5 ‘Haunted’ Irish Houses to Fear This Halloween

Oiche Shamhna! As it’s the 31st of October, we decided to put together a list of five ‘haunted’ Irish houses to make things just a tad spookier around here. From mansions to castles, halls to ivy-covered ruins, these five reportedly spirit-laden properties have great stories behind them – whether you believe in that sort of thing or not. Either way, it’s a bit of fun and perhaps these are places to consider visiting this or next Halloween?

 

 

Leap Castle

About: From family rivalries that led to a murdered priest to Mildred Darby’s seances, the more macabre and dark history of this castle is quite extensive, from its original construction some time between 1300-1500 all the way to the present day.

The legend: Multiple spirits are said to live in the castle alongside its current owner Sean Ryan. However, more specific apparitions refer to The Red Lady – a tall female wearing a red dress and brandishing a dagger in one hand – and the O’Carroll priest (as mentioned above), who can be found in the bloody chapel or skulking around on the stairway beneath.

Image credits: Visitoffaly.ie, Leapcastle.net, Wikipedia

Loftus Hall, Co. Wexford

About: The existing hall was built in the 14th century – then heavily renovated in the 19th century – on the Hook Peninsula, Co. Wexford. Still a handsome mansion-house despite its dilapidated state, you can tour this property and even watch what goes on in each of the rooms after dark via live cameras on the Loftushall.ie website.

The legend: Amidst rumours of the devil visiting this house on more than one occasion, the most popular story revolves around a stranger seeking shelter with the Tottenham family who resided there. One night whilst playing cards, the Tottenham’s daughter Anne dropped a card and when she bent down to pick it up saw that the stranger had cloven hoofs instead of feet (if anyone is watching Netflix’s ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ they will understand what this alludes to). Anne was stricken with fear, so her family kept her hidden away until she died several years later – but her family kept seeing her figure wandering the house and this eerie feeling supposedly lingers today…

Photo credits: Loftushall.ie

 

Coolbawn House, Co. Wexford

About: Constructed in the 1820s-1830s, Coolbawn House was a Tudor revival piece built by Francis Bruen, an Irish Conservative Party politician.

The legend: After one too many sightings of a figure staring out of one of the upper windows, the female was designated as a misfortunate servant girl who was struck by lightning while standing too close to the glass during a storm. Her image is said to have literally been burnt into the window, thus allowing her to be still seen today.

Photo credits: Buildingsofireland.ie

 

Ballinagarde House, Co. Limerick

About: Built in the 1770s by the Croker family in Co. Limerick.

The legend: There’s a reason that there’s a saying “…as sure as the devil was in Ballinagarde…” because that is exactly the legend surrounding this ruined building…

Photo credit: Limerickpost.ie

 

Seafield House, Co. Sligo

About: Built in the 1840s near the site of an earlier house, this building was designed by architect John Benson for Owen Phibbs – a known archaeologist of the time.

The legend:  Reportedly, it was only after Owen began to fill his house with treasures and antiquities that a poltergeist began disrupting his home, scaring his servants to the point where they refused to stay at the house. Years later, the house was sold and dismantled, as no one wished to live in the eerie property.

Photo credit: DerelictIreland.blogspot.com