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Haunted Houses In Mogh's Half

Scary Books: True Irish Ghost Stories
: St John D Seymour

The northern half of Ireland has not proved as prolific in stories of

haunted houses as the southern portion: the possible explanation of this

is, not that the men of the north are less prone to hold, or talk about,

such beliefs, but that, as regards the south half, we have had the good

fortune to happen upon some diligent collectors of these and kindred

tales, whose eagerness in collecting is only equalled by their kindness
br /> in imparting information to the compilers of this book.

On a large farm near Portarlington there once lived a Mrs. ----, a

strong-minded, capable woman, who managed all her affairs for herself,

giving her orders, and taking none from anybody. In due time she died,

and the property passed to the next-of-kin. As soon, however, as the

funeral was over, the house was nightly disturbed by strange noises:

people downstairs would hear rushings about in the upper rooms, banging

of doors, and the sound of heavy footsteps. The cups and saucers used to

fall off the dresser, and all the pots and pans would rattle.

This went on for some time, till the people could stand it no longer,

so they left the house and put in a herd and his family. The latter was

driven away after he had been in the house a few weeks. This happened

to several people, until at length a man named Mr. B---- took the house.

The noises went on as before until some one suggested getting the priest

in. Accordingly the priest came, and held a service in the late

Mrs. ----'s bedroom. When this was over, the door of the room was locked.

After that the noises were not heard till one evening Mr. B---- came home

from a fair, fortified, no doubt, with a little "Dutch courage," and

declared that even if the devil were in it he would go into the locked

room. In spite of all his family could say or do, he burst open the door,

and entered the room, but apparently saw nothing. That night pandemonium

reigned in the house, the chairs were hurled about, the china was broken,

and the most weird and uncanny sounds were heard. Next day the priest

was sent for, the room again shut up, and nothing has happened from that

day to this.

Another strange story comes from the same town. "When I was on a visit to

a friend in Portarlington," writes a lady in the _Journal_ of the

American S.P.R.[4] "a rather unpleasant incident occurred to me. At about

two o'clock in the morning I woke up suddenly, for apparently no reason

whatever; however, I quite distinctly heard snoring coming from under or

in the bed in which I was lying. It continued for about ten minutes,

during which time I was absolutely limp with fright. The door opened,

and my friend entered the bedroom, saying, 'I thought you might want me,

so I came in.' Needless to say, I hailed the happy inspiration that sent

her to me. I then told her what I had heard; she listened to me, and then

to comfort (!) me said, 'Oh, never mind; _it is only grandfather_! He

died in this room, and a snoring is heard every night at two o'clock, the

hour at which he passed away.' Some time previously a German gentleman

was staying with this family. They asked him in the morning how he had

slept, and he replied that he was disturbed by a snoring in the room, but

he supposed it was the cat."

[Footnote 4: For September, 1913.]

A lady, formerly resident in Queen's Co., but who now lives near Dublin,

sends the following clear and concise account of her own personal

experiences in a haunted house: "Some years ago, my father, mother,

sister, and myself went to live in a nice but rather small house close to

the town of ---- in Queen's Co. We liked the house, as it was

conveniently and pleasantly situated, and we certainly never had a

thought of ghosts or haunted houses, nor would my father allow

any talk about such things in his presence. But we were not long settled

there when we were disturbed by the opening of the parlour door every

night regularly at the hour of eleven o'clock. My father and mother used

to retire to their room about ten o'clock, while my sister and I used to

sit up reading. We always declared that we would retire before the door

opened, but we generally got so interested in our books that we would

forget until we would hear the handle of the door turn, and see the door

flung open. We tried in every way to account for this, but we could find

no explanation, and there was no possibility of any human agent being

at work.

"Some time after, light was thrown on the subject. We had visitors

staying with us, and in order to make room for them, my sister was asked

to sleep in the parlour. She consented without a thought of ghosts,

and went to sleep quite happily; but during the night she was awakened by

some one opening the door, walking across the room, and disturbing the

fireirons. She, supposing it to be the servant, called her by name, but

got no answer: then the person seemed to come away from the fireplace,

and walk out of the room. There was a fire in the grate, but though she

heard the footsteps, she could see no one.

