Visit Ireland Halloween 2015
Without a doubt most of us are fascinated with the paranormal. Ireland is a very rich country for those interested in the Supernatural, and stories about ghosts and other inexplicable happening. So where better for the Haunted Yorkshire team to spend the Halloween Weekend there in 2015.
During the 4 day tour of some of Ireland's most haunted and unreported locations, Richard and Joe spent the night in a location called the devils well, where the devil appears and attacks unsuspecting visitors, and a farm where anyone who is still there after dark normally dies in suspicious circumstances.
Throughout the tour Richard and Joe uncover tales and forewarnings of death and experience the unexplained.
St Michan's Mummies 30th October 2015
The Hell Fire Lodge 30th October 2015
Blarney Castle 31st October 2015
Wishing Steps 31st October 2015
The Witch Stone 31st October 2015
Dolmen Rock 31st October 2015
Witch's Kitchen 31st October 2015
Our Lady's Hospital Cork - Formerly Eglinton Asylum 31st October 2015
The Derelict Farm 31st October 2015
The Devils Well 31st October 2015
The Lost Church 1st November 2015
The Fairy Mound 1st November 2015
Glenquin Castle Limerick 1st November 2015
St Katherine's Abbey 1st November 2015
Rathkeale (County Limerick) Church and Church Yard 1st November 2015
The Dominican Friary 1st November 2015
Tankardstown Neolithic House Ireland 2nd November 2015
Lough Gur, County Limerick 2nd November 2015
Upon arriving in Ireland, Richard and Joe collected their hire car from the airport and headed straight down to the St Michan's church to see the Mummies..
The foundation of the church was built in 1095 to serve the remaining and ostracised Vikings, who were still in Ireland after the rest had been killed or kicked out by Wolf the Quarrelsome and other Irish forces in 1014.
The church was then rebuilt in 1686, and a large pipe organ was installed in 1724, on which Handel is said to have first played the Messiah. But all along, as the church changed, the crypt stayed the
same: slowly mummifying all that lay within it.
There are a number of theories as to why the corpses in the basement have been preserved over time. One is that the basement contains limestone, making the basement particularly dry and therefore
good for mummification. Another is that the church was built on former swamp land, and that methane gas is acting as a kind of preservative of the bodies. Other theories involve the presence of oak wood in the soil, or the building materials used in the church.
Regardless of the reason, whatever is preserving the mummies, is also disintegrating their coffins. After a certain amount of time the wood falls away and a well preserved mummy comes tumbling out. This is where the loophole comes in, for though it would be inappropriate for the Church to break open caskets looking for mummies, when the mummies reveal themselves, so be it.
The mummies have indeed revealed themselves. While there are caskets strewn about and in small nooks in the wall -- some coffins are falling apart enough to reveal an arm or leg -- the most visible mummies are "the big four," four mummified corpses which have no lids on their coffins and are displayed together. (Only two of the six crypts are open to the public for viewing.) On the right is, a woman, simply called "the unknown," and well, there isn't much more to say about her. The middle one is known as "the thief" and is missing parts of both feet and a hand, some say the hand was cut off as punishment. It is believed the "thief" later converted and became a priest or respected man, which is why he is buried in the church. (Or possibly, he was never a thief at all and lost the hand in some other way...) Next to him on the left lies a small woman, thought to have been, and known as, "the nun."
But the true star here is the coffin set apart from the others and belonging to an 800 year old mummy called "the crusader." Though it may be apocryphal, it is believed that he was a soldier who either died in the crusades, or returned and died shortly thereafter. (This assumes that these were the 4th crusades the only ones that match with a date of 800 years old. Curiously, the forth crusades turned into a kind of piratical free for all, ending in the sacking of Constantinople, without the permission of the church. It may be that the "Crusader" would be better known as "the thief.")
