Johannesburg's ghost tours are particularly fascinating. This is a young city with a vivid and often violent history. The famed poisoner Daisy de Melker still walks the Supreme Court. And dozens of other unfortunates who suffered sudden death haunt mines, old buildings and graveyards.

Did you know?

The hide-out of the infamous Stander Gang robbers is featured on a ghost tour of Johannesburg.

If you had the time, a Johannesburg ghost tour could last for a couple of days. A lot has happened to the people of this relatively young gold mining city, and in Jozi (as the city is affectionately known) the ghosts don't just walk; they shuffle and dance, in keeping with the electric spirit of Africa's urban powerhouse.

There have been murders in Johannesburg to rival gangland Chicago in its heyday. Murders most foul indeed, and the historic Queen of Gore was the eerie-looking Daisy de Melker, who took to poisoning members of her family with strychnine to claim the insurance money on their deaths. They say she's still running around the Supreme Court building where she was sentenced to die by the rope.

The Mystery Ghost Bus Tour takes you to some of the haunted places of Johannesburg, with the guide telling of famous society murders and the 'head in the lake' homicide story which gripped local headlines nearly 40 years ago.

But the first Johannesburg ghost stories came from the miners who arrived here in the late 1880s and began to fight, scrabble and plunder for their share of the rich seam of gold that runs through the area.

Then there are the ghosts of the Anglo-Boer War, in the form of dispossessed women, children and migrant workers. Then the ghosts of the apartheid-era, mostly from Soweto, who are all remembered in various museums across Gauteng.

And now, in the modern era, have come the ghosts of serial killers and their victims . In fact, a developmental plan was devised in 2002 to establish a chilling tourist route and museum to tell their blood-stained stories. But this history is still a little too fresh to be included in a Johannesburg ghost tour.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Mystery Ghost Bus Tours
Mobile: +27 (0) 79 193 7536

How to get here

Johannesburg is served by the O.R. Tambo International Airport. it can also be easily reached by bus, train or car.

Get around

The tour company supplies transportation.

What will it cost

Prices depend on the tour and tour company, but generally a tour lasting several hours will cost less than R300 per person.

What to pack

Wear flat, comfortable shoes and bring a coat or jacket for chilly evenings. Also bring a flashlight and camera, and some extra cash for pub grub and drinks.

Where to stay

Johannesburg offers plenty of hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs. Some may even have their own ghosts.

Related articles