"The next thing was, that I was coming downstairs, and as I glanced

towards the hall door I saw standing by it a man in a grey suit. I went

to my father and told him. He asked in surprise who let him in, as the

servant was out, and he himself had already locked, bolted, and chained

the door an hour previously. None of us had let him in, and when my

father went out to the hall the man had disappeared, and the door was as

he had left it.

"Some little time after, I had a visit from a lady who knew the place

well, and in the course of conversation she said:

"'This is the house poor Mr. ---- used to live in.'

"'Who is Mr. ----?' I asked.

"'Did you never hear of him?' she replied. 'He was a minister who used to

live in this house quite alone, and was murdered in this very parlour.

His landlord used to visit him sometimes, and one night he was seen

coming in about eleven o'clock, and was seen again leaving about five

o'clock in the morning. When Mr. ---- did not come out as usual, the door

was forced open, and he was found lying dead in this room by the fender,

with his head battered in with the poker.'

"We left the house soon after," adds our informant.

The following weird incidents occurred, apparently in the Co. Kilkenny,

to a Miss K. B., during two visits paid by her to Ireland in 1880 and

1881. The house in which she experienced the following was really an old

barrack, long disused, very old-fashioned, and surrounded with a high

wall: it was said that it had been built during the time of Cromwell

as a stronghold for his men. The only inhabitants of this were Captain

C---- (a retired officer in charge of the place), Mrs. C----, three

daughters, and two servants. They occupied the central part of the

building, the mess-room being their drawing-room. Miss K. B.'s bedroom

was very lofty, and adjoined two others which were occupied by the three

daughters, E., G., and L.

"The first recollection I have of anything strange," writes Miss B., "was

that each night I was awakened about three o'clock by a tremendous noise,

apparently in the next suite of rooms, which was empty, and it sounded as

if some huge iron boxes and other heavy things were being thrown about

with great force. This continued for about half an hour, when in the room

underneath (the kitchen) I heard the fire being violently poked and raked

for several minutes, and this was immediately followed by a most terrible

and distressing cough of a man, very loud and violent. It seemed as if

the exertion had brought on a paroxysm which he could not stop. In large

houses in Co. Kilkenny the fires are not lighted every day, owing to the

slow-burning property of the coal, and it is only necessary to rake it up

every night about eleven o'clock, and in the morning it is still bright

and clear. Consequently I wondered why it was necessary for Captain

C---- to get up in the middle of the night to stir it so violently."

A few days later Miss B. said to E. C.: "I hear such strange noises every

night--are there any people in the adjoining part of the building?" She

turned very pale, and looking earnestly at Miss B., said, "Oh K., I am so

sorry you heard. I hoped no one but myself had heard it. I could have

given worlds to have spoken to you last night, but dared not move or

speak." K. B. laughed at her for being so superstitious, but E. declared

that the place was haunted, and told her of a number of weird things that

had been seen and heard.

In the following year, 1881, Miss K. B. paid another visit to the

barrack. This time there were two other visitors there--a colonel and his

wife. They occupied Miss B.'s former room, while to her was allotted a

huge bedroom on the top of the house, with a long corridor leading to it;

opposite to this was another large room, which was occupied by the girls.

Her strange experiences commenced again. "One morning, about four

o'clock, I was awakened by a very noisy martial footstep ascending the

stairs, and then marching quickly up and down the corridor outside

my room. Then suddenly the most violent coughing took place that I ever

heard, which continued for some time, while the quick, heavy step

continued its march. At last the footsteps faded away in the distance,

and I then recalled to mind the same coughing after exertion last year."

In the morning, at breakfast, she asked both Captain C---- and the

colonel had they been walking about, but both denied, and also said they

had no cough. The family looked very uncomfortable, and afterwards E.

came up with tears in her eyes, and said, "Oh K., please don't say

anything more about that dreadful coughing; we all hear it often,

especially when anything terrible is about to happen."

