Tales of spirits and ghostly apparitions are always an interesting read, regardless of whether you believe in the paranormal world or not. Because today is Halloween; the day on which the wall between our world and the spirit world is at its thinnest, we figured that we’d give an overview of some of the ghost stories that are local to County Wexford.
The devil visiting Loftus Hall is probably one of the most well-known ghost stories in Wexford. During a storm in 1766, a boat arrived at the Hook Peninsula; just a few kilometres away from the large mansion house of Loftus Hall. Later, a young man knocked at the doors of the house, seeking refuge from the terrible weather. During his stay at Loftus Hall, he and the family that were taking care of the house decided to pass the time by playing a card game. It was during this game that one of the women, Anne Tottenham, noticed a card on the floor. As she bent down to pick the card up, Anne was horrified to discover that this mysterious young man had cloven hooves instead of feet. Before she could confront him; the man in question went up through the roof, leaving behind a large hole that could never be repaired.
Later, Anne became mentally ill, to the point that her family decided to lock her away in the Tapestry Room. There, it is said that she stared off into the distance, waiting for ‘her stranger’ to return. When Anne died, her muscles seized up so badly that she had to be buried in the same sitting position that she was found.
In Templeshanbo, which is close to Ballindaggan in County Wexford, there is a church called St. Colman’s. According to the tale, St. Colman’s Church once had a pond that contained ducks that were considered to be indestructible. Wild animals that attempted to kill these ducks would be found dead. One man, who attempted to cook one of the birds, was shocked to find out that his pot remained cold until the duck was released. On another occasion, a kite bird captured one of the ducks before bringing it off to a nearby tree. There, several witnesses watched in shock as the kite seized up and fell to the ground.
The Banshee is an Irish female spirit that appears before somebody is about to die. In many local stories, the Banshee would appear and wail as she sat there, gently combing her long hair. In Nicky Rossiter’s The Little Book of Wexford, he tells us that the Banshee was often referred as “The Bow” in Wexford Town. He also talks about how older people would discourage you from picking up random combs that you had found on the street – their warning being that it belonged to “The Bow”.
A story from 1976 tells the tale of a drunken Wexford man who attempted to take the comb out of the banshee’s hand. After he had snatched the comb, a supernatural force placed him on a nearby windowsill, where he had to stay for 48 hours, with the comb glued firmly to his hand. Although the fire brigade tried to help the man, they were unable to do so, as an invisible wall had been placed around him.
In Bannow Bay, onlookers reported that they had seen a line of ghostly monks walking towards Tintern Abbey. These monks were carrying burning torches and signing hymns.
In 1910, a poltergeist haunted a lodger at a house on Court Street in Enniscorthy. For three weeks, a carpenter by the name of John Randall reported that his bed covers had been torn off and that heavy furniture had been moved around. One night, his bed started to move across the room. Throughout his stay at the house, he could hear footsteps all around him. Randall, who wrote a signed statement about the poltergeist, lost three-quarters of a stone as a result.
Lady Carew reported seeing a ghostly funeral procession outside of Castleboro House. Later, it would emerge that she had seen this procession at the exact moment that her husband had died.
When a group called Wexford Paranormal visited Enniscorthy Castle a number of years ago, they used a special audio tool to scan for speech patterns. When they asked ‘what is your name?’, their scanner picked up somebody saying the name “Jim”. Later, the spirit revealed his surname and the names of his wife and children, which allowed the Wexford Paranormal group to find him and his family on the 1901 census (apparently, the family had lived nearby).
In Edenvale, which is close to Castlebridge, there is supposed to be a “blood stone”, which was stained by the blood of a Catholic priest during the 1400s. According to the story, the priest fell from his horse as he was attempting to flee through the forest. Upon hitting his head on the stone, he died instantly; his blood staining the rock for hundreds of years.
The area around Edenvale is also home to the The Fairyhill Ghost; a ghostly apparition that appeared in the window of a nearby house.
Do you have a ghost story that is local to Wexford? If so, post a comment about it below or contact the website!