Animal Ghosts or Animal Hauntings and the Hereafter by Elliott O'Donnell
III HORSES AND THE UNKNOWN
To this account Mr. Span adds this note:--
"The apparition of hounds and huntsman was witnessed on an estate belonging to Lord Doneraile, in the South of Ireland (Doneraile Park); the man who told me the incident was coachman in the service of my cousin, near Limerick. His young son confirmed his father's account, as he also saw it.
"REGINALD B. SPAN."
To throw additional light on the matter Mr. Ralph Shirley, editor of the _Occult Review_, published the following letter, written to him by Lord Doneraile:--
"It is rather a curious thing that neither Lady Castletown nor Lady Doneraile has ever heard of the story of the moonlight vision of Lord Doneraile and the pack of hounds. However, there is a man at Doneraile called Jones, a chemist, who is a most enthusiastic antiquarian and a dabbler in the occult sciences, and he takes the greatest interest in all that concerns the St. Legers. Lady Castletown wrote to him, and the reply comes from his brother (I suppose he is away), and that I send you.
"Lady Doneraile says it must refer to the third Lord Doneraile of the first creation, who was killed in a duel afterwards; and there appear to be a lot of stories which Jones has ferreted out or been told. Of course, I don't know how far you could say Jones was authentic. All I can say is that he believes the things himself.
"_Dec. 27, 1905._"
"I should explain," adds Mr. Shirley, "that Lady Castletown is daughter to the late Lord Doneraile, and present owner of Doneraile House. Here follows the enclosure, i.e. the extract made by Walter A. Jones, Doneraile, from his MS. notes on the Legends of Peasantry in connection with Doneraile branch of the St. Leger family. Dated December 21, 1905.
"I have heard," so it runs, "the following story respecting the Lord Doneraile, who pursues the chase from Ballydineen through Gloun-na-goth Wilkinson's Lawn, through Byblox, across the ford of Shanagh aha Keel-ahboobleen into Waskin's Glen into the old Deer Park at Old Court, thence into the Horse Close, and from thence into the park. He appears to take particular delight in Wilkinson's Lawn according to tradition, for it was there that the noble stag was lost sight of, and of course it was there he was most searched for. It was only last autumn that two gentlemen were going to a fair, as I heard, and leading a very fine horse behind the trap. The night being fine and moonlight, they stopped at the iron gate there to light their pipes, when a gentleman dressed in old style, with buckskin leggings, walked through the iron gate, though closed, and patted the led horse on the neck. They both agreed that he was most like to gentlemen of the St. Leger family whom they had known. The Radiant Boy also appears here, and for years in the early part of last century no one would pass there after nightfall. The Lord Doneraile, who is believed by the peasantry to stand under Lord Doneraile's Oak, it has been told me positively, was third Viscount.
"There is an old man called Reardon here now who saw a gentleman riding a powerful black horse along Lord Doneraile's route in the middle of the day, and his sister who was with him failed to see the horseman, though her brother had to pull her out of his way.
"I went up to Saffron Hill last winter to see the ostrich-like ghost which is there, and I heard a great sweep as of hounds and horses going past me. Paddy Shea, late herd to Lord Doneraile, also would swear he saw the phantom Lord Doneraile pursuing the chase often. I have heard that James Mullaine also saw him in Wilkinson's Lawn, but have not any further proof.
"It is very few people will admit having seen these things. George Buckley, present keeper of the Doneraile Park, got a great fright one night which might have been from the same cause."
In this case it seems more than likely the huntsman, horse and hounds were all _bona fide_ phantasms of the dead.
Littlecote, as everyone knows, is haunted by the spirits of the notorious "Wild Will Darrell" and the horse he invariably rode, and which eventually broke his neck.