Some nights later the C----s gave a dance. When the guests had departed,

Miss B. went to her bedroom. "The moon was shining so beautifully that I

was able to read my Bible by its light, and had left the Bible open on

the window-sill, which was a very high one, and on which I sat to read,

having had to climb the washstand to reach it. I went to bed, and fell

asleep, but was not long so when I was suddenly awakened by the strange

feeling that some one was in the room. I opened my eyes, and turned

around, and saw on the window-sill in the moonlight a long, very thin,

very dark figure bending over the Bible, and apparently earnestly

scanning the page. As if my movement disturbed the figure, it suddenly

darted up, jumped off the window-ledge on to the washstand, then to the

ground, and flitted quietly across the room to the table where my

jewellery was." That was the last she saw of it. She thought it was some

one trying to steal her jewellery, so waited till morning, but nothing

was missing. In the morning she described to one of the daughters, G.,

what she had seen, and the latter told her that something always happened

when that appeared. Miss K. B. adds that nothing did happen. Later on she

was told that a colonel had cut his throat in that very room.

Another military station, Charles Fort, near Kinsale, has long had the

reputation of being haunted. An account of this was sent to the _Wide

World Magazine_ (Jan. 1908), by Major H. L. Ruck Keene, D.S.O.; he

states that he took it from a manuscript written by a Captain Marvell

Hull about the year 1880. Further information on the subject of the

haunting is to be found in Dr. Craig's _Real Pictures of Clerical Life in


Charles Fort was erected in 1667 by the Duke of Ormonde. It is said to be

haunted by a ghost known as the "White Lady," and the traditional account

of the reason for this haunting is briefly as follows: Shortly after the

erection of the fort, a Colonel Warrender, a severe disciplinarian, was

appointed its governor. He had a daughter, who bore the quaint Christian

name of "Wilful"; she became engaged to a Sir Trevor Ashurst, and

subsequently married him. On the evening of their wedding-day the bride

and bridegroom were walking on the battlements, when she espied some

flowers growing on the rocks beneath. She expressed a wish for them, and

a sentry posted close by volunteered to climb down for them, provided Sir

Trevor took his place during his absence. He assented, and took the

soldier's coat and musket while he went in search of a rope. Having

obtained one, he commenced his descent; but the task proving longer than

he expected, Sir Trevor fell asleep. Meantime the governor visited the

sentries, as was his custom, and in the course of his rounds came to

where Sir Trevor was asleep. He challenged him, and on receiving no

answer perceived that he was asleep, whereupon he drew a pistol and shot

him through the heart. The body was brought in, and it was only then the

governor realised what had happened. The bride, who appears to have gone

indoors before the tragedy occurred, then learned the fate that befell

her husband, and in her distraction, rushed from the house and flung

herself over the battlements. In despair at the double tragedy, her

father shot himself during the night.

The above is from Dr. Craig's book already alluded to. In the _Wide World

Magazine_ the legend differs slightly in details. According to this the

governor's name was Browne, and it was his own son, not his son-in-law,

that he shot; while the incident is said to have occurred about a hundred

and fifty years ago.

The "White Lady" is the ghost of the young bride. Let us see what

accounts there are of her appearance. A good many years ago Fort-Major

Black, who had served in the Peninsular War, gave his own personal

experience to Dr. Craig. He stated that he had gone to the hall door one

summer evening, and saw a lady entering the door and going up the stairs.

At first he thought she was an officer's wife, but as he looked, he

observed she was dressed in white, and in a very old-fashioned style.

Impelled by curiosity, he hastened upstairs after her, and followed her

closely into one of the rooms, but on entering it he could not find the

slightest trace of anyone there. On another occasion he stated that two

sergeants were packing some cast stores. One of them had his little

daughter with him, and the child suddenly exclaimed, "Who is that white

lady who is bending over the banisters, and looking down at us?" The two

men looked up, but could see nothing, but the child insisted that she had

seen a lady in white looking down and smiling at her.

On another occasion a staff officer, a married man, was residing in the

"Governor's House." One night as the nurse lay awake--she and the

children were in a room which opened into what was known as the White

Lady's apartment--she suddenly saw a lady clothed in white glide to the

bedside of the youngest child, and after a little place her hand upon its

wrist. At this the child started in its sleep, and cried out, "Oh! take

that cold hand from my wrist!" the next moment the lady disappeared.