The Crusader was quite tall for the time -- six and a half feet tall, a giant back then -- and his legs have been broken and folded up under him to fit him into his small coffin. His hand stretches out of the casket slightly and visitors were once encouraged to give it a shake. Today, you are still allowed to touch his hand, but only lightly on his long dead finger, lest you wrench his whole hand off.
The crypt is also holds the coffins of the Sheare brothers who were executed by the British -- and as was discovered recently drawn and quartered as well -- for the Rising of 1798, as well as mathematician William Rowan Hamilton, the many Earls of Kenmare, and supposedly -- though others claim him to -- the remains of Robert Emmet, the Irish rebel killed by the British in 1803.
We got the chance to touch one of the Mummies hands, by doing this, we were told that good fortune would become to us..
This lonely creepy hunting lodge in the Dublin mountains was the site of a satanic “club” whose members dressed as Satan, drank whiskey and butter from a cauldron and may have eaten a servant girl
alive. It was founded in 1735 by Richard Parsons, the ridiculously wealthy first Earl of Rosse and the first Grand Master of the Irish Freemasons, who gained a reputation as a sorcerer dabbling
in black magic, using ancient Dionysian scrolls looted from the Great Library of Alexandria in 1270. He wrote a book, Dionysus Rising, and started the Sacred Sect of Dionysus to celebrate the joys of Bacchus and Venus, drinking and sex. This later became the Hell-Fire Club, where giant screaming black cats were captured, caged and roasted until after four days the devil himself appeared to grant their wishes.
Blarney Castle resides in Blarney near Cork and was built in the 15th century, with some of the older structures dating as far back as the 13th century. Blarney Castle is one of the most famous castles Ireland has to offer due to it being the home of the Blarney Stone, the giver of eloquence in exchange for a kiss. As well as this, it is one of Ireland’s most visually attractive castles.
The Blarney Stone is directly above you. The prize for kissing it has always been a great one but in the past, it was a dangerous challenge. Today, the introduction of solid iron bars for protection ensures that you need only flirt with eternity.
Reports of a man by a window in the castle have been made, even though there are no stairs leading to that spot.
Comac MacCarthy, one of Ireland’s great chieftains built Blarney Castle around 1446. Despite the fact Comac fought with the English-- against the local FitzGeralds, Queen Elizabeth l sent an envoy, the Earl of Leicester to claim his lands and rights.
Legend states Comac lacking the ability to speak with finesse, feared he was not capable of convincing the queen to change her mind. He then met an old woman--said to be actually the goddess Clíodhna-- that told him anyone who kissed the Blarney stone located on the parapet at his castle would be given the gift of eloquent speech. *
Comac did exactly this and then was able to wine and dine, flatter and deceive Leicester who delayed the queen’s decision. This worked for Comac was allowed to keep his family’s traditional land.
The queen afterwards stated with irritation that all of the earl’s reports about his progress were “blarney."
Many tourists that visit Blarney Castle get more than they bargained for. For it is said there is a curse on Blarney castle and the surrounding area.
The Irish have many myths about the supernatural power of rocks. Their collection of stories about cursed and wishing stones is larger than any other country. This is attributed to the Celt religious devotion to these hard minerals.
The Blarney Castle curse states that if a stone, rock or even a pebble is removed from the area it will bring misfortune and misery to whomever possesses it.
The owner of Blarney Castle, Lord Charles Colthurst states the castle every year receives packages containing stones that are being returned-- with a note from the sender stating they feel they are cursed with bad luck.
The Irish Independent often reports on these stories. Linda Kelly from South Carolina believes her experience is proof this curse actually exists.
Kelly is an estate agent. She arranged a sale of possessions in a house that belonged to a priest. He was known to be a recluse who led a very unhappy life. While in his house she stated she found it creepy.
During this sale Kelly purchased a stone for $1.00 that was marked Blarney Castle. She bought the rock for her daughter who was living in Ireland at the time.
As soon as Kelly took possession of this item she started to have bad luck.
She lost many of her upcoming assignments, once back at work she found that her usual sunny disposition was gone. She became deeply depressed for no reason-- she did not even want to leave her house.
