Halloween special

halloween

It was one hour before sunset when I reached Hook Head. I wanted to take a few pictures of  Loftus Hall and Hook lighthouse for this blog. I mentioned Hook Lighthouse in my blog post about Dunmore East and the oyster farm, because it is visible from there, and also in my Saltee Island posts –  for the same reason. Great location for a lighthouse, isn’t it?

But you have never heard from me about Loftus Hall before.

HookHead

Loftus Hall is haunted. The origins of paranormal activity go back to 1350 when the prominent Redmond family built the Redmond Hall in this exact place. You can do a quick calculation, and yes, it was 666 years ago.

Centuries later, the unfortunate events took place. After Cromwellian confiscation, the Redmonds were evicted and the Loftus family moved into the house in 1666. The mansion was renamed Loftus Hall. Another century later, Charles Tottenham, whose first wife was Anne Loftus, resided in the house with his second wife and his daughter from his first marriage, also named Anne.

During a stormy night, a young man came to the house to seek shelter, and was offered hospitality. Young Anne was charmed and the relationship between the two progressed into something more prohibited.

One night they were playing cards and Anne dropped a card and bent to pick it up. It is when she saw that her lover had a cloven hoof. When his identity was discovered the young man went up through the roof leaving a hole that could never be repaired.

PS Similar story has been told about another haunted place, notorious Hellfire Club hunting lodge situated on Montpelier Hill near Dublin. Guess what?  The Loftus family also owned a hunting lodge on Montpelier Hill – Dolly Mount.

loftus hall

After discovering that Anne was pregnant, the family locked her away in the Tapestry Chamber, where she died in 1675, refusing to take neither food nor water. They say that skeletal remains of an infant were found hidden between the walls when the house was rebuilt. There were many seeings of Anne’s ghost and all kind of paranormal attacks on innocent people reported over the years, and several unsuccessful exorcisms were performed. The most successful was Father Thomas Broaders who, at least, ‘banished the Devil from Loftus Hall’.

loftus hall

Loftus Hall changed hands many times. In 1870-71, the old Loftus Hall was heavily rebuilt by the 4th Marquess of Ely, and the present mansion took its place. In 1917, it was bought by the Sisters of Providence and became a convent. I saw a photograph with a group of happy nuns at the front entrance. The Hall was sold after two nuns mysteriously died on the stairs. In 1983 the Deveraux family bought the place and reopened it as Loftus Hall Hotel that was closed in less than ten years. All the hotel interior, pretty vandalised and decayed, is still there. In 2011 the place was sold to its current owners, the Quigley family who are running the haunted house tours. As far as I understand, many rooms still remain unused.

loftus hall

The gate is locked unless it is a tour day.

loftus hall

No, I didn’t take the tour. My friend did, I think she paid €60, no photography allowed. Why would I need a tour without being able to take pictures! She had a crucifix pendant on her and didn’t feel anything paranormal :). Her then boyfriend did feel some paranormal presence. They had some sort of séance to communicate with spirits, and it was quite impressive. Overall, she was happy with the tour, just thought it wasn’t worth €60 for an hour or something. Well, it was her fault, she shouldn’t bring that backup crucifix if she wanted to get scared 🙂

I couldn’t come any closer, just took some pictures on my way to and from the Hook Head. I don’t know if it means something, but I have already seen exactly the same cloud formations over the Loftus Hall in the photographs I found in Google. Also, when you click on the picture to enlarge it, you will see the drapes hanging from an opened window. Creepy 🙂

loftus hall

If you are brave, you can watch this Youtube video about Loftus Hall, but if you are not sure, then you better watch this short video taken in 2014. If you are still getting a message that you cannot watch the video in your country, try this one. If all of this fails, just put Loftus Hall in your search, but don’t miss the chance to see it all with your own eyes 🙂

There are many well-preserved ruins in the Hook Peninsula, and also many abandoned rural houses. I took pictures of some. This is a ruin of a church and a Roman tower in Templetown village. Henry II granted the church to the Catholic Military Order of Knights Templar in 1172. The Templars held a large chunk of land around the Waterford harbour until 1307 when they were suppressed and their property and land transferred to the Knights Hospitaller who themselves were suppressed in 1541. You can read an intriguing story about Irish Masonic history in this website.

hook head

William Marshal, a Knights Templar known as the Greatest Knight, built the lighthouse tower in the 13th century to guide the ships through the Waterford Harbour and to his port Ross. The monks looked after it until the dissolution of the monasteries. The lighthouse was already there since 1172, built by a Norman Raymond le Gros who used a mixture of mud and bullock’s blood to hold the limestone together. There is a legend that a Welsh monk St Dubhan built the first warning beacon in this site in the 5th century.

