Warning: contains topics that may cause an uneasy feeling. Advised to not read at night or rather with someone when easily feeling unsettled.
Ireland has many buildings that behold ghost stories, or well, paranormal ones. I’ve always been interested in such stories, including abandoned buildings. Sure, the question will always be the same: are such stories true? Multiple buildings have been visited by paranormal scientists, and they said it was true. In several parts, I’ll be telling all paranormal stories and the history of Ireland’s buildings! Today: part 6!
1. Duckett‘s Grove
The sombre phantom music of an organ (or harmonium) can be heard emanating from the spooky ruins of this castellated Gothic building, built in 1830 with numerous heads of humans and animals carved into it. It got destroyed by fire 100 years later. Also the location of numerous sightings of the banshee, (or Bean Si) (a fairy woman or the spirit of death) the house has been investigated many times. A spectral foxhunt also haunts the grounds, led by a hunting obsessed horn-blowing Duckette who’s often seen in the neighbourhood these days.
2. Leamaneh Castle
This gaunt ruin is haunted by the menacing apparition of a red-haired girl. Her taunting cackles and screams are sometimes heard echoing from the walls. This is Red Mary, who dispatched her third husband by pushing him out a third-storey window. She wed a total of twenty-five men, most of whom met early deaths in a similar way. The sadistic Mary kept a harem of young men disguised as maid servants while torturing her real female maids by cutting off their breasts and hanging them by their hair. This psychopath was eventually sealed alive by the locals into a hollow tree trunk where she starved to death.
3. Seafield House
Seafield was the height of 19th century luxury until one of the sons, Owen, brought home Egyptian mummies from his travels, stimulating the interest of a particularly powerful poltergeist that would shake the house and shatter the ornaments. Terrified servants saw a menacing dark figure and Jesuit priests had to be called in to perform (failed) exorcisms. One of the Phibbs once fired a shot at IRA soldiers who were attempting to invade the house across the tennis court, which may or may not be as real as the dark figure seen wandering across the grounds and disappearing into Sligo Bay.
4. Ballyheighue Castle
In June 1962, photographs of the burnt-out and derelict castle were developed to reveal a person holding a sword and dressed in 18th century clothing, (complete with thigh boots and hat) thought to be one of the Danish crew of the Golden Lyon, wrecked off Ballyheigue beach in the 18th century. The €2 million in silver bullion on board of the ship, resulted in a long-running conflict in which Crosbie family members were variously convicted, hanged and poisoned. Some believe the bullion is still buried there. Earlier residents, the Cantillon family, would leave their dead in coffins on the beach for the mermen to take. Local fishermen still believe they’ve seen the ruined walls of an old chapel beneath them in the water, and the flick of the sea king‘s tail in the waves.
5. Newcastle Harbour
Newcastle Harbour, on County Down’s coast is the home to many legends. The area is said to be haunted by a banshee, a spirit in Irish mythology, who walks silently among the boats resting in the harbour. The appearance of a banshee is said to herald a death and although no deaths have been directly linked to her sighting, locals claim that this manifestation of a small woman shrieks and wails with a high-pitched voice. Overlooking Newcastle Harbour is Bogey Hill. In 1843 there was a fishing disaster whereby many local men were drowned. A woman, dressed in black is said to stand on the hill, looking out at the sea, sobbing. There have also been sightings of a ghost of a man dressed in a black suit and in the St. John’s Church, a large, black dog with eyes of blazing fire and gleaming white teeth has been spotted.
That’s it for part 6! Part 7 will be the last one of Ireland! Which story had you heard before? And which one seems the most ‘creepy’ to you?
Love, Deem/Skye Lewis ❤