Destination TruthCreatures

The Namibian town of Kolmanskop is a classic ghost town in more ways way than one. German colonialists built the city in 1908 after it was discovered that there were diamonds in the earth below. They declared the area a “Forbidden Zone” and removed all of the native Owambo people. An explosion of wealth followed and by the 1920’s, this small outpost was the richest community in all of Africa. To keep up with the insatiable thirst for more diamonds, the Germans retained several hundred of the Owambo to work the mines. However, the Owambo people were unhappy with the exploitation of their land, as was their supreme spirit God, Kalunga. This spirit takes the vaporous form of a human figure, and although the diamonds kept coming out of the mine, mistreatment of workers and reports of Kalunga roaming terrorizing the village began to give the town a sinister reputation. Several mysterious deaths occurred among the German miners, and the nervous colonialists began to migrate from the town to safer, less hostile mining communities.

By 1956 the last of residents had moved out of the village and slowly, the desert began to reclaim the land. The Bavarian architecture and the town’s abandoned residences, commercial buildings and barracks are now filled with deep sand. And although Kolmanskop is deserted, many believe it is not empty. Visitors to this town still hear unexplained noises, see mysterious apparitions and encounter a shadowy human figure believed to be Kalunga. Locals from nearby towns refuse to visit the village, claiming that the spirits rise up from the sandy depths to attack intruders.

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