The tower was restored and repainted over the centuries. In the 17th century it came into the possession of the Loftus family, but in 1706 Henry Loftus leased the tower to the authorities. In 1860 three red bands were painted on the tower, but later changed to black and reduced to two. The cannon gun was fired during fog, later replaced by a hooter, then by rockets. In 1972 a foghorn was installed, but decommissioned in 2011.

In 1996 the lighthouse was automated and the light keepers left after almost 800 years of service.

hook lighthouse

The evening was very warm and still with no breeze whatsoever.  These two chairs wouldn’t be left here in stormy weather: the sea spray can reach as high as the balcony of the lighthouse in a bad storm.

hook head

After wandering around the lighthouse I was on my way to the parking lot and saw the chairs again.

hook head

Then I saw this baby with California license plate. How on earth? 🙂

I walked to my car, and took a picture because I think it looks quite cool too 😉

When I was already heading home, I took a wrong turn and came to the Slade harbour in the dark. Slade castle belonged to the Templars, Hospitallers and the Loftus family at the different stages of its existence. Now the ruin looks quite out of place in the changed landscape.

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I took pictures of some abandoned creepy buildings with a hope to find a ghost in them. No such luck.

hook head

However, I have managed to take a picture of a ghost when it was the least expected 🙂


Happy Halloween! These dark tulips are hosting a tiny spider which makes them an appropriate gift for the occasion. At this special time of the year, please visit and follow sweet monster Dead Donovan and mystical and charming Poet Rose.


Eat candy, have fun, stay safe!

inesemjphotography Have an exciting weekend!

150 comments

    1. Yes, this story is scary. I think that the older is the house, the more energies it accumulates. I am living in a 150 years old house, and sometimes funny things happen with me 🙂

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  1. A fabulous post, Inese, and I’m so sorry to have missed it at Halloween. I love hearing all the mysterious and/or ghostly tales connected with these really old buildings. They’re definitely creepy enough to send shivers down the spine, but also a great ‘pull’ for tourists. I don’t think I’d pay €60 for a tour, though, and am not even sure I’d want to venture inside Loftus Hall at all! I’ve just spent some time watching the really spooky video you listed. I’ll keep an open mind about such things, as always, but found the history of the place so interesting. Stunning photographs, as always.

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    1. Thank you so much, Millie! I think that the tours are rather entertaining than mysterious, but I don’t mind as long as the building is preserved, because it is heartbreaking to see historical buildings go. The videos are spooky though 🙂 I am not surprised that there is some paranormal activity going on. I live in a 150 years old building, and I had two paranormal experiences this year – two times a certain item was moved during the night by the forces unknown. And I am not kidding.

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  2. Perfect Halloween post!! Full of creepy stories and eerie pictures… How come that we like that tinsy bit of ghost stories, I always wonder 😉 Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful tour around the haunted house (and I wouldn´t have paid 60 Eur either 😉 ). Have a very wonderful week! xxxxxxxxx ❤

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      1. You´re welcome! 😀
        Nah, I wouldn´t do that either if you´re not allowed to take some pictures. Besides yours are already so awesome from outside, I doubt it could get any better than that, except you´d be able to catch a ghost with your lense 😉
        xxxxxxxxxxxx ❤

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  3. Very atmospheric. I understand why your friend went for the tour, although it seems steep indeed. Fascinating places indeed. Thanks for the wonderful pictures and for taking us there.

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  4. Inese, I loved the ghost on the bridge. The doll in the lighthouse glow was gorgeous image, too.
    The castle, deteriorated building and the stories were fantastic.
    The different things that struck me most were using bullocks’ blood with cement on one of the structures. The open window with billowing curtains flowing outside the window was creepy.
    The two final car photos, California license and you’re with beautiful skies were a great way to feel like I had followers you with your camera all day long.

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    1. Thank you for taking a Halloween walk, Robin:) I guess that my picture wasn’t as scary as I wanted it to be 🙂
      The curtain was a great addition to the building 🙂 xx

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  5. There is so much history in Europe makes it fascinating to learn different places from you Inese. How that came about that photo on the bridge? Everything is spooky and will look at the videos to learn more about history. Blessings! Love and Light! xxxooo

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    1. Thank you Diane! That photo on the bridge wasn’t intentional 🙂 The model did her own things, and I was adjusting my settings. I didn’t delete the picture, and now it came in handy 🙂 xxxx

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      1. It was a physical person? I was sure it was a ghost. It sure came handy in your post. You sure fooled me 😉 I checked what was happening in my neighborhood for haunted houses. They are places I’ve never been…the reason…was afraid of ghost. I might start facing it in the new year and see how I feel. xxx;-) Thank you! You really made my day today. Watching the video gave me another perspective of my feelings towards ghost. Love Ya! 😉

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        1. Me too I have to confess that I had too stop once in awhile the video. While watching the video at work it helped me to pause once in awhile and take a break. Seeing the psychic attack blow me away. Knowing now how it really manifest itself….it makes you think how the entities manipulates your mind.

