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True Irish Ghost Stories: Haunted Houses, Banshees, Poltergeists, and Other Supernatural Phenomena (John D. Seymour) online

True Irish Ghost Stories: Haunted Houses, Banshees, Poltergeists, and Other Supernatural Phenomena by John D. Seymour


The following story has been sent us by the Rev. H.R.B. Gillespie, to whom it was told by one of the witnesses of the incidents described therein. One bright moonlight night some time ago a party consisting of a man, his two daughters, and a friend were driving along a country road in County Leitrim. They came to a steep hill, and all except the driver got down to walk. One of the two sisters walked on in front, and after her came the other two, followed closely by the trap. They had not gone far, when those in rear saw a shabbily-dressed man walking beside the girl who was leading. But she did not seem to be taking any notice of him, and, wondering what he could be, they hastened to overtake her. But just when they were catching her up the figure suddenly dashed into the shadow of a disused forge, which stood by the side of the road, and as it did so the horse, which up to this had been perfectly quiet, reared up and became unmanageable. The girl beside whom the figure had walked had seen and heard nothing. The road was not bordered by trees or a high hedge, so that it could not have been some trick of the moonlight. One of the girls described the appearance of the figure to a local workman, who said, "It is very like a tinker who was found dead in that forge about six months ago."

Here is another story of a haunted spot on a road, where a "ghost" was seen, not at the witching hour of night, not when evening shadows lengthen, but in broad daylight. It is sent to us by the percipient, a lady, who does not desire to have her name mentioned. She was walking along a country road in the vicinity of Cork one afternoon, and passed various people. She then saw coming towards her a country-woman dressed in an old-fashioned style. This figure approached her, and when it drew near, suddenly staggered, as if under the influence of drink, and disappeared! She hastened to the spot, but searched in vain for any clue to the mystery; the road was bounded by high walls, and there was no gateway or gap through which the figure might slip. Much mystified, she continued on her way, and arrived at her destination. She there mentioned what had occurred, and was then informed by an old resident in the neighbourhood that that woman had constantly been seen up to twenty years before, but not since that date. By the country-people the road was believed to be haunted, but the percipient did not know this at the time.

The following is sent us by Mr. T. J. Westropp, and has points of its own which are interesting; he states: "On the road from Bray to Windgates, at the Deerpark of Kilruddy, is a spot which, whatever be the explanation, is distinguished by weird sounds and (some say) sights. I on one occasion was walking with a friend to catch the train at Bray about eleven o'clock one evening some twenty-five years ago, when we both heard heavy steps and rustling of bracken in the Deerpark; apparently some one got over the gate, crossed the road with heavy steps and fell from the wall next Bray Head, rustling and slightly groaning. The night was lightsome, though without actual moonlight, and we could see nothing over the wall where we had heard the noise.

"For several years after I dismissed the matter as a delusion; but when I told the story to some cousins, they said that another relative (now a Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin) had heard it too, and that there was a local belief that it was the ghost of a poacher mortally wounded by gamekeepers, who escaped across the road and died beyond it." Mr. Westropp afterwards got the relative mentioned above to tell his experience, and it corresponded with his own, except that the ghost was visible. "The clergyman who was rector of Greystones at that time used to say that he had heard exactly similar noises though he had seen nothing."