Glenshelane Woods, Co. Waterford
I am a genealogist hobbyist, and I have found many convicts in my family tree and many from Ireland. So when I am back in Ireland, I do a bit of snooping. On this particular day, I found a land title for a relative and wanted to look and see if we could find the land and take a few snaps. Unfortunately, Hubby felt like a torn stocking from a night of indulgence and was semiconscious in the front seat.
The land I found a title to was near Mount Melleray Abbey in Co. Waterford. I took the road from Dungarvan to make the most of a pretty drive to Cappoquin. The drive has many trees overhanging the roads, and it feels magical driving through a part entwined with canopies of large trees.
When returning to this road, I never saw it again. However, I wished it did appear so my Hubby could see it. I spoke to a lady in a pub that night (as you do), and she said it could have been a spectre to attack Pilgrims as they would walk the St Declan’s Way. St Declan walked via the Abbey to Cashel to meet St Patrick in the 5th C. It was something to think about that was for sure.
Roundwood House, Co Laois
Friends from Spain came over for a holiday to Ireland, and we had the best time. Hubby and I took them to some pretty unique places, and this was one. We were returning to Dublin after hitting Kerry, and this was a fantastic bed and breakfast. Roundwood House, in Co. Laois (Leesh), built in 1731, has a great history throughout its time, but not as flamboyantly during the 50’s, the ’60s and ’70s with the renowned socialite and muse Henrietta Moraes.
Included in our stay was the deal of an 11-course meal. The men were up for it, but my girlfriend and I looked at it in horror.
Hubby and I took a large room on the first floor with two single beds, and we gave the queen to our friends on the top floor. The hosts, Hannah and Paddy, were fantastic and showed us around and then proceeded to start their dinner as they had a whole house for the dinner. We went for a walk around the grounds and came in for a cuppa tea and a quick chat with Hannah.
So before dinner, we all took a little rest, and when it was near time to come down for dinner, Hubby, who is not known for directions and being a “ten-second-Tom”, said he would go upstairs and see how our friends were getting on. Our Friends are on the third floor, and Hubby went up one flight of stairs, knocked on a door, and entered before anyone could say, “Come in”, and surprised not only himself but other guests in the throws of lovemaking. He exited quickly, ran up another flight of stairs, and found our friends, extremely embarrassed.
When he returned, he told me what happened, and I was feeling embarrassed for the couple and asked Hubby what he would do at dinner. The look on his face at the thought of sitting with a couple he busted horrified him.
But it turned out we had a dinner table, and the other guests sat behind us with another table of patrons. The only thing was Hubby had to swap seats with our Spanish friend, so he never faced the guy, who kept staring at him. That dinner was delicious, hilarious and long. Thank god for the wine. We never finished until 11 pm, and even our friends were full and tired, so we said our thanks and goodnights, and headed to bed.
Our room was quite hot, so I opened one of the sash windows to let in the cool night air. However, when looking outside, it was so dark, with no moon and only the light from our bedroom shining down onto the gravel driveway in front of this manor house, giving any indication that the outside world was there. I also noticed that everything around us was exceedingly still and noiseless. I could not hear any critters or insects or anyone downstairs doing any cleanup. It was a deafening silence.
Hubby had jumped straight into his bed (first in bed doesn’t have to turn the lights out) and was oohing and ahhing about how lovely and comfortable his bed was. He mumbled, “love you”, and was asleep within seconds. Turning the lights off, I found the room was exceptionally dark as well and stumbled around to find my bed, which when I saw, and as I jumped in, I started oohing and ahhing about how lovely and comfortable that single bed was.
As I was getting comfortable, I heard a noise outside the window. It was the crunching sound of something driving over the gravel. As I lay there, I listened hard. It was the most surprising thing, but I heard horses snorting, stamping, and moving around on the gravel sound. I froze for a moment listening more intently, then heard maybe two people walking on gravel, horses again snorting and stamping.
Being the nosey parker I am (The Three Investigators had a lot to do with that), I quietly slipped out of bed, felt my way to the open window, and looked out but saw absolutely nothing. It was so dark and just as still and quiet as when I opened the window. Jumping back into bed and smashing my little toe, swearing bloody murder under my breath, I wondered if that was a residual haunting I had just heard. My thoughts faded off as I fell asleep.
The following day I was going to ask the Lady of the house about it, but she looked so busy and tired that I just let it be. I thought it was a ghost carriage in the end, coming up the driveway and dropping off its passenger at the big house. So I told my friends of the phantasma cabal y carriage, and their eyes grew big and “Oh Mio!” and said they had a beautiful night’s sleep.
I don’t know if the owners ever hear things like that, but I hope to go there again and experience something paranormal.
Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin
When we met, my Hubby and I took the tour of the Goal as our first outing together. We had our Scouser friend Andy come with us, and during the tour, three things happened.
First, when we were listening to the guide in the room where she was talking about the children gaoled and then onto the 1916 uprising and showed the walkway to the hanging space, I turned around when I thought I saw something flick past on the wall on my right. So I got my little Sony camera out of my handbag, turned it on and took a shot of the corner, and got nothing. Typical.
Andy watched me take the photo, stood next to me, and whispered what I was doing. I said I felt like a little child was around. So Andy pipes up “I wouldn’t have a clue as to what it is, but I swear I feel like a kid is running around my legs, trying to hide.” So I tried another photo, and again, nothing.
The second thing to happen was when Andy and I are whispering and taking photos, Hubby is about three or four metres away. He is intently listening to the guide as she relays the stories and histories of the place. Then, suddenly, he turns to us and hisses, “Stop doing that”. I looked at him blankly and shrugged What? Finally, he whispered, “Stop pulling my jeans; I want to listen to this”.
Andy and I looked at each other and whispered that I was nowhere near him, and it was not I pulling on his jeans. He looked at me, then onto Andy and said, very pissed off, “Just stop it”. As the tour went on, we spoke to him out of ears reach of other people that both of us were not near him, that I was taking photos and near the corner and talking. He didn’t believe us.
The third thing happened in the Main Hall where the central cells are. If you look at the stairwell going down into other partitions on the floor, I was drawn to it to take a photo at the top of the stairs. Andy stood with me while Hubby wandered down the other rooms.
“Bleeding heck”, Andy kept saying over and over-excited. Finally, I asked what was wrong, and he told me what he saw.
My little Sony camera started to have these little whispery grey smoke particles appear. Little whispery strands of smoke from just above the camera. And it only happened when I tried to take photos down those steps. I walked over to a cell in the main hall (as pictured) and took a photo; no smoke. Go to the top of the stairs and smoke, and no shot. It freaked our Scouser mate out, who then told Hubby, who said he didn’t want to know. My camera still works today, and never has it done the little smoke thing again.
Ballyvonneen House was our home for six months. I have just discovered that the original house was built in the mid-18th century by Lord Cloncurry, burnt down in the 1798 Rebellion, and rebuilt. I loved this house and even offered to buy it from the owner. It had an old scrumpy orchid, stone buildings out the back and lovely yards. But it was not meant to be.
Hubby and I, and my 13-year-old son at the time, 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 us feel uncomfortable. Some hauntings here were residual, and another particular one had the 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. Of course, he got used to it after a bit, but it still makes him shiver when he reminisces about staying there. He never told me when living there, mind you.
Anyhow, first up, Hubby has experience. While staying up late to watch a movie, he was sitting on the couch enjoying a few beers when he saw a solid woman in maybe an 18th-C dress walk past the lounge room door, heading towards the front entrance. Hubby later explained that he had never run so fast up a flight of stairs, not since he was a kid chased by a black taxi cab full of Protestants one night near the Falls Rd, Belfast. Until the light of day, he laid in bed for ages, desperate to go pee, but held onto it.
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 what got me the most was this; Andy, our 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 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.
At around 4 am, I was jolted out of sleep by the sounds of people screaming, the ongoing gunfire, and an explosion – it was unbelievably loud. It was like it was downstairs and yet outside.
I reached over to my Hubby and started trying to push him awake. But all he could do was mumble shite and was no help. Then I thought it must be Andy. I thought he was playing a game, knocked the volume right up, and couldn’t turn it down. I hiss at Hubby again to get up and tell his mate to get to bed. Instead, he rolls over and goes back to his slumber. By this time, I was raging.
I rip the bedquilt off with some choice words and storm out of 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 dock. All the while, the loud noise of this ongoing battle is continuing. Then, as I leant over and was about to scream at Andy, it was like a switch flipped off. All sounds went deathly quiet. The rooms downstairs are in total darkness, and there is no sound, no Andy. I am frozen in the spot, standing there, trying to figure out what I heard. What did I hear?
Standing there for a few more minutes, trying to get my head around what I had heard, and then went back to bed. I laid there for a bit, 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 was off the landing.
A few days later, the landlord would drive up from Limerick now and then for maintenance. I saw him one day, and I asked him flat out, “Is this house haunted?”
He looked at me as if 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, his wife, and their many children lived there for years without anything strange happening. I asked whether anything had happened to this house ever. He said that it had been attacked and burnt down by insurrections.
For me, it all was making sense now. Did I hear about a residual incident that happened to the house? Did the energy of that period 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.