Jan 20, 2023 I Paul Seaburn

Ghosts Cause Cops to Abandon Police Station in South Africa for the Second Time

Fans of the song and the movie know that if there’s something strange in your neighborhood, you’re gonna call the Ghostbusters. However, their services are only available in New York City, and ghostbusting companies in other cities are rare and often difficult to locate, so most people would call the local police first. What if there is something strange in your office building and you ARE the police? That was the situation recently at a police station in South Africa where officers claim the ghosts are so bad they had to evacuate the building for days. You would think the detectives on the squad would have fixed this problem the last time this happened – yep, the same police station had to be evacuated for days back in 2015. Just because the song say, “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything about them. What’s going on at the Relela Satellite Police Station in Greater Tzaneen, South Africa?

“What I have seen last night is despicable. Our cop shop is invaded by ghosts.”

Why are ghosts invading a police station?

According to The Citizen, police officers at the Relela Police Station in Greater Tzaneen in the province of Limpopo in the northwestern corner of South Africa claim they were forced to evacuate their headquarters between Christmas and New Year’s Day of 2022 because the ghosts were driving them crazy. What could ghosts do to terrify brave officers of the law to the point that they abandon their posts and drive around all night … not even stopping for coffee or donuts?

“They usually start unleashing their reign of terror behind the station and in the toilets. Soon after you sit down on the toilet seat, you feel a gentle wind blowing through the door. Later on tree branches surrounding the toilets start shaking. This is accompanied by cries of unusual wild animals.”

Officers told a reporter for The Citizen that the station is a fine place to work most days and nights, but it becomes a terrifying ghost palace on cloudy or rainy nights. They know what you’re thinking -- could the wind and the rain be the cause of these ‘ghosts’?

“The next thing is the lights. They go on and off. There are loud footsteps moving around the toilets and the yard, but you cannot see anyone. The footsteps are similar to a giant elephant’s.”

OK, heavy winds and rain might cause lights to flicker and unusual sounds to manifest, but these cops don’t believe their ghosts are caused by the weather, animals or anything natural. The Citizen confirms that the station is located in a grove of mango trees in the Relela village. Surround it are the old graves of a family that once lived there but moved away, leaving their dead relatives behind to haunt the police station. One might think that the police would do the same and find a new location for their station, but that would be too easy. And besides, maybe this is just a one-time haunting.

“The police station where cops claimed they had been attacked by ghosts and thugs has been closed.”

That report comes from The Daily Sun on October 20, 2015, and the “police station” is the same Relela Police Station in Greater Tzaneen in Limpopo. On that date, the station was in the news for two reasons. First, local residents had broken into the station, destroyed documents and ransacked the place. Why? It appears the cops were sneaking off to visit their girlfriends while on duty  … the residents who broke in were upset because they had come to the station to report some rimes and found it locked and empty. Locals told the media that they also saw the police running away during a robbery at the station. However, the cops may have a ‘legitimate’ excuse: there have recent news reports of ghost activities and attacks there.

“They said nearby branches shook and they could hear children crying. The electricity would switch off by itself and footsteps could be heard.”

This sounds eerily similar to the recent report, although the 2015 incidents make no mention of the weather. However, it does say that the ghost activities had been occurring since for ten months January 2015. A local resident informed the media that could be ghosts seeking revenge on the police – but they are not members of the family whose graves surround the station.

“Resident Namajabo Maeko said the ghosts could be those of children by the police. He said the building needed to be cleansed.”

Is this what they fear?

This police station in Relela is beginning to sound less like who you’re gonna call when there’s something strange in your neighborhood and more like the cause of something strange in your neighborhood. According to the 2015 article, the station was definitely closed, although the Limpopo police spokesperson Ronel Otto said it was “closed after a recent spate of criminal activities.” Really? Who were the criminals? A city council member interviewed suggested the police station might be shut down permanently and moved to the Relela Recreation Centre. As we now know, that didn’t happen.

What is going on at the Relela Police Substation? In the recent report, another local business owner, who withheld his name out of fear (of whom or what, he didn’t say) confirmed that “it was an open secret that ghosts were running amok at night in and around the police station.” Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo neither confirmed nor denied these reports.

There are a couple of things to consider when evaluating these ghost reports. In the 2015 incidents, the locals were upset with the police at the station for not being around when they needed them and accused them of fooling around while on duty. The ghosts gave the police a convenient and acceptable excuse for not being around – this is an area where belief in spirits is strong. In the 2022 incident, one may have noticed that the station was evacuated between Christmas and New Year’s Day – a time when many people get holiday time off while others often resentfully still have to show up for work. Did “ghosts” again give the cops a convenient and acceptable excuse for not being in the office?

The stories seem suspect – especially when local officials don’t seem to be doing anything about alleged issues  with the local law enforcement. This is a common problem. Only in Relela, South Africa, do the police blame it on ghosts.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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