Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ireland's Most Haunted

In the county of Offaly, Ireland, there is a castle that may look familiar to you.  Proclaimed as Ireland's Most Haunted, it's been investigated by many a ghost hunter including the ghost hunter show on the Discovery channel. If you watch that show on a regular basis, this structure is part of the intro to the show.  The castle has an inviting entrance which you can see up close HERE.  The entrance is where the inviting look and feel ends.

This castle has a bloody and turbulent history dating back to the early 1500s when it was inhabited by a clan known as the O'Carrolls who were a brood of violence all their own.  This generation started the stories of bloodshed as it was rumored that one of the O'Carrolls murdered a guest at the dining table, a servant was killed in the Guardroom and another O'Carroll killed his own brother in what is now known as the Bloody Chapel where it is said to have many spirits.  In the mid 1600s the estate was passed on to another family known as the Darbys who cleaned out that Chapel including the most sinister area known as the Oubliette which was basically a dungeon used for prisoners when the O'Carrolls still lived there. It's said that there were three cart loads of skeletons taken out of the Oubliette which is French for "To forget" - which is apparently just exactly what they did with the people they put there.    




In July of 1922, the castle was set aflame in the wee hours of the morning and the entire north side of the building was basically demolished. The structure has gone through many renovations and during an excavation by the Darbys, a wall that was being removed had a skeleton that had been walled up.  That put that project to a prompt halt and the skeleton was cemented right back into the wall.  It's also said that Captain Darby buried a crock of gold somewhere in the castle and killed the two servants who help him hide it - the crock has never been found.


In 1991, the Ryan family bought the castle with the intention of restoring it; however Sean Ryan pictured here told us that something there is prohibiting him from doing so.  He was twice on a ladder when it was pushed out from under him and he was forced to jump, breaking bones in the process.  He also had another man assisting him with renovations who one day up and left never to return.  Nobody is sure what this man saw or experienced.  Sean does not boast any of these stories and only divulges information about the ones he's asked about directly.  He would much rather play you something on the tin whistle; See video here.


There are many stories of hauntings and sightings of bright light coming out of windows of parts of the castle that are not lived in, particularly the wing that was set on fire and still remains in ruins and an uninhabited upper level.  The spirits to have been seen include a Red Lady who is said to walk the house wearing a red cloak, rumored to have been raped and killed by an O'Carroll and two young girls named Emily and Charlotte who were said to have lived there in the 1600s, possibly part of the Darby family - one of the girls fell to her death from one of the windows and has been seen falling since but disappearing before she hits the ground. Other spirits including a governess and and old man have been said to be seen in the main room by the fireplace sitting peacefully.


Many visitors to Leap Castle have reported feeling something brush them or feeling hands on their shoulders.  As late as 2006, a non-human entity described as animal like, known as the Elemental who has been experienced throughout the history with terror and horrific stories, was seen at the exit of the spiral staircase along with a strong smell of sulphur. While we did not have any similar physical experiences while we were there, it was definitely a place that you could feel was rich in horrific history. I was pretty excited just to be able to catch some active orbs on film - that was enough for me.





Definitely an interesting place to visit, you would not catch me staying a night in this castle for any amount of money.  What do you think about stories of hauntings and spirits?  My husband was a hard core skeptic until we left here.




15 comments:

Mayor Gia said...

Eeeek! Scary! I guess I'm kind of skeptical in general, but I bet I wouldn't be if I visited a place like that.

Kim said...

Yeeeaaa, no. A little too creepy for my tastes. It'd be interesting to check out in a group during daylight hours but anything dark and closed off? Nuh uh. Not happening.

Melanie Coffee said...

I love this! I do believe in ghosts and things that go bump in the night due to experiences that I've had before. (However I also believe that people who are more open to it experience it, ya know?) Anyway, so cool that you have these pics and went to this place. You're right the entrance looks beautifully inviting... Very cool woman, very cool.

Melanie Coffee said...

Oh and there's no way in *hell* I'd stay the night there. At the first sight of dusk, I'd hightail it out of the castle.

JR Reed said...

If I saw Shaggy and Scooby Doo running out of here I would not be at all surprised. I think this may also be the castle where Velma professed her undying love for Daphne. I'm not sure why my mind went to Saturday morning cartoons. My apologies.

Nancy Stewart said...

Love the post! We lived in London for 10 years, and our favorite castle getaway was/is Borthwick, a few miles out of Edinburgh. A small castle, we love to "take it over" for a weekend, with many friends descending upon it. Gorgeous blog as well...

CoffeeLovinMom said...

It changed my husband's mind and we didn't see anything significant

CoffeeLovinMom said...

I've always believed - hubs is a little closed off..I freaked out when I saw it in the intro for that show - I didn't know it was so famous. Thanks Mel

CoffeeLovinMom said...

right? I'm so glad it was daylight

CoffeeLovinMom said...

Shaggy would have crapped his pants..I think you might be right about Velma and Daphne :)

CoffeeLovinMom said...

Thanks Nancy! I would love to take over a castle - that sounds like fun!

CoffeeLovinMom said...

It was definitely interesting for sure, freaky. Sean Ryan was all calm and just happy to coexist with the spirits, I couldn't imagine staying a night and he lives there..for 20 years they've lived there - no.way.

Ruby Young said...

Hi, what a fascinating story. I love the pictures, too. Thank you so very much for a fantastic post! Best regards to you. Ruby

Timothy Brannan said...

So cool. We are planning to go to Ireland soon and this would be a great tour!

I am trying to read all the A to Z blogs, but coming back to the ones I really like.
Looking forward to seeing what you do all month!

Tim
The Other Side
The Freedom of Nonbelief

Coffee Lovin' Mom said...

Oh, I love this stuff!! There was an old house that I grew up next too that was rumoured to be haunted. when I first moved to the area it was abandoned, but the day movers showed up I was at the front door wanting in to look at the place. you could see the humps of 3 graves in the backyard garden -- which is who is rumoured to haunt the place, along with an owner who killed himself on the premises.

neck hairs were definitely on high alert when I was wandering through the house. and one bedroom closet was freezing cold when I opened it.
found out later.....that was the closet of a little girl who was rumoured to have been killed there.
did I just give you goosebumps? LOL

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