Leap Castle, Co Offaly – Ireland’s Most Haunted Castle

By | 2017-08-14T20:31:58+00:00 August 14th, 2017|Offaly|0 Comments

This is a brief description of some of Leap Castles most famous hauntings. Sinead will be visiting Leap Castle personally in the near future to give you a full guide on all aspects of visiting Leap Castle. The Castles long and wonderful history and how it has been brought back to life by Sean Ryan and his family, who co-exist happily with the spirits that occupy of Leap Castle.

Leap Castle has the distinguished honor of being known as Ireland’s most haunted Castle. With its long and turbulent history and eerie discoveries found hidden beneath the castle, it is a title that is very fitting.

Leap started its life with the O’Bannon Clan who constructed Leap in the 15th Century but it is more then likely there has been a Castle, fortress or ancient site of a ritual or ceremonial nature on this site that dates to a much earlier period.

This site has possibly been in constant use since the Neolithic Period. With cruel and horrific acts of violence, terror and black magic occurring at Leap Castle it is certain to have made its mark within the fabric of this extraordinary building. Leap Castle is even mentioned in the Annals of the Four Masters.

There is said to be several ghosts that haunt Leap Castle, one of the most famous tales is of The Bloody Chapel, after the O’Bannon’s, the principle Clan in the region O’Carroll Clan took control of Leap Castle, after the death the O’Carroll Clan Chieftain, Mulrooney, a gruesome power struggle began.

The Bloody Chapel earned its name through a horrific act of murder, when Teige ‘one eyed’ O’Carroll ran his sword through the back of a priest as he said mass in this room, the priest was his own brother Thaddeus. He died on the alter in front of his family.

The spirit of Thasseus has never left the Bloody Chapel.  It is said that late at night a strange glow can be seen coming from the windows of the Bloody Chapel, even when Leap Castle was unoccupied. During renovations of the Castle in 1922 an Oubliette was uncovered, this was a secret dungeon and the name means simply to forget. It was one of the cruelest forms of death and torture to be created in medieval times. The Leap Castle Oubilette was found behind a wall in the Bloody Chapel.

When this dangerous and horrifying hole was excavated, they found human skeletal remains stacked upon wooden spikes, it is said that it took 3 cartloads to remove the remains from the site. Another set of ghosts said to haunt Leap are the ghosts of members of the MacMahon Clan, hired by the O’Carrolls to train them in new warfare techniques, rather then pay them, the O’Carrolls poisoned them.

The Darby Family inherited Leap Castle through marriage and there were several events that inspired several more hauntings, but the most famous was the unleashing of The Elemental.

In the early half of the 19th Century the now infamous Mildred Darby began to dabble in dark magic and the Occult. She is said to have released the terrifying ghostly phenomena known as an Elemental. A cruel and extremely unusual spirit.

That is said to be half human, half animal. There are other spirits at Leap that are of a kinder nature such as those of a governess and a little girl that fell from the highest point of the tower. Leap has been the subject of countless paranormal investigations and all have come back with the same results, that Leap Castle is extremely haunted.

Leap Castle has appeared on international television shows such as, ABC’s Scariest places on earth, Living TV’s Most Haunted, Syfy’s Ghost Hunters, Travel Channels Ghost Adventures, where Leap was a part of the Halloween Special.

About the Author:

Sinead is the head of our Historical and Cultural research team. Sinead studied Archaeology with modular Anthropology, and has Post Graduate qualifications in Heritage Management, including History, Museum Management and Religious Studies.

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