She had paid all her bills the previous month but she started to get letters and phone calls informing her none of them had been paid. This was the last straw for Kelly she wrapped the rock up and mailed it to County Cork.
A Canadian, Liam Sareman while visiting Blarney castle in February of 2009 picked up a small stone that had fallen off the castle wall. He left thinking he had a special souvenir.
Once home he experienced a non-stop stream of bad luck. His life became chaotic. He returned the stone with a letter to the castle that stated he now wished the curse would be reversed.
This legend appears to have some basis in truth.
The Blarney Stone
Ever since, millions of tourists from all around the world have visited the castle to kiss the Blarney stone.
For years, people risked life and limb to lay on their backs stretch across a 90 foot drop backwards and kiss the stone --most today are assisted by someone tightly holding onto their mid-sections.
In the 20th century by the time my older brother kissed the stone there were wrought-iron guide rails and protective crossbars in place--all for the gift of “beguiling talk.”
Joe Kissing the Blarney Stone
Within Rock Close, you come across an archway of limestone rocks. Step through and you find yourself on the Wishing Steps. If you can walk down and back up these steps with your eyes closed - some demand that this be done walking backwards - and without stopping for one moment to think of anything other than a wish, then that wish will come true within a year. Some say that the granting of this wish is the witch's way of paying for her firewood. We say only that the steps can be slippery and that we take no responsibility.
It takes little imagination to see who is imprisoned here. The Witch of Blarney has been with us since the dawn of time. Some say it was she who first told MacCarthy of the power of the Blarney Stone. Fortunately for visitors, she only escapes the witch stone after nightfall - and we close at dusk.
Legend states that if you put both of your hands through the holes in the stone and join them, then if you make a wish it will come true.
The Giant Dolmen rock is resting near the river’s edge. No one has been able to tell me much about the history of this dolmen, whether it is actually a tomb, grave, or memorial. However, the rock does seem out of place there and looks like it could have been placed there on a purpose. Also, some people have claimed to be able to rock the rock back and forwards and by doing this you then walk underneath and can slip into a time slip.
We tried this, but couldn't get the rock to move or neither did we slip into a time slip.
Many believe that this was home to the very first Irish cave dwellers across the mists of time. If you arrive early enough in the morning, you will still see the dying embers of a fire. This is lit every night by the Blarney Castle witch, as she fights to stop shivering on her nocturnal escape from the Witch Stone. Whist we were there we got talking to a former tour guide who said that on the night of Halloween, the witch would appear with a heard of white cattle. We did ask if she had ever stayed the night, but was told that she once had with a few other people but got too scared and left. We would have liked to have stayed for the night just to see if the witch turned up, but unfortunately it was closed off at night with no access.
Our Lady’s Hospital, formerly Eglinton Asylum, Cork was originally built to house 500 patients and was the largest of seven district lunatic asylums commissioned by the Board of Public Works in the late 1840s to supplement the nine establishments erected by Johnston and Murray between 1820 and 1835.
Like the earlier buildings, the new institutions were corridor type asylums, but with the emphasis on wards rather than cells. There was a noticeable change in style from Classical to Gothic. Designed by local architect William Atkins, when it opened in 1852 it was one of the longest buildings in Ireland at almost 1000 feet. The building was originally designed as three separate ranges, the construction taking five years.
The ranges were linked by low arcades which also linked a chapel and refectory hall set behind the main buildings. These were arranged so that the gable of the hall and spire of the chapel were visible from the front. The whole ensemble had six staircase towers and numerous gables. In 1861 Atkins was forced to link the main blocks to provide more accommodation thus giving the building an almost unending facade in the process.
The elevated site overlooking the River Lee at Shanakiel, appears to have been chosen by the local Governors for dramatic effect rather than practicality, great difficulty was encountered in providing exercise yards on the steep slope to the river. The vast institution was named after the Earl of Eglinton, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and the construction cost including the purchase of land was £79,827. 1/5d. Currently the hospital which closed in 1988 is partly converted into contemporary apartments and appropriately named Atkins Hall in reference to the original architect.
