A sixth sense…

They say that certain prey animals have an acute sixth sense that we humans don’t possess …intent.

Eerie feeling right here!
Eerie feeling right here!

Following on from my last post ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, I promised to tell the haunting story of  the dramatic ruin that is Duckett Grove Castle in Co.Carlow, Ireland.

So where to begin?

I think not at the time of it’s reconstruction in the 1700’s, but rather interestingly I think working back through the strange events that have occurred since it was mysteriously burnt down in 1933.

When I approached the old, dark, iron gates the other day, my immediate thought was…how intimidating!

Looking up through one of the towers.
Looking up through one of the towers.

The house was owned by one William Duckett up until his death in 1908. There was no male heir to his mansion, so it was left to his wife. She was not so generous to her daughter, cutting her out of inheritance of the house and land. Locals told stories of the violent disagreements between the pair over the years. The fire that eventually destroyed the building, curious in its timing.

The atmosphere within the house prior to this event seemed in complete contrast to the decades of happiness and goodwill experienced by those sleeping under the roof of this Gothic Castle, including those who worked there.The Duckett’s always looked after those who worked for them.

A Gothic's dream.
A Gothic’s dream.

A staunchly Royalist family who celebrated all things royally English. It is ironic that after the last of the Duckett’s left, the building was used as a training camp by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) after 1916. The period of revolution in Ireland that would soon lead to independence from Britain, and the formation of the current Irish Republic.

But it was to be the wrath of the feuding women connected to the house that scare the locals to this day. Mysterious lights, shadows, apparitions and ghostly sightings of horse and cart prevail.

The word ‘Banshee’ is mentioned in the local folklore.  This is an Irish ghost that us usually in the form of a woman that appears to warn those of inpending doom on their family. It is said that this particular banshee was summoned by the mother of a lover to William Duckkett. Her daughter was killed on horseback in strange circumstances that led to her mother putting a curse on the Duckett home.

The burnt-out rear shell of the Gothic Castle today.
The burnt-out rear shell of the Gothic Castle today.

The banshee would wail from the towers of the mansion. It lasted two days once. This drew in a curious local woman who died on the path as she drew near. A caretaker witnessed the ghost on several occasions before leaving in fear. Another local man, upon hearing the wails from the walled garden, returned home in panic with his tales. His mother dying the next day.

I wouldn’t like to test the theory, but locals speak of horses having unique reactions when approaching those iron gates. Perhaps it’s the grotesque gargoyle heads adorning the walls that spook them?

Perhaps it’s their sixth sense?

Interesting the stories you can uncover around ireland2day isn’t it?

Hope you enjoyed this little one!

I couldn't get any Banshee's to pose for me so this illustration by Dani Smith will have to do.
I couldn’t get any Banshee’s to pose for me so this illustration by Dani Smith will have to do.

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “A sixth sense…

  1. I love creepy, old, Gothic castle ruins and the ghost stories that accompany them, so naturally this post was right up my alley. There’s really something quite beautiful and about decaying ruins, those majestic monuments that have been forgotten and neglected in favour of flimsy unimaginative modern structures. Your shots captured that perfectly.

    Also, I want my own castle. Is that really too much to ask of life?

    Probably. ;)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi – I’ve posted this link on my blog because I’m looking for good posts that share something interesting about Ireland. If you know of any other good articles or blogs that educate (in and interesting way) about the Irish people, I would be very happy if you might pass them along :)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was a very engaging tale of spirits and history. I’m curious about any attempts to release the banshee and restore peace to the castle that anyone may have tried. It’s not rocket science for someone trained in land clearings. Seems like such a huge building could be useful, like the example of the IRA’s use. Thank you for writing this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I do love a good gothic tale! The college I attended had courses on Irish language and literature and I became pretty obsessed with them. I still have dreams of graduate school, mostly so I can teach gothic literature and just have my entire life revolve around it. :)

    Like

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