Ballyvoneen House, Cloncurry, Kildare, Ireland
Ballyvonneen House – Our home for six months. I have just found out that the original house was built in the mid 18th century by Lord Cloncurry, burnt down in the 1798 Rebellion, then rebuilt. I loved this house and even offered to buy it off the owner at the time. It had an old scrumpy orchid, stone buildings out the back and lovely yards. But it was not meant to be.
It was Hubby and I, and my 13-year-old at the time, that lived here. Most of the time, it was a lovely home, but other times we, family and friends experienced things that were a little creepy and did make you feel uncomfortable. Some of the hauntings here were residual, and another particular one that had intelligence to its haunting.
During the whole time we lived here, my son never slept with the lights out, EVER. He told me he saw a man walk into his room at night and stare at him. He got used to it after a bit, but it still makes him shiver when he reminisces on staying there. He never told me when living there, mind you.
Any how, first up Hubby has an experience. While staying up late to watch DVD’s (we had no tv connected), he was sitting on couch enjoying a few beers and his movie when he sees a woman in an early turn-of-the-century dress (20th) walk past the lounge room door, heading towards the front entrance. He said later to me that never had he run so fast up a flight of stairs. Onto of that, he told me he laid in bed for ages, desperate to go pee, but held onto it until the sun came up. Nothing was going to make him go to the loo in those early hours.
For myself, I am an early riser and would go downstairs, make coffee, check emails and messages back in Australia. It was on one of these mornings, just as the sun was rising that I saw, as I washed up a cup, a woman walking past the window. I watched her cross the yard and into the doorway to one of the stone buildings. She was not tall, a little stocky and her hair was pinned up. She wore an apron over her dark dress. I waited for what seemed ages to see if she would walk out, but she never. When the sun came up a little more, I got the courage to walk out there and take a look and found nothing.
Friends of ours came to stay the weekend with us, with their little boy. I placed them in the room next to ours for a weekend of good food, good drinks and fun conversations. All went well the first night, and everyone went to bed around eleven.
In the morning, our male friend came bounding down to us in the kitchen excited. He tells us that a blue light hovered over them in the room for ages, scaring his Peruvian wife so bad, she told him she would not sleep another night here. And sadly, they didn’t, as she was so scared that either myself or her husband had to walk into rooms with her as not to be alone.
It was in that same room I put my daughters into when Hubby and I were getting hitched. My middle daughter got ill from Australia to Dublin and was on a spare mattress on the floor, while her two other sisters took the bed. The same blue light came hovering into the room. As it happened, my youngest daughter woke up and watched the light move around the room. She told me that it formed into a human shape and placed a blanket over my sick daughter – Over her head like she was dead. She was so scared said she closed her eyes so tight and didn’t want to see any more.
In the bathroom, while going for a quick pitstop, something growled in my left ear. It near had me doing a number two, and I got out of there quick smart. And in all the time we were there, never could we get warm in the place. It was constantly cold, and I am not talking a little chilly being a big house. I am speaking of some nights you could see your breath and this being summer. We used so much oil in that six months, it cost us a fortune. But you know what? I loved the place and even offered to buy it, but the owner said no, even though he sold it years later.
But the thing that got me the most was this; Our Scouser friend came to stay with us, and he and Hubby were drinking and playing a game on the telly. It was a Marfia game, and they were right into it. Those games don’t do a thing for me, so I went to bed around nine after cleaning up after dinner and having my coffee. It was about two in the morning when I woke and saw Hubby was not in bed and could hear them talking downstairs, still playing that game. I got out of bed, went to the top of the half landing and yelled out to them its time to go to bed as we were going away that day. They agreed, and they stumbled up into their rooms. All is quiet, and we fall asleep again.
At around 4 am, my sleep was interrupted once again in the form of people screaming, gunfire, explosion so loud – it was unbelievable. I reached over to my Hubby to feel if he was there. He was. It had to be the Scouser. I thought he was playing a game and has knocked the volume right up and couldn’t turn it down. I hiss at Hubby to get up and go tell his mate to get to bed. He mumbles something at me and rolls over. By this time, I was raging.
I rip the bedquilt off with choice words leaving my mouth, and storm out the room. The light on the landing is always left on at night for anyone to get to the loo. I walk over to the railing on the landing. All the while, the loud noise of this ongoing battle is continuing. As I leant over and about to scream at the Scouser, like a light switch flipped, every thing goes deathly quiet. The rooms downstairs are in total darkness, and there is not a sound. I am frozen in the spot, standing there listening and hearing nothing. What did I just hear?
I stood there for a few more minutes trying to get my head around what I had heard and then go back to bed. I laid there for a bit and finally got up and went downstairs to make a cuppa. When the troops finally got out of bed that morning, not even my 13 year old heard a thing, being his room is off the landing.
The house owner would drive up from Limerick now and then for maintenance. I happened to see him one day, and I asked him flat out, “Is this house haunted?”
He looked at me as like I was queer in the head. No, he told me laughing. Are you sure I said to him? He told me he’s never experienced anything, and he and the wife and their many children lived there for years without anything strange happening. I asked did anything happen to this house ever? He said that it had been attacked and burnt down from insurrections. I said, really now.
For me it all made sense now. Did I hear a residual incident that happened to the house? Did the energy of that period of time embed itself into the foundations? Was this the reason for the hauntings or were there layers? These are questions I will forever be asking myself.