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City ghost house gets mystery visitor

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There was no sign of forced entry to the house and nothing was reported stolen. An alarm system is installed in the house

DAMAGE: The gate and one pillar at Rudd House were found flattened early on Saturday morning. Picture: Facebook

ONE OF Kimberley’s most famous ghost houses had a mysterious visitor this past weekend – one that left the custodians of Rudd House scratching their heads.

According to Sunet Swanepoel from the McGregor Museum, the property’s gate and one pillar were found flattened early on Saturday morning.

“It is still unclear if the damage was caused during a break-in or perhaps by a vehicle that drove into the (electrified) gate, intentionally or accidentally,” Swanepoel said.

She said that there was no sign of forced entry to the house and nothing was reported stolen. An alarm system is installed in the house

Swanepoel added that there would be some cost involved in fixing the gate and pillar but said that she was grateful that nothing had been stolen from the house.

Regarded as one of the most paranormally active houses in South Africa, Rudd House was built in the 1880s, originally with only four rooms, but was to frequently receive renovations until it became the large, sprawling, veranda-clad manor it is today.

Rudd House was built on the site of the tin shack that served as the dwelling of Charles Dunnel Rudd, Cecil John Rhodes’ business partner in the company they founded together, Gold Fields of South Africa Ltd.

Today the original shack still forms part of the outbuildings.

The house was built by Rudd’s son Percy on the property in 1896. Designed by DW Greatbach, it is a low, rambling, red and white striped mansion with a corrugated iron roof, its length and breadth decorated with the odd cupola, and a summerhouse.

Claims of the paranormal are said to include the cry of a baby from the nursery, the sound of cutlery and crockery falling to the floor, the sound of breaking glass and the claim of a ghost in the red room or formal dining room.

Percy’s second wife, upon her death, left the house to her family who sold the contents of the house. However, the McGregor Museum acquired the house and refurbished it in an art-deco style, incorporating the few family photographs and trophy horns in the billiard room that were all that remained of the original furnishings.

The wallpaper and decorative paintwork were restored to match the original.