I found this article written in the Kalemba Online Newspaper. Below is a like to the Facebook page with the story. Seems like ghost stories are similar everywhere in the world. Needless to say the reference to the Lusaka Strangler caught my attention!
What happened to the ghosts of Zambia?
GROWING up in the Zambia of the 1970s and 1980s scary stories abounded and people both children and adults alike feared things when darkness fell.
When we moved to Kalulushi in the 1970s the toilets of both Kalulushi Secondary School and Chavuma Primary School had a ghost in high heels. Anyone using the toilets was plagued by the apparition in high heels. It was so scary that pupils went to the toilet in pairs.
Then there was the ghost train in Ndola. The train that thundered through Masala and other townships and yet when you looked out of the window there was nothing there. So many car accidents at railway crossing where attributed to the ghost train.
Then there was Rosemary Chibanda. The pretty ghost that terrorized amorous men. To tryst with her was to risk your life or your soul. You could wake up naked lying on tombstone when you thought you had spent the night in her home. She could kiss you and you could lose all your teeth. Women wearing black clothes were considered scary because Rosemary was supposed to be dressed in all black with dark sunglasses and black floppy hat. Children fled from women in black especially if they wore sunglasses
Then you had the woman who ran for her life screaming with her baby crying and the thud thud of the big paws of a lion chasing after her. To meet her apparently was death for the unfortunate person. The poor woman had been killed by a lion and came back to haunt Kabwe’s Lukanga township.
Then there was the ghostly white woman who strangled drunken men in Mkushi. She had been beaten to death by her alcoholic husband in a drunken frenzy and she now wreaked her revenge on drunken farm labourers walking home at night or any drunken men she came across.
Then you had haunted houses. Ndola had two. Lusaka had one. The two houses in Ndola’s Kansenshi were haunted by two male ghosts one white and one black. Both ghosts were known to do house chores, clean the house.
The white guy was known to appear behind you if you wanted to shave in the bathroom wielding a cut throat razor. Both became increasingly violent and anyone who lived in the houses eventually ran away. When I lived in Ndola 10 years ago. The houses were still derelict as no one wanted to live there.
The Lusaka haunted house opposite Fair View Hotel and Evelyn Hone College is now a Reproductive Health Clinic. It was originally a Government House assigned to the police. Apparently, a senior police officer shot himself in the house and came back to haunt it. Whether he was black or white is lost in the mists of legend as it has been alleged it was either a black policeman or a white policeman. However, the house was declared haunted and family after family fled the house when allocated it. Eventually it became a camp for the paramilitary police. I wonder if anyone works late at that clinic because I never heard if the ghost had been exorcised.
Then there were the ghosts that plagued Kafue Road. First there was the woman with a baby on the back who ran across the road late at night. The advice was to run her over. She the advice went, is just a ghost. To break or swerve meant you ended up in a major car accident. Apparently, she was after revenge. She had been run over by a hit and run driver.
Then there was the three young men in a Mercedes. After losing their lives in a tragic accident on the way home from the Airport after arriving in Lusaka from the UK, it was alleged they now roamed Kafue Road picking up hitchhikers who ended up dead.
When a real live night time threat appeared in Lusaka, the city panicked. Beer sale tumbled. Prostitution disappeared. No, it was not the efforts of a powerful clergyman. It was the Lusaka Strangler who killed over 30 women in a 9-month period. He turned Lusaka night life into a boring affair as people scurried home early. Nurses at UTH had to be brought to work under armed escort as they refused to brave the streets of Lusaka after dark when going for Night Duty.
Then there were the organ stealers. In every town or city there was apparently a gang who kidnapped people, eviscerated them and harvested their organs for use in witchcraft rituals or sale. That none of these organ thieves was ever caught never stopped the story. There was always one prominent businessman who was allegedly the ring leader of these cruel killers and harvesters of livers, hearts, kidneys and brains. Children would flee at the sight of these people or their cars.
Today my 7-year-old son can stay up late at night ALONE watching TV or playing games. An incredible thing to behold for someone my age. Because in my day we were scared stiff. There was something out there ready to grab a 7-year-old kid alone at night we quailed in terror.
Bedwetting was an epidemic. No way was any kid getting up alone to go the toilet not when anything could grab him or her on the way to the loo!!!
The ghosts and goblins it seems have all disappeared where we just more superstitious and gullible?
By Brian Mulenga
©Kalemba October 10, 2020