One night, about the year 1880, Captain Marvell Hull and Lieutenant

Hartland were going to the rooms occupied by the former officer. As they

reached a small landing they saw distinctly in front of them a woman in a

white dress. As they stood there in awestruck silence she turned and

looked towards them, showing a face beautiful enough, but colourless as a

corpse, and then passed on through a locked door.

But it appears that this presence did not always manifest itself in as

harmless a manner. Some years ago Surgeon L---- was quartered at the

fort. One day he had been out snipe-shooting, and as he entered the fort

the mess-bugle rang out. He hastened to his rooms to dress, but as he

failed to put in an appearance at mess, one of the officers went in

search of him, and found him lying senseless on the floor. When he

recovered consciousness he related his experience. He said he had stooped

down for the key of his door, which he had placed for safety under the

mat; when in this position he felt himself violently dragged across the

hall, and flung down a flight of steps. With this agrees somewhat the

experience of a Captain Jarves, as related by him to Captain Marvell

Hull. Attracted by a strange rattling noise in his bedroom, he

endeavoured to open the door of it, but found it seemingly locked.

Suspecting a hoax, he called out, whereupon a gust of wind passed him,

and some unseen power flung him down the stairs, and laid him senseless

at the bottom.

Near a seaside town in the south of Ireland a group of small cottages was

built by an old lady, in one of which she lived, while she let the others

to her relatives. In process of time all the occupants died, the cottages

fell into ruin, and were all pulled down (except the one in which the old

lady had lived), the materials being used by a farmer to build a large

house which he hoped to let to summer visitors. It was shortly afterwards

taken for three years by a gentleman for his family. It should be noted

that the house had very bare surroundings; there were no trees near, or

outhouses where people could be concealed. Soon after the family came to

the house they began to hear raps all over it, on doors, windows, and

walls; these raps varied in nature, sometimes being like a sledgehammer,

loud and dying away, and sometimes quick and sharp, two or three or five

in succession; and all heard them. One morning about 4 A.M., the mother

heard very loud knocking on the bedroom door; thinking it was the servant

wanting to go to early mass, she said, "Come in," but the knocking

continued till the father was awakened by it; he got up, searched the

house, but could find no one. The servant's door was slightly open, and

he saw that she was sound asleep. That morning a telegram came announcing

the death of a beloved uncle just about the hour of the knocking. Some

time previous to this the mother was in the kitchen, when a loud

explosion took place beside her, startling her very much, but no cause

for it could be found, nor were any traces left. This coincided with the

death of an aunt, wife to the uncle who died later.

One night the mother went to her bedroom. The blind was drawn, and the

shutters closed, when suddenly a great crash came, as if a branch was

thrown at the window, and there was a sound of broken glass. She opened

the shutters with the expectation of finding the window smashed, but

there was not even a crack in it. She entered the room next day at one

o'clock, and the same crash took place, being heard by all in the house:

she went in at 10 A.M. on another day, and the same thing happened,

after which she refused to enter that room again.

Another night, after 11 P.M., the servant was washing up in the kitchen,

when heavy footsteps were heard by the father and mother going upstairs,

and across a lobby to the servant's room; the father searched the house,

but could find no one. After that footsteps used to be heard regularly at

that hour, though no one could ever be seen walking about.

The two elder sisters slept together, and used to see flames shooting up

all over the floor, though there was no smell or heat; this used to be

seen two or three nights at a time, chiefly in the one room. The first

time the girls saw this one of them got up and went to her father in

alarm, naturally thinking the room underneath must be on fire.

The two boys were moved to the haunted room [which one?], where they

slept in one large bed with its head near the chimneypiece. The elder

boy, aged about thirteen, put his watch on the mantelpiece, awoke about

2 A.M., and wishing to ascertain the time, put his hand up for his watch;

he then felt a deathly cold hand laid on his. For the rest of that night

the two boys were terrified by noises, apparently caused by two people

rushing about the room fighting and knocking against the bed. About 6

A.M. they went to their father, almost in hysterics from terror, and

refused to sleep there again. The eldest sister, not being nervous, was

then given that room; she was, however, so disturbed by these noises that

she begged her father to let her leave it, but having no other room to

give her, he persuaded her to stay there, and at length she got

accustomed to the noise, and could sleep in spite of it. Finally the

family left the house before their time was up.[5]

[Footnote 5: _Journal of American S.P.R._ for September 1913.]

