In the upcoming spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, an exploration of haunted castles in Ireland seems appropriate. Some have intriguing histories that date back to 800 AD, while others have seen their fair share of bloody battles. In this article, you will encounter a castle that possesses a feature dubbed the ‘Blood Chapel.’ Another haunted castle to consider is Carrickfergus Castle – located in Northern Ireland.
Dating back to 800 AD, Leap Castle is found on an ancient rock that many people view as the most haunted castle in the country. It is here that ‘Blood Chapel’ is located, which served as a clandestine dungeon on the premises. The construction of the castle was the handiwork of the O’Bannon family, who originally called structure “Leim ui Bhanain,” or “Leap of the O’Bannons.” At the time, the O’Bannons were the “secondary chieftains” of the vicinity and had to follow the lead of the ruling O’Carroll clan.
At one time, the striking Leap Castle was used to guard the tactical pass that went through the mountain range called Slieve Bloom. It also housed the O’Carrolls at one time , known as the Princes of Ely. When the O’Carroll family occupied the castle, a great deal of bloodshed took place on the premises.
During the 16th century, feuding was a common practice between clans at odds, which meant that it wasn’t unlikely to see a dispute turn ugly. For instance, it was not unheard of to hear stories of dinner guests arriving at the castle only to be murdered before the last course hit the table.
In the northern part of Ireland, Castle Leslie is part of a property that stretches across 1,000 acres of land in Glaslough. For more than 300 years, the castle gained notoriety because it has entertained the likes of WB Yeats, Mick Jagger, and Paul McCartney.
Highlighting a Scottish Baronial style, the design of the castle comes courtesy of Charles Lanyon and W.H. Lynn, as it was created for Sir John Leslie, 1st Baronet MP in 1870. The history of the castle site includes a former castle, but this particular structure did not see any battles take place on the grounds.
For paranormal activity, it is the Red Room that aims to please, as it is thought haunted by Norman Leslie, who lost his life in World War I. His mother Lady Marjorie was sleeping in the Red Room when she stirred in the middle of the night, catching the sight of Norman’s ghost standing close to the foot of her bed. She described his ghost as looking at a couple of letters. Time passed and the ghost of her deceased son faded away, but not before turning towards his mother and giving her a smile. Throughout the years, the castle has been the subject of many other strange sightings and reports. Some say the bells ring on their own and that odd shapes have been seen wandering about the corridors.