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Wish you were eerie; Do you dare visit Ireland's most haunted castles?

Byline: JOHN PATRICK KIERANS

WE all love a good ghost story, especially at this time of year.

So here at the Irish Mirror, we have decided to share some stories of the spooky spectres who haunt different locations around Ireland.

Would you be brave enough to visit any of them this Halloween? news@irishmirror.ie

1. Old Abbey, Co Limerick

Also known as The Black Hags Cell, the old abbey is reputedly haunted by the Countess of Desmond.

It is said that during a battle, she was struck by an arrow and the wound was so deep that the Earl of Desmond believed that she was dead.

He buried her under the altar in the chapel, only for her to wake buried alive.

The legend lives on and some locals say her terrifying screams can still be heard at the abbey today.

2. Loftus Hall, Co Wexford

The story of the mysterious house guest with the cloven foot has become a legendary tale.

It is rumoured that Anne Tottenham, a young girl minding the house with her parents, was traumatised by her meeting with the mysterious man whom she believed to be the devil.

Following the man's death by "flying through the roof", which has left a hole that can still be seen today, Anne locked herself in her bedroom where she stayed for nine years, until her death in 1775.

It is rumoured she can still be seen wandering the halls of the mansion today.

3. Malahide Castle, Co Dublin

King Henry II built the castle for his friend Sir Richard Talbot in 1185.

The castle is said to be haunted by its jester the Puck of Malahide.

Legend has it Puck had fallen in love with a prisoner, Lady Elenora Fitzgerald. He was mysteriously stabbed to death outside the castle a few days later and, with his last breath, vowed to haunt the castle for ever.

There have been many sightings of the jester.

When the castle was sold in 1979, potential buyers claimed to have seen the ghost.

4. Kilmainham Gaol, Co Dublin

Opened in 1796, Kilmainham was a place of suffering, hardship and death so it's hardly surprising it is one of the most haunted places in Ireland.

It is the location where Irish revolutionary hero James Connolly was tied to a chair and shot by firing squad as well as hosting countless other executions throughout its grisly history.

Ghosts of prisoners and former wardens have been reportedly sighted around the grounds.

As it is now a tourist attraction, the unexplained sightings continue.

5. Charles Fort, Co Cork

Legend says it's haunted by the ghost of Wilful Warrender, also known as The White Lady. The story goes she killed herself after her husband was murdered on their wedding night.

The White Lady's husband was slain by her father, who then shot himself after his daughter took her own life.

Today, sightings of The White Lady are very common.

She is mostly seen by children, and is said to be quite friendly, waving at them.

But others claimed to have been pushed or tripped by the ghost.

6. Charleville Castle, Co Offaly

It is said that Charleville Castle is haunted by the ghost of a young girl named Harriet - the youngest daughter of the third Earl of Charleville.

On April 8, 1861, she was in a playful mood and decided to slide down the banister of the large, twirling staircase.

But tragedy struck and Harriet fell and passed away.

Visitors claim to have felt the chill of her presence while climbing the stairs and have seen her ghostly figure.

And some even claim they have caught Harriet on camera.

7. Belvelly Castle, Co Cork

The story of poor vain Lady Margaret Hodnett is a strange and spooky one indeed.

She was said to rather enjoy the company of men - quite a lot of men - and had an extensive collection of mirrors as she enjoyed looking at herself.

Tired of being kept at bay, one of her men, Clon de Courcy, took it upon himself to starve Lady Margaret and her family into submission.

After a year, the Hodnett's gave in, with Lady Margaret surrounded by unburied corpses and little of her beauty left.

8. Ardgillan Castle, Co Dublin

There have been numerous sightings of The Waiting Lady - the ghost in-residence at Ardgillan Castle.

The story goes that the woman's husband drowned at sea one evening while she watched from the bridge.

Since her death, she haunts the castle waiting for her husband to return.

Legend has it that if you see her on Halloween Night, she will pick you up and throw you in the sea.

Maybe not the best place to bring the family on the last night of October.

9. Cork District Asylum, Co Cork

William Saunders Hallaran was the leading physician at the asylum from when it opened in 1789 until his death in 1825.

The institution was known for its terrible treatment of patients and filthy conditions.

Hallaran's chair - invented by the leading physician - was a contraption which spun hysterical patients around at 100 revolutions per minute.

Former patients are said to now haunt the derelict site with many different sightings being reported.

10. Murphy House, Cooneen, Co Fermanagh

In 1913, the Murphy family reportedly became the victims of a poltergeist haunting.

The story states that widowed Mrs Murphy, her son and five daughters, lived in a house near Brookeborough, Co Fermanagh.

Following the death of her husband, some very strange things began to happen including banging of doors and knocking on windows.

Footsteps were often heard upstairs but nobody would be there.

Even two exorcisms failed to stop the poltergeist.
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Title Annotation:Editorial
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Oct 16, 2015
Words:948
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