Mr. T.J. Westropp, to whom we are indebted for so much material, sends a

tale which used to be related by a relative of his, the Rev. Thomas

Westropp, concerning experiences in a house not very far from the city of

Limerick. When the latter was appointed to a certain parish he had some

difficulty in finding a suitable house, but finally fixed on one which

had been untenanted for many years, but had nevertheless been kept aired

and in good repair, as a caretaker who lived close by used to come and

look after it every day. The first night that the family settled there,

as the clergyman was going upstairs he heard a footstep and the rustle of

a dress, and as he stood aside a lady passed him, entered a door facing

the stairs, and closed it after her. It was only then he realised that

her dress was very old-fashioned, and that he had not been able to enter

that particular room. Next day he got assistance from a carpenter, who,

with another man, forced open the door. A mat of cobwebs fell as they did

so, and the floor and windows were thick with dust. The men went across

the room, and as the clergyman followed them he saw a small white bird

flying round the ceiling; at his exclamation the men looked back and also

saw it. It swooped, flew out of the door, and they did not see it again.

After that the family were alarmed by hearing noises under the floor of

that room every night. At length the clergyman had the boards taken up,

and the skeleton of a child was found underneath. So old did the remains

appear that the coroner did not deem it necessary to hold an inquest on

them, so the rector buried them in the churchyard. Strange noises

continued, as if some one were trying to force up the boards from

underneath. Also a heavy ball was heard rolling down the stairs and

striking against the study door. One night the two girls woke up

screaming, and on the nurse running up to them, the elder said she had

seen a great black dog with fiery eyes resting its paws on her bed. Her

father ordered the servants to sit constantly with them in the evenings,

but, notwithstanding the presence of two women in the nursery, the same

thing occurred. The younger daughter was so scared that she never quite

recovered. The family left the house immediately.

The same correspondent says: "An old ruined house in the hills of east

Co. Clare enjoyed the reputation of being 'desperately haunted' from, at

any rate, 1865 down to its dismantling. I will merely give the

experiences of my own relations, as told by them to me. My mother told

how one night she and my father heard creaking and grating, as if a door

were being forced open. The sound came from a passage in which was a door

nailed up and clamped with iron bands. A heavy footstep came down

the passage, and stopped at the bedroom door for a moment; no sound was

heard, and then the 'thing' came through the room to the foot of the bed.

It moved round the bed, they not daring to stir. The horrible unseen

visitant stopped, and they _felt_ it watching them. At last it moved

away, they heard it going up the passage, the door crashed, and all was

silence. Lighting a candle, my father examined the room, and found the

door locked; he then went along the passage, but not a sound was to be

heard anywhere.

"Strange noises like footsteps, sobbing, whispering, grim laughter, and

shrieks were often heard about the house. On one occasion my eldest

sister and a girl cousin drove over to see the family and stayed the

night. They and my two younger sisters were all crowded into a huge,

old-fashioned bed, and carefully drew and tucked in the curtains all

round. My eldest sister awoke feeling a cold wind blowing on her face,

and putting out her hand found the curtains drawn back and, as they

subsequently discovered, wedged between the bed and the wall. She reached

for the match-box, and was about to light the candle when a horrible

mocking laugh rang out close to the bed, which awakened the other girls.

Being always a plucky woman, though then badly scared, she struck a

match, and searched the room, but nothing was to be seen. The closed room

was said to have been deserted after a murder, and its floor was supposed

to be stained with blood which no human power could wash out."

Another house in Co. Clare, nearer the estuary of the Shannon, which was

formerly the residence of the D---- family, but is now pulled down, had

some extraordinary tales told about it in which facts (if we may use the

word) were well supplemented by legend. To commence with the former.

