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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 of an occurrence near Dublin is sent us by a lady who is a very firm believer in ghosts. On a fine night some years ago two sisters were returning home from the theatre. They were walking along a very lonely part of the Kimmage Road about two miles beyond the tram terminus, and were chatting gaily as they went, when suddenly they heard the "clink, clink" of a chain coming towards them. At first they thought it was a goat or a donkey which had got loose, and was dragging its chain along the ground. But they could see nothing, and could hear no noise but the clink of the chain, although the road was clear and straight. Nearer and nearer came the noise, gradually getting louder, and as it passed them closely they distinctly felt a blast or whiff of air. They were paralysed with an indefinable fear, and were scarcely able to drag themselves along the remaining quarter of a mile to their house. The elder of the two was in very bad health, and the other had almost to carry her. Immediately she entered the house she collapsed, and had to be revived with brandy.

An old woman, it seems, had been murdered for her savings by a tramp near the spot where this strange occurrence took place, and it is thought that there is a connection between the crime and the haunting of this part of the Kimmage Road. Whatever the explanation may be, the whole story bears every evidence of truth, and it would be hard for anyone to disprove it.

Churchyards are generally considered to be the hunting-ground of all sorts and conditions of ghosts. People who would on all other occasions, when the necessity arises, prove themselves to be possessed of at any rate a normal amount of courage, turn pale and shiver at the thought of having to pass through a churchyard at dead of night. It may be some encouragement to such to state that out of a fairly large collection of accounts of haunted places, only one relates to a churchyard. The story is told by Mr. G. H. Millar of Edgeworthstown: "During the winter of 1875," he writes, "I attended a soiree about five miles from here. I was riding, and on my way home about 11.30 P.M. I had to pass by the old ruins and burial-ground of Abbeyshrule. The road led round by two sides of the churchyard. It was a bright moonlight night, and as my girth broke I was walking the horse quite slowly. As I passed the ruin, I saw what I took to be a policeman in a long overcoat; he was walking from the centre of the churchyard towards the corner, and, as far as I could see, would be at the corner by the time I would reach it, and we would meet. Quite suddenly, however, he disappeared, and I could see no trace of him. Soon after I overtook a man who had left the meeting long before me. I expressed wonder that he had not been farther on, and he explained that he went a 'round-about' way to avoid passing the old abbey, as he did not want to see 'The Monk.' On questioning him, he told me that a monk was often seen in the churchyard."

A story told of a ghost which haunts a certain spot on an estate near the city of Waterford, bears a certain resemblance to the last story for the reason that it was only after the encounter had taken place in both cases that it was known that anything out of the ordinary had been seen. In the early eighties of last century ---- Court, near Waterford, was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. S---- and their family of two young boys and a girl of twenty-one years of age. Below the house is a marshy glen with a big open drain cut through it. Late one evening the daughter was out shooting rabbits near this drain and saw, as she thought, her half-brother standing by the drain in a sailor suit, which like other small boys he wore. She called to him once or twice, and to her surprise got no reply. She went towards him, and when she got close he suddenly disappeared. The next day she asked an old dependent, who had lived many years in the place, if there was anything curious about the glen. He replied at once: "Oh! you mean the little sailor man. Sure, he won't do you any harm." This was the first she had heard of anything of the sort, but it was then found that none of the country-people would go through the glen after dusk.