Bay Lough is a beautiful lake sitting in the coum at the feet of the Knocknalougha (Knockaunabulloga) Hill in the Knockmealdown mountains.
To take these photographs you don’t have to leave your car. After you pass the hairpin bend of the Vee, there is an ample laybay overlooking the lake where you can stop. Make sure you come in May-June in the morning hours. If you know what is good for you, take your pictures and leave.
This path runs downhill from the car park. Having been to the lake numerous times, very seldom I meet another walker. I also don’t have that ‘feeling of loneliness’ that, as some say, surrounds the area. In fact, I never feel alone there. If you know what I mean.
If you don’t get my hints and still think about walking down to the lake, or may be even about taking a dip, then I will share with you this scary video I have found on YouTube. Make sure you mute the sound in the beginning as the music is too loud, but when the music stops, the silence makes things even scarier.
Few ever swim in this lake for fear of being pulled under and kept there forever; at least, I haven’t found any record of someone swimming across the middle.
( Here is a bit of editing, as I posted a link to a cool blog but added two extra letters to the blog name by mistake, so I just take this link out altogether).
It is not possible to walk around the lake.
It is where the path ends. Looks like an end, doesn’t it?
As you have already guessed, I have a ghost story to share, but I just don’t know how to start. These pictures don’t really fit…
I know! I need to add some drama! ( I didn’t put the sign. It was there for a Drama class…)
Now that the setup is right, I can share the story of the most famous ghost, the Petticoat Loose.
Petticoat Loose was a six foot tall farm girl born in the 1800’s whose real name was either Mary or Brigid, depending on the storyteller. She did the man’s work on the farm, drank like a man, and would also wrestle and fight the local men when they mocked her. They say she killed a bull with a single blow of her first. They also say she killed a farmhand with his own spade and threatened to kill everyone if they tell on her.
Her nickname stuck to her after an incident in the Quills pub in Dungarvan where she used to be a regular. Her petticoat got undone while she spun around in a drunken dance. Petticoat Loose was a great dancer, no man could match her.
It is how she met her future husband – on the dance floor. The marriage lasted a year.
There were rumors that Petticoat Loose had a lover, a local hedge-schoolmaster. One night when she and her servants were milking the cattle, a cry of agony came from the fields. A servant girl was about to run and find out what was the matter, but a milking stool flew through the air and hit her on the back of her head. Petticoat Loose then told her to stay put and mind her own business.
Poor husband was never seen again after that night.
Another year went by. One night Petticoat Loose was in the pub, drinking with the local workmen. She was challenged by them to prove her drinking skills and offered half a gallon of beer. She drank it down, and then suddenly collapsed. She died without a priest, and no priest was called for her burial.
Seven years later Petticoat Loose ghost returned to haunt belated travelers, and was also seen around the pubs and dance halls. She became the terror of one particular road, and was responsible for at least one death. For some reason, she would never harm anyone by the name of John.
She even challenged a local man to a dancing contest. I don’t know what would happen to him if he wasn’t clever enough to make a ring with Holy Water round himself and stay within it.
All this horror lasted another 80 years. The local people had had enough, and called for a priest.
The priest doused the ghost with Holy Water and asked her why she kept coming back, to which she replied that she was damned, and admitted that she had killed a number of people. The priest banished her to Bay Lough, but she told him that she would do evil wherever she was. ‘We will see’, the priest replied. ‘I will place you head downwards.’
At these words, Petticoat Loose vanished and was never seen afterwards, but the priest soon died. Some say he didn’t die though. He just disappeared because he wasn’t from this world.
Bottomless Bay Lough was a good choice. St Patrick once gathered up the monsters in Ireland and put them in Bay Lough. He told them to stay there and wait, and that he would be back tomorrow. So, they are still there, deep in the dark waters, waiting. Some say that Petticoat Loose ghost took a shape of a monster with the body of a horse and the head of a woman. Others say she still looks like her old self, a large woman with red hair that sometimes appears out of the water and asks the same question all over again: ‘When will the day of judgment come?’
I am not the only one who has a feeling that Petticoat Loose isn’t gone for good yet.
You can google Petticoat Loose and find more versions of the story.
Happy Halloween! Stay safe!