A lady writes: "My father and old Mr. D---- were first cousins. Richard

D---- asked my father would he come and sit up with him one night, in

order to see what might be seen. Both were particularly sober men. The

annoyances in the house were becoming unbearable. Mrs. D----'s work-box

used to be thrown down, the table-cloth would be whisked off the table,

the fender and fireirons would be hurled about the room, and other

similar things would happen. Mr. D---- and my father went up to one of

the bedrooms, where a big fire was made up. They searched every part of

the room carefully, but nothing uncanny was to be seen or found. They

then placed two candles and a brace of pistols on a small table between

them, and waited. Nothing happened for some time, till all of a sudden a

large black dog walked out from under the bed. Both men fired, and the

dog disappeared. That is all! The family had to leave the house."

Now to the blending of fact with fiction, of which we have already

spoken: the intelligent reader can decide in his own mind which is which.

It was said that black magic had been practised in this house at one

time, and that in consequence terrible and weird occurrences were quite

the order of the day there. When being cooked, the hens used to scream

and the mutton used to bleat in the pot. Black dogs were seen frequently.

The beds used to be lifted up, and the occupants thereof used to be

beaten black and blue, by invisible hands. One particularly ghoulish tale

was told. It was said that a monk (!) was in love with one of the

daughters of the house, who was an exceedingly fat girl. She died

unmarried, and was buried in the family vault. Some time later the vault

was again opened for an interment, and those who entered it found that

Miss D----'s coffin had been disturbed, and the lid loosened. They

then saw that all the fat around her heart had been scooped away.

Apropos of ineradicable blood on a floor, which is a not infrequent item

in stories of haunted houses, it is said that a manifestation of this

nature forms the haunting in a farmhouse in Co. Limerick. According to

our informants, a light must be kept burning in this house all night; if

by any chance it is forgotten, or becomes quenched, in the morning the

floor is covered with blood. The story is evidently much older than the

house, but no traditional explanation is given.

Two stories of haunted schools have been sent to us, both on very good

authority; these establishments lie within the geographical limits of

this chapter, but for obvious reasons, we cannot indicate their locality

more precisely, though the names of both are known to us. The first of

these was told to our correspondent by the boy Brown, who was in the

room, but did _not_ see the ghost.

When Brown was about fifteen he was sent to ---- School. His brother told

him not to be frightened at anything he might see or hear, as the boys

were sure to play tricks on all new-comers. He was put to sleep in a room

with another new arrival, a boy named Smith, from England. In the middle

of the night Brown was roused from his sleep by Smith crying out in great

alarm, and asking who was in the room. Brown, who was very angry at being

waked up, told him not to be a fool--that there was no one there. The

second night Smith roused him again, this time in greater alarm than the

first night. He said he saw a man in cap and gown come into the room with

a lamp, and then pass right through the wall. Smith got out of his bed,

and fell on his knees beside Brown, beseeching him not to go to sleep. At

first Brown thought it was all done to frighten him, but he then saw that

Smith was in a state of abject terror. Next morning they spoke of the

occurrence, and the report reached the ears of the Head Master, who sent

for the two boys. Smith refused to spend another night in the room. Brown

said he had seen or heard nothing, and was quite willing to sleep there

if another fellow would sleep with him, but he would not care to remain

there alone. The Head Master then asked for volunteers from the class of

elder boys, but not one of them would sleep in the room. It had always

been looked upon as "haunted," but the Master thought that by putting in

new boys who had not heard the story they would sleep there all right.

Some years after, Brown revisited the place, and found that another

attempt had been made to occupy the room. A new Head Master who did not

know its history, thought it a pity to have the room idle, and put a

teacher, also new to the school, in possession. When this teacher came

down the first morning, he asked who had come into his room during the

night. He stated that a man in cap and gown, having books under his arm

and a lamp in his hand, came in, sat down at a table, and began to read.

He knew that he was not one of the masters, and did not recognise him as

one of the boys. The room had to be abandoned. The tradition is that many

years ago a master was murdered in that room by one of the students. The

few boys who ever had the courage to persist in sleeping in the room said

if they stayed more than two or three nights that the furniture was

moved, and they heard violent noises.

