One of the Most Haunted Places in the World: Leap Castle

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Post  Queen of Wands on Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:18 pm

One of the Most Haunted Places in the World: Leap Castle 46351910

One of the Most Haunted Places in the World

Leap Castle was built in 800 AD by the O'Bannon family and was originally called "Leim ui Bhanain," or "Leap of the O'Bannons." The O'Bannons were the "secondary chieftains" of the territory, and were subject to the ruling O'Carroll clan.

Once the principal seat of the powerful and warlike O'Carrolls who were the Princes of Ely, the imposing Leap Castle stands on an ancient rock near the town of Birr in County Offaly, guarding a strategic pass through the Slieve Bloom mountain range.

This Castle has long been regarded by many to be the most haunted castle in Ireland and this is not surprising considering its bloody history particularly during the occupation of the O'Carroll family. In the 16th century, feuding and bloodshed between warring clans was quite a common occurrence and there are many stories of guests been invited to dinner at the castle and then being massacred before they could devour their desert.

Above the hall of the great fourteenth-century tower is what is known as the 'Bloody Chapel' and it is here where it is said that 'one-eyed' Teige O'Carroll murdered his brother at the altar.

In one corner of this room may be found a secret dungeon (oubliette) into which unwary prisoners were dropped through a trap door and left to rot if they hadn't already been skewered on the spike protruding from the floor. Apparently, there were several cartloads of bones removed from here after the house was destroyed by fire in 1922.

There is supposedly a network of dungeons carved out of the rock below the keep with secret chambers and bricked up areas and human remains have also been discovered there.

Many visitors to this site have spoken of feelings of real terror and a sense of evil in some places and others have related encounters with a ghostly Lady in a red gown. The most terrifying of all reports is that of a small hunched creature which has appeared from time to time accompanied by the stench of a rotting corpse and the smell of sulphur. The creature is referred to as the "It" or the "Elemental". In 1659 AD ownership of Leap Castle passed through marriage from the O'Carroll family to the Darbys, an English family. At that time, the occult was the fashion of the day, and Mildred Darby did some innocent dabbling, despite the castle's history and reputation for being haunted. Mildred's dabbling with magic is thought to have been what might have awakened 'elemental'! In 1909, Mildred wrote an article for the Journal Occult Review, in which she described her petrifying ordeal.

"I was standing in the Gallery looking down at the main floor, when I felt somebody put a hand on my shoulder. The thing was about the size of a sheep. Thin gaunting shadowy..., it's face was human, to be more accurate inhuman. Its lust in its eyes which seemed half decomposed in black cavities stared into mine. The horrible smell one hundred times intensified came up into my face, giving me a deadly nausea. It was the smell of a decomposing corpse."

Today, the castle is owned by Sean and Anne Ryan who acquired it in 1991 and they soon set about converting it into a family home. However, progression of the work was soon brought to an abrupt end when a ladder that Sean was working on seemed to mysteriously move away from the wall causing him to fall with a fractured knee. Later, Sean broke an ankle in another strange accident and the couple began to feel a little unwelcome! Today however Sean and Anne appear to live in a kind of harmony with the ghosts of Leap Castle. Apparently, a few years ago they found the ghost of an old man sitting by an old fireplace in a chair. It is reported that the couple just said a polite "Good Day" to the spectral gentleman and carried on about their business.

Article Source: www.medieval-castle.com

Images of The Leap Castle:

Exterior
One of the Most Haunted Places in the World: Leap Castle 46345910

Exterior
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Intact Section of Interior
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Gatehouse
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Defensive Walls
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The Machicolation
{projecting parapet supported by corbels on a medieval castle; has openings through which stones or boiling water could be dropped on an enemy.....Thanks Google!}
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Intact Section of Interior - Original Entrance

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Intact Section of Interior
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One of the Most Haunted Places in the World: Leap Castle 4720421528_c1454f96b3_b

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All of the Following are of the Destroyed Section of the castle and / or the "Bloody Chapel":

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Entrance to the oubliette (dungeon). The spikes are now covered with several feet of hay and straw to prevent entrance:

One of the Most Haunted Places in the World: Leap Castle 4719777331_13c5950866_b

Bloody Chapel

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One of the Most Haunted Places in the World: Leap Castle 4719787081_b65b3e39f1_b

One of the Most Haunted Places in the World: Leap Castle 4720438588_219188fdbd_b

All image credit goes to: http://www.thestandingstone.ie a very interesting site, if you get a chance please check it out!

Hope you enjoyed!
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Post  manuel on Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:54 pm

wooooow , awesome !!!

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Post  Nena on Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:52 pm

Very creepy place! I get the willies just looking at the pics. This was on TV and even creepier seeing the whole thing. Can't imagine the horror that was there. affraid
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Post  Nena on Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:59 pm

Could you imagine a cam in there. Would love to see that one!
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Post  spook28 on Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:34 am

Great read and awsome pics 2 Very Happy
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Post  Floh on Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:44 am

beautiful walls. I like castles very much. here in my native Thuringia in Germany castles are very many, but unfortunately I have not heard
that it is haunted.

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