From a castle with ghostly monks to phantom foxes said to appear when an important resident of Gormanston Castle is scheduled to die, the two haunted castles mentioned in this article are found in Southern Ireland.
The Gormanston Castle has a long history with the Preston family, which held the position of the Viscount Gormanston from 1363 up until the selling of the castle during the late 1940s, when Franciscan Friars took over the responsibility of the grounds. There is an interesting legend attached to the castle, as it is said that whenever a Viscount Gormanston is about to meet his maker, a collection of foxes surround the castle and linger in the area until after the Viscount has passed away.
Records centered on this supposed phenomenon were captured in Preston family logs that date back to the 17th century where it was stated that around the approaching death of the 12th Viscount , foxes appeared around the residence for several days. They were seen sitting underneath the Viscount’s bedroom window, barking and howling throughout the night. Following the death of the Viscount, the foxes were still seen in front of the house and only returned to their normal routine after the conclusion of the funeral.
The behavior of the foxes is strangely odd as well. Witnesses claim that they have walked through scores of poultry without killing them and the dogs of the premises did not dare attack. Some believe it is because the foxes were phantoms and could not be touched. The appearance of foxes is said to have started after a Viscount Gormanston spared the life of a female fox and her young during one of his hunts.
In Southern Ireland, you will find Huntington Castle situated on the site of an abbey that had originally occupied the vicinity of a 14th century Druids temple. The man responsible for the construction of the castle was a man by the name of Lord Esmonde, who filled the interior with strange corridors, dark spaces, stuffed animals, tapestries, and family portraits that often left visitors with an eerie feeling. For the past 200 years, it was the Durdin – Robertson family that called the castle their home. The family enjoyed access to spacious land and the rivers Derry and Slaney.
An intriguing feature of the castle is the dungeon, which supports an old temple dedicated to the goddess Isis. The Durdin – Robertsons actually founded the Fellowship of Isis, a cult centered on the Egyptian goddess. The temple was a gathering spot for witches who came all over from other countries to be entertained by the family in elaborate ceremonies.
The castle is also home to the memories of a monastery, where the Yew Walk is found with trees planted since the 15th century. The branches of the trees have formed a natural tunnel that witnesses claim is haunted by ghostly monks. The premises are also said to enjoy visits from the visited by the ghost of the wife of Lord Esmond: Ailish O’Flaherty. It is believed that her ghost lingers because she is still waiting for husband and son to come back from the wars.