The second story was sent to us by the percipient herself, and is

therefore a firsthand experience. Considering that she was only a

schoolgirl at the time, it must be admitted that she made a most plucky

attempt to run the ghost to earth.

"A good many years ago, when I first went to school, I did not believe in

ghosts, but I then had an experience which caused me to alter my opinion.

I was ordered with two other girls to sleep in a small top room at the

back of the house which overlooked a garden which contained ancient


"Suddenly in the dead of night I was awakened out of my sleep by the

sound of heavy footsteps, as of a man wearing big boots unlaced, pacing

ceaselessly up and down a long corridor which I knew was plainly visible

from the landing outside my door, as there was a large window at the

farther end of it, and there was sufficient moonlight to enable one to

see its full length. After listening for about twenty minutes, my

curiosity was aroused, so I got up and stood on the landing. The

footsteps still continued, but I could see nothing, although the sounds

actually reached the foot of the flight of stairs which led from the

corridor to the landing on which I was standing. Suddenly the footfall

ceased, pausing at my end of the corridor, and I then considered it was

high time for me to retire, which I accordingly did, carefully closing

the door behind me.

"To my horror the footsteps ascended the stairs, and the bedroom door was

violently dashed back against a washing-stand, beside which was a bed;

the contents of the ewer were spilled over the occupant, and the steps

advanced a few paces into the room in my direction. A cold perspiration

broke out all over me; I cannot describe the sensation. It was not actual

fear--it was more than that--I felt I had come into contact with the


"What was about to happen? All I could do was to speak; I cried out, "Who

are you? What do you want?" Suddenly the footsteps ceased; I felt

relieved, and lay awake till morning, but no further sound reached my

ears. How or when my ghostly visitant disappeared I never knew; suffice

it to say, my story was no nightmare, but an actual fact, of which there

was found sufficient proof in the morning; the floor was still saturated

with water, the door, which we always carefully closed at night, was wide

open, and last, but not least, the occupant of the wet bed had heard all

that had happened, but feared to speak, and lay awake till morning.

"Naturally, we related our weird experience to our schoolmates, and it

was only then I learned from one of the elder girls that this ghost had

manifested itself for many years in a similar fashion to the inhabitants

of that room. It was supposed to be the spirit of a man who, long years

before, had occupied this apartment (the house was then a private

residence), and had committed suicide by hanging himself from an old

apple tree opposite the window. Needless to say, the story was hushed up,

and we were sharply spoken to, and warned not to mention the occurrence


"Some years afterwards a friend, who happened at the time to be a boarder

at this very school, came to spend a week-end with me. She related an

exactly similar incident which occurred a few nights previous to her

visit. My experience was quite unknown to her."

The following account of strange happenings at his glebe-house has been

sent by the rector of a parish in the diocese of Cashel: "Shortly after

my wife and I came to live here, some ten years ago, the servants

complained of hearing strange noises in the top storey of the Rectory

where they sleep. One girl ran away the day after she arrived, declaring

that the house was haunted, and that nothing would induce her to sleep

another night in it. So often had my wife to change servants on this

account that at last I had to speak to the parish priest, as I suspected

that the idea of 'ghosts' might have been suggested to the maids by

neighbours who might have some interest in getting rid of them. I

understand that my friend the parish priest spoke very forcibly from the

altar on the subject of spirits, saying that the only spirits he believed

ever did any harm to anyone were ----, mentioning a well-known brand of

the wine of the country. Whether this priestly admonition was the cause

or not, for some time we heard no more tales of ghostly manifestations.

"After a while, however, my wife and I began to hear a noise which, while

in no sense alarming, has proved to be both remarkable and inexplicable.