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        2. Me neither. I was curious to know other symptoms when you get psychic attacks. I found this page interesting and thoroughly http://www.mkprojects.com/psychic-attacks-symptoms
          When you are in a crowd like a football game, a party, and so forth It’s good to go within and feel the energy around you. Is it weird, weary, joy, excitement and so forth.
          I just want to say thank you Inese it is a very interesting topic Halloween special. I want to thank you for helping me observe my perception on ghost and do research to help me understand other feelings. Blessings! 🙂

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  6. Wow what a story. And I did click on that pic and sure enough I saw the drapes. Creepy is right. I don’t think I would have gone in there. Fantastic post and really awesome photos. Great job!!! ❤

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  7. Oh how fun! I mean, it’s a bummer that the tour was so expensive, and no photography?! Boo! (as in, bummer!) 😛 But I really enjoyed the walk through some haunted history. Your writing always brings a smile to my face, too–and yeah, your car IS cool! 🙂 xxxxx

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    1. Thank you so much, Jean! I cannot believe you said my car is cool. No one thinks that, only me 🙂
      There are cheaper tours that only include walking through some 4-5 rooms ( no photography either). I might go for one, sort of a charity act, because I want them to keep the roof on that house and don’t let it become derelict again.

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  8. Oh, what a cute car! You’re so charming that I wouldn’t be surprised if you named it 🙂

    Such elegance and desolation regarding Loftus Hall! I’ve never heard of the stories and am simply enthralled. Perfect Halloween mood you’ve captured for us all. Thank you so much, Inese!

    I love, love, love your photographs and already have a few stanzas playing in my head regarding a couple of them. The poems almost write themselves — your photos are exceptional. Someday soon, I shall have to release these poems from my noggin. xo

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    1. Thank you so much for your always kind comments, Rose! There are many abandoned farmhouses in Ireland, and many ancient ruins that keep one’s imagination racing 🙂
      Hope you are having a great holiday weekend, and participate in Halloween activities together with our dear DD. xx

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  9. With as much history as you have there, it seems like the place would be crawling with ghosts or at least ghost stories. Maybe it’s the same with ghosts as it is with people; it’s the rich ones that get all the attention.

    Nice photos. I especially like the silhouette and the unexpected ghost.

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  10. Wow, wow, wow. What a post. So much detail and history. Totally riveting. And made that way by the wonderfully eerie photographs. Got a wee shiver crawling up my spine there. Happy Halloween my darling. May the ghouls not bite. Thank you for this fabulous post x

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    1. Thank you so much for being brave and reading to the end 🙂 The air is thick with the ghosts these days. Bless them all on their journeys, and a little fun won’t harm anyone 🙂 Happy Halloween! xx

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  11. Nice post, really suitable for Halloween, especially pictures, however, the story was as good.
    I have very divided feelings about Halloween, and since I have never paid special attention to it just because up to the recent years, nobody celebrated something like that in Latvia, and I am also too superstitious to invite such mood in my house and place, I don’t think I will ever celebrate it. I might rather sprinkle salt and holy water in all corners of our place and have lightened up the special candle which comes from a holy place on the day before October 31st.
    It says, the Halloween is honoring all Saints and all spirits passed away to another dimension, but I am amazed, however, how much and in how many different ways the Halloween is interpreted and commercialized, and, technically, there’s nothing about honoring saints, is there?
    You probably know firsthand how interesting this can be, judging by photos you’ve spent a lot of time researching the history, and Ireland is certainly a place close to Halloween origins.
    I wish you lots of fun if you are decorating and celebrating!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Inese! No such celebrations in Latvia, indeed, and sure it is heavy commercialized – as is Christmas and any other holiday. But what I love about this day is that we are not afraid of the spirits, and we are having fun. I don’t want anyone get the idea that I suddenly become something dreadful after I die, you know what I mean. People live and they die – where is the scary? I don’t want to cause fear, dead or alive 🙂

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  12. My bones are rattling from such a scary tale of Loftus Hall. I couldn’t watch the first YouTube video; it flashed this message: “This video contains content from Scripps, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.” I did find another one about the dark stranger, and I shivered listening to the other stories, as well!

