the hairs on my neck stand up late at night.”