If we happen to be sitting in the dining-room after dinner, sometimes we

hear what sounds like the noise of a heavy coach rumbling up to the hall

door. We have both heard this noise hundreds of times between eight P.M.

and midnight. Sometimes we hear it several times the same night, and then

perhaps we won't hear it again for several months. We hear it best on

calm nights, and as we are nearly a quarter of a mile from the high

road, it is difficult to account for, especially as the noise appears to

be quite close to us--I mean not farther away than the hall-door. I may

mention that an Englishman was staying with us a few years ago. As we

were sitting in the dining-room one night after dinner he said, 'A

carriage has just driven up to the door'; but we knew it was only the

'phantom coach,' for we also heard it. Only once do I remember hearing it

while sitting in the drawing-room. So much for the 'sound' of the

'phantom coach,' but now I must tell you what I _saw_ with my own eyes as

clearly as I now see the paper on which I am writing. Some years ago in

the middle of the summer, on a scorching hot day, I was out cutting

some hay opposite the hall door just by the tennis court. It was between

twelve and one o'clock. I remember the time distinctly, as my man had

gone to his dinner shortly before. The spot on which I was commanded

a view of the avenue from the entrance gate for about four hundred yards.

I happened to look up from my occupation--for scything is no easy

work--and I saw what I took to be a somewhat high dogcart, in which two

people were seated, turning in at the avenue gate. As I had my coat and

waistcoat off, and was not in a state to receive visitors, I got behind a

newly-made hay-cock and watched the vehicle until it came to a bend in

the avenue where there is a clump of trees which obscured it from my

view. As it did not, however, reappear, I concluded that the occupants

had either stopped for some reason or had taken by mistake a cart-way

leading to the back gate into the garden. Hastily putting on my coat, I

went down to the bend in the avenue, but to my surprise there was nothing

to be seen.

"Returning to the Rectory, I met my housekeeper, who has been with me for

nearly twenty years, and I told her what I had seen. She then told me

that about a month before, while I was away from home, my man had one day

gone with the trap to the station. She saw, just as I did, a trap coming

up the avenue until it was lost to sight owing to the intervention of the

clump of trees. As it did not come on, she went down to the bend, but

there was no trap to be seen. When the man came in some half-hour after,

my housekeeper asked him if he had come half-way up the avenue and turned

back, but he said he had only that minute come straight from the station.

My housekeeper said she did not like to tell me about it before, as she

thought I 'would have laughed at her.' Whether the 'spectral gig' which I

saw and the 'phantom coach' which my wife and I have often heard are one

and the same I know not, but I do know that what I saw in the full blaze

of the summer sun was not inspired by a dose of the spirits referred to

by my friend the parish priest.

"Some time during the winter of 1912, I was in the motor-house one dark

evening at about 6 P.M. I was working at the engine, and as the car was

'nose in' first, I was, of course, at the farthest point from the door.

I had sent my man down to the village with a message. He was gone about

ten minutes when I heard heavy footsteps enter the yard and come over to

the motor-house. I 'felt' that there was some one in the house quite

close to me, and I said, 'Hullo, ----, what brought you back so soon,' as

I knew he could not have been to the village and back. As I got no reply,

I took up my electric lamp and went to the back of the motor to see who

was there, but there was no one to be seen, and although I searched the

yard with my lamp, I could discover no one. About a week later I heard

the footsteps again under almost identical conditions, but I searched

with the same futile result.

"Before I stop, I must tell you about a curious 'presentiment' which

happened with regard to a man I got from the Queen's County. He arrived

on a Saturday evening, and on the following Monday morning I put him to

sweep the avenue. He was at his work when I went out in the motor car at

about 10:30 A.M. Shortly after I left he left his wheel-barrow and tools

on the avenue (just at the point where I saw the 'spectral gig'

disappear) and, coming up to the Rectory, he told my housekeeper in a

great state of agitation that he was quite sure that his brother, with

whom he had always lived, was dead. He said he must return home at once.

My housekeeper advised him to wait until I returned, but he changed his

clothes and packed his box, saying he must catch the next train. Just

before I returned home at 12 o'clock, a telegram came saying his brother

had died suddenly that morning, and that he was to return at once. On my

return I found him almost in a state of collapse. He left by the next

train, and I never heard of him again."

K---- Castle is a handsome blending of ancient castle and modern

dwelling-house, picturesquely situated among trees, while the steep glen

mentioned below runs close beside it. It has the reputation of being

haunted, but, as usual, it is difficult to get information. One

gentleman, to whom we wrote, stated that he never saw or heard anything

worse than a bat. On the other hand, a lady who resided there a good many

years ago, gives the following account of her extraordinary experiences