    Your creativity, with those dark and lovely ghostly photos, is most impressive, Lady Inese! Thank you very much for the nod to my blog. I am honored and ecstatic. Happy Halloween!!! ❤

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    1. Thank you so much, Derrick. Actually, there are three people. One lady sits on the ground. I came from the other side of the lighthouse and used the opportunity :). It was a difficult task, because the lady on the ground didn’t sit still, and made a very strange addition to the silhouettes. She annoyed me a lot 🙂

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  13. The imaginings of the human mind really make life worth living…a lover with a ‘cloven hoof’ and the tale that unfolds is sublime. Folklore and Ireland really go hand in hand in a magical way.

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        1. Was yours eventful? Looking back mine was…although didn’t seem that way at the time! The ambulance didn’t tie me down so I fell unto the floor when they went round a roundabout, then the hospital put me in a darkened room, the staff changed shift and I was forgotten about for 2 hours wearing just the sheet they covered me with (my wife went mad when she found out). Then, 4 attempts at the lumber puncture! What a joy all that was!

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        2. Totally surreal! No, my wasn’t THAT eventful :). But… I had that puncture, with several attempts, and a lady student fainted, and I couldn’t move my legs the following day… and the following month too. I was in the hospital from July to October. You were lucky to be married. I was all alone, 22 years old girl.

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        3. Terrible thing to happen to you alone. My wife was looking after George at home as he was only about 4 or 5, so you can imagine her mood when she got to the hospital after finding someone to look after the lad. That lumber thing is awful though, at least my legs worked. Trust you had no long term issues.

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        4. For me, I think it was humour. Oddly, I can date back my surreal take on life from that episode. When I thought I might snuff I distinctly remember not being too bother save for the fact that I had not told Shirl where the key documents well have were kept etc. Funny old thing is life and death.

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  14. William Marshal? He’s super famous. Even I’ve heard of him. I’ve always had an interest in him ever since I heard the story about his being held hostage by King Stephen, who nevertheless refused to harm him when William’s father broke his oath. It always made me think rather better of Stephen, even though I know he’s often cited as one of England’s worst kings.

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    1. Yes, that’s him. He owned large estates in Ireland, particularly around Waterford Harbour – highly strategic area, perfect for trade and all. Since he died in the early 13th century, I guess that the lighthouse was one of his latest projects.

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  15. This post actually gave me the creeps, Inese. The photos of Loftus Hall are close enough for me. The birds, the sky, the curtain are all eerie. I do think that feelings stick to places, and the history of the house is intense with emotion. Wonderful Halloween post!

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  16. Lovely photography, indeed. I think of the Buick Wildcat convertible “muscle car” from California parked there on your coast as one of your ghosts, certainly. Romantically noir.

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    1. Isn’t it strange about that Wildcat? Who would ship such car overseas? You should see the roads in this area – I wouldn’t drive such car in the day time with all the tractors and all.

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      1. All I can think of, maybe part of a movie set? But I like the ghost idea better. I can see a story arise from that, how an Irish kid ended up in California, met and married a successful actress who owned the car, how they drove around, how she committed suicide and he in turn took the car and drove it into the ocean… drowning. Then his ghost and the ghost car returned home and shows up here because, after all, it’s Halloween time and such things are allowed in the time-space continuum… Terribly Goth, I know.

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  17. Lovely photos of the Hook area, Inese. It’s such a special place. Son Harry and I stayed on the Penninsula around this time of year when he was about 10. Loftus Hall was all locked up and pretty derelict then. We watched a video in the B&B about it and my son still talks about it withva shudder!
    It’s great that it has been renovated as it is such an imposing building.
    Happy Halloween to you too.

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    1. Jean, I posted two links, and one of them is really creepy 🙂 I would visit the house on my own in the day time, but wouldn’t go there at night even with a group because I don’t really trust the dark 🙂 I imagine what it looked like when abandoned. It is wonderful that somebody takes care, and I hope this family won’t give up on the old house.

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  18. Wonderful post for the Halloween! I have the same feeling for having to pay for a tour but no pictures allowed. That will be putting off. The story of the haunted place is interesting. It is too bad that your friends did not find anything. That would be even more interesting to learn.

    I love your ghostly pictures and the bare small tree. They are perfect rendering work. All of them could be scenes from scary movies. You lighted up the post a bit with beautiful sun set pictures and a bit funny about the license plate.

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    1. Thank you so much! The evening was so beautiful that I didn’t want to go home and drove around the peninsula 🙂 I don’t think the house is really haunted, but people say that the tour is fun. I wouldn’t go there though 🙂 I will wait until they allow photography. The tree looked scary, and there were many abandoned buildings. Great place to go if visiting Ireland. A lot to see in the area.

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