Known in paranormal circles worldwide, this place has earned itself the reputation of being the creepiest place in Cork.
Over the years there have been a number of stories relating to what happened in these places, from tabuse to untimely deaths. Even today, locals have reported hearing screams from the derelict buildings.
Even the most seasoned of ghost hunters have said it is impossible to stay more than a couple of hours before being overcome with the thick, heavy air of evil in the place.
There is a constant feeling of someone over your shoulder and the sounds of heels clicking on the derelict floor.
Richard and Joe Spent the night on Halloween at an old farm where locals would never stay after dark.
This place is known as the devils well after a group of young people visited one night (2 lads and 2 girls) the 2 lads stopped and wanted to take a drink out of the well, only for the devil himself to appear. The next thing they knew was they were found wondering around in a field disorientated and claiming that something got hold of them and threw them. Richard and Joe decided to spend a couple of hours here from Midnight to see if the devil would appear to them.
At the site of the well, a statue of the virgin Mary looks over it.
The Church is said to be a place where all of the bodies of unborn babies are buried, The location is quite oppressive and not accessible from a road.
An unusual one for Haunted Yorkshire, but this place is actually listed on the map as a fairy mound, also the farmer who owns the plot refuses to disturb anything there for fear of bad luck.
Glenquin Castle is situated in countryside and woodland, 8 miles south of Newcastle West near the village of Killeedy in the west of Ireland.
Glenquin Castle is a square, crenellated, six storey limestone tower house built over four floors which has been partly repaired and re-roofed. On the top floor of the castle there are the remains of stilts which were used by archers responsible for the castle’s defense and also two barrel vaulted rooms.
The Irish name of Glenquin means Glen of Shelter, there is very little written about the history of the castle but it is thought to have been built in 1462 by the O’Hallinan clan on the site of an earlier building dating back to 983AD also belonging to them.
The castle was taken in battle many times. One of the major families to take it being the O’Brien’s, they were said to have killed all but one of the O’Hallinan’s during the battle. In turn it was taken from the O’Brien’s during the Desmond wars by the Geraldine’s also known as the Fitzgerald’s. They were recorded there until 1571 when the English confiscated their lands and the lands of over 100 of their supporters.
It is recorded that parts of the castle were demolished by Sir Walter Raleigh and that in 1587 it was in the hands of the Hungerford’s. In 1591 the castle was handed over to Sir William Courtenay and in 1595 to Captain Collum. The castles record’s then stop until its restoration by the Earl of Devon in 1840.
During the uprising in 1916 Glenquin castle was used as West Limerick’s rallying point for the troops and it wasn’t until the 1980’s that further restoration of the castle took place. Glenquin Castle is now under the care of the Office of Public Works as a national monument and they are in the process of repairing and restoring it.
Saint Katherine's Abbey, Monisternagalliaghduff (Manisternagalliaghduff) is a former Augustinian nunnery founded in 1298 and dissolved in 1541.
One of the earliest recorded nunneries in Ireland, it is located in a valley about 2 miles east of the village of Shanagolden, County Limerick.
Remains include abbey church to the east of the cloister and refectory to the south. Modifications to the church in the 15th Century saw the inclusion of an east window in the church as well as a doorway in the north.
Two legends relate to the Abbey:
The sacristy where she is buried is called Black Hag’s Cell after the blackness of her face when she died. Other reported ghosts include the Countess of Desmond who was buried alive in the Abbey, a mistake that came to light when her menacing ghostly figure prompted an investigation of her makeshift grave, where her finger bones were found to be worn out and ragged from clawing. Today her screams are heard throughout the ruins.
The second legend relates that while the Earl and Countess of Desmond were escaping the nunnery the Countess was wounded by an arrow. The attack was so serious that the Earl believed his wife to have died and had her buried beneath the altar in the main chapel. However she subsequently awoke to find herself buried alive and her screams are said to echo through the ruins to this day.
