Irish Ghosts for Halloween

Leap Castle

Most of the big international ghost-hunting TV franchises have called in at this castle in County Offaly, attracted by a history that is dripping in blood.

The castle’s keep was probably built in the 13th century as a clan stronghold. The fertile land around it has been significant for much longer than that though, and an ancient stone ceremonial structure probably lies under the medieval structure.

Clan struggles gave Leap a healthy death toll. In 1532, an O’Carroll was killed by his brother in the Bloody Chapel. The dead man was a priest and was giving mass for the family at the time of the killing.

Modern owners have been calmer, more reasonable folk, turning their attentions to restoring the castle, and in the process turning up plenty of nasties. In 1922, an oubliette was unearthed containing hundreds of human remains. An “oubliette” was a dungeon with just one entrance, a trap door in the ceiling – oublier is French for forget, the dungeon a place to chuck enemies and forget them and it looks like someone was taking the name very literally.

An Elemental is said to be resident in Leap castle. Residents call it “It” and describe it as a zombie.

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