Guide Flesh and Blood: Murder-Suicides that Haunt Ireland

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The ghost of Elizabeth Dobbin has wandered the building ever since, and staff have grown accustomed to her invisible shade gliding past them on her sorrowful quest to be reunited with her lover. Today, the castle opens its doors to paying guests who find themselves transported in time to a bygone era. The Leslie family has, over the generations, played hosts to the likes of Dean Swift, W.

The building that greets you today dates from , and every one of its 14 bedrooms has a tale to tell. The Red Room is haunted by Norman Leslie who was killed in action in and whose mother, Lady Marjorie, awoke here one night to find his ghost standing by the chest of drawers, surrounded by a "cloud of light". Sitting up, she asked him "Why Norman - what are you doing here?

Time stands still at Castle Leslie, and its ambience is such that you find yourself falling wholeheartedly under the spell of a family whose past eccentricities are a sheer joy to discover. Strange occurrences, such as mysterious grey figures twisting their way along atmospheric corridors and bells ringing of their own accord, seem positively mundane when pitted against the escapades of generations of Leslie's!

Hailing originally from Leicester, England, they obtained vast swathes of land in Ireland in the 16th century, thanks largely to the patronage of their famous cousin, Sir Walter Raleigh. However, it was a later family member, Benjamin, who, having fought as a captain in Cromwell's army, was awarded the confiscated lands of the Knights Hospitallers of St John at Killua. The present structure of Killua Castle was built around , although the conversion that created the rambling Gothic fantasy, the ruin of which greets the visitor today, was carried out in The last of the family line to be associated with the castle was Thomas Chapman, born in , who married a girl from the Rochford family by whom he had four children.

The marriage was not a happy one, due largely to his wife's love of travel and her long absences from home. Tiring of the situation, Thomas Chapman finally abandoned his home, his wife, his family and his name to live with his mistress, Sarah Dunner, in Wales, where he adopted the name Thomas Lawrence. They had seven children, one of whom, Thomas Edward Lawrence, would become the enigmatic and intriguing "Lawrence of Arabia". A strange stillness hangs over this hollow castellated ruin today.

The sheer number of dark empty window frames that greet your approach is enough to elicit cold shivers of an uncanny nature. The hollow rooms of the crumbling interior, where a time-worn stairway clings desperately to the ivy-clad walls, radiate a chilling feeling of melancholy, and you find yourself in constant fear of a chance encounter with the nebulous wraith of one of the castle's bygones residents. No one is certain of the identity, or even the gender, of the white spectre, whose shimmering shade has been seen wandering amongst the ruins at night.

Suffice it to say that those who encounter it waste little time bothering to find out.


Some people think that 'it' is a 'he', or to be precise, an 18th century steward of the castle who, having turned to drink, was consumed with the terrors and tremors of dipsomania, and in despair drowned himself in the lake in the castle grounds. However, other people voice the belief that the ghost is that of a daughter of the house who long ago met with a tragic accident, or was deserted by a feckless lover, or was subject to any one of the numerous sorrowful array of 'white ladies' to drift slowly across the pages of folklore and legend the world over.

CHARLES FORT--Kinsale, Cork Constructed in the late 17th century on the site of an earlier coastal fortification, this star-shaped fortress, with its five bastions and two surviving brick sentry boxes, straddles a sea swept rocky trajectory. Although it now stands as a burned-out shell, the old hunting lodge can be dated back to It is built on a Neolithic passage tomb and was used by Lords and noblemen for Hell Fire Club for meetings and rituals to summon demons and even Satan himself.

People visiting the lodge frequently report feeling like the atmosphere is very oppressive. Some have even claimed to have seen demonic manifestations. There are also reports of a female spirit, who legend has it was a servant girl who was murdered and possibly even eaten by the members of the Hell Fire Club.

Loftus Hall is a mansion located on Hook Peninsula which is said to be haunted by a very dark entity indeed. The story goes that one fateful stormy night, Sir Charles Tottenham was hosting a card game at Loftus Hall when a stranger knocked on the door. The man was soaked through and was seeking shelter.

Tottenham ushered the stranger inside and invited him to join the game. However, one of the ladies dropped her cards during the game and as she bent to retrieve them from under the table she discovered that the stranger had blood-soaked cloven hooves instead of feet. The stranger that they had invited into their midst was in fact the Devil! Upon his discovery, he is said to have revealed his true form to those gathered and then shot through the roof.

It is said that his presence can still be felt at Loftus Hall to this day and that Satan haunts the mansion. Thousands of visitors flock to the castle every year, attracted not only by the stunning architecture and rich history but also by the haunting tales linked to it! Over the years, many people were imprisoned and executed within the walls of Leap Castle, so it is little wonder that the building is reportedly so haunted! This is a creature who is said to be about the size of a sheep, with a horrific decaying face.

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