Legend has it that a female spectre which haunted the churchyard in Rathkeale, Limerick, was so terrifying that all who looked upon her died soon after. A local man banished the ghost by slicing off her arm with his sword and praying for the rest of the night. In an odd coincidence in 2009, the Limerick Newsire reported that a tree stump in the churchyard contains the image of the Virgin Mary and Child, and that hundreds of visitors had come to the area to pray.
Churchyard where the spectre is seen.
Saviour's Priory to give its proper title was established in 1291 when Gilbert Fitzgerald of the White Knights invited the Dominicans to the monastery that he had a built. The Fitzgeralds were the main benefactors of the friary and Maurice Fitzgerald was the main patron of the friary when it was enlarged in 1320. It is situated across the river Lúbach from the former parish church in Kilmallock.
The friars were forced to leave the area, as they had not sought the permission of the feudal lord of Kilmallock, the Bishop of the diocese. The church was built early in the 14th century and was a simple rectangular building. In or around 1320 a tower was built; a window was inserted in the south transept and an extension of the church to the south.
In 1541 the friars left the abbey when the monastery was dissolved and its lands and buildings confiscated. However, by around 1622, the monks returned to the priory.
Cromwellian forces under the leadership of Lord Inchiquin sacked the priory in 1648. The friars never really returned to the priory although some of the friars remained in the area in disguise and used the chalices for religious service. In 1756, there were only three fathers in Kilmallock. In 1790, the priory in Kilmallock was finally abandoned.
In 1639 three chalices were made for the convent in Kilmallock and inscriptions on all three mention the Burgatt family. There is a plaque to the Burgatt family in the choir of the priory. One of the chalices was given by Callaghan O'Callaghan includes a prayer for Maurice, son of Edward Fitzgibbon, the White Knight who died in 1608. Some of the chalices of the abbey have survived due to the fact that when the abbey was shut down.
The Neolithic (c. 4600-2500B.C.) saw the transition of the early settlers from a hunter-gatherer life-style to a farming way of life, where livestock rearing and cereal cultivation dominated the economy. The population may also have been augmented by the introduction of new peoples. Forest clearance, field systems, more permanent and substantial settlement sites and houses, a preoccupation with the afterlife/remains of the dead, megalithic tomb-building and a more complex and structured social hierarchy are all characteristics of the Neolithic period in Ireland.
The settlement sites at Tankardstown, Co. Limerick and Newtown Co. Meath provided well-preserved examples of the rectangular Neolithic house type, while Belderg Beg, Co. Mayo had evidence for an enclosure with an internal circular structure. Evidence for agriculture is primarily provided by finds of domesticated animals and plants, new stone tool technologies, and the introduction of pottery. Excavations at Belderg Beg and Carrownalough, Co. Mayo have also elucidated the layout of field systems and imprints of early tillage are also detectable. The use of polished stone axes continued from the Mesolithic into the Neolithic and the discovery of an axe factory at Lambay Island, Co. Dublin provides an extensive insight into the manufacturing techniques behind these tools and the importance they held.
The buildings were regarded as castles by their occupants. This classification continues today and tower houses are regarded as a species within the castle genus. Their evident defensive strength should not, however, overshadow their residential nature, for tower houses were primarily the defended homes of a wealthy landowning class and were erected by both Anglo-Irish and Gaelic families during the period from circa 1400 to circa 1650.
The identification of the tower house as a distinct unit of study among the castellated architecture of Ireland is of relatively modern origin. In 1858 the English antiquarian John Henry Parker made a fortnight’s tour of southern Ireland. Among the numerous historic monuments he visited he recognised a distinct class of free standing, castellated towers with similar architectural features, the tower house. Parker’s appellation, however, does not seem to have been readily adopted by contemporary Irish antiquarians. Thomas J. Westropp, for example, preferred to use the term peel tower, a name derived from a broadly similar medieval building series found in Scotland and northern England.