Famous Beresford Ghost Story (with introduction)

Since my previous blog post was about Curraghmore, I thought I would share with you a very popular Beresford Ghost Story for upcoming Halloween. It came out, however, that I have no spooky ghastly photos of Curraghmore House.  I decided to write an illustrated introduction about another place just behind the wall from the Curraghmore estate – the Mayfield House, Portlaw, of which I have plenty of spooky looking pictures, and the most important, a spooky true story.


Since the ancient Rhododendron tree fell down during the hurricane Ophelia in autumn 2016, the only way to get to the Mayfield house is to crawl through under the tree trunk…

… which I did the following December ( when I was sure the trunk wouldn’t flatten me). Winter is the best time to see the house free of weeds and brambles.

Mayfield House was built in the 1840s by William Tinsley for the brilliant entrepreneurs and philanthropists Malcolmsons who absolutely deserve a separate blog post.

The house also has a basement, and the tower was added in 1857. The house served as offices for the Tannery that opened in 1935, but as the Malcolmsons’ factory failed in the 1870s, so did the Tannery that was closed in 1985. Since then the house has been stripped of anything of worth, and now is a dangerous ruin.

Mayfield House

It is still beautiful though.

Mayfield House

Mayfield House

I walked around the house to take pictures of the Tannery’s chimney.

Mayfield House

Suddenly I noticed a strange movement in the upper floor window.

I quickly realised that it was just an old curtain swinging in the wind. Still, I thought it was a time to pack and leave.

Unfortunately, I can’t just leave, even when warned.

I made my way around a big pile of gravel to take a look at the back yard and a shed.

The shed has no doors, just two big holes in the wall. This is what I saw through the first hole. I didn’t like the chair, but well, there was no one sitting in that chair, right?

I walked to the other hole, and this is what I saw there. Nothing amusing. I was considering stepping inside the shed to check out bats when all of a sudden I felt a strong blow to my chest that stopped my heart and my breath. A physical blow.

The next moment I felt choking pressure on my throat. If it were from behind, I wouldn’t have any doubt I was being attacked ( and I would have a heart attack because of the scare) but here I saw no one. There was no one. The sensation lasted for just a couple of seconds and went away as suddenly as it came. ‘OK, OK’ I breathed out as soon as I composed myself and moved away from the shed. ‘I got it, I got it’.

When it was time to crawl under the tree trunk again, the ivy vines started to look like something from a horror movie… at least in my imagination 😉

I have never disturbed the ghost again, but I still go to the Mayfield House when the gate is open ( when the drifting takes place). No paranormal activity has ever been reported in this area. A nomadic ghost? May be. But read the Ghost Story – may be there is a clue 🙂


                                                     The Beresford Ghost story

John Power and Nicola Sophia Hamilton were raised by the same guardians and formed a friendship that extended beyond the grave. While in the guardians care, the teenagers learned about different religions and started to have doubts about the afterlife. The two made a promise that whichever should die first, would try to return to the other and reveal the truth about the life after death.

When John was only seven, his father, Sir Richard, 1st Earl of Tyrone, engineered his formal marriage to the twelve years old heiress Catherine Fitzgerald who eloped when she was seventeen. Nicola married Sir Tristram Beresford, 3rd Baronet when she was 21. John never married again. He and the Beresfords continued their friendship. John’s father was imprisoned and died in the Tower of London on 14th October 1690. John inherited the title of 2nd Earl of Tyrone. Three years later, Lady Nicola woke up and discovered Lord Tyrone sitting by her bedside. In response to her confusion he asked : ‘Have you forgotten our promise? I died Tuesday at four o’clock.’ That Tuesday was October 14, the day of his father’s death.

They had quite a long conversation, and to prove that he was not a figment of her imagination, John drew a curtain with mere waving his hand and wrote a note in her calendar, but it seemed not enough for Nicola to believe her eyes. Reluctantly, he touched her wrist with his cold and heavy fingers, and in a moment the sinews shrunk up. He then told her to cover the wrist so that no mortal eye would ever see it.

The ghost of Lord Tyrone informed her that she was pregnant with a son. All of his prophecies came true: Sir Marcus Beresford was born on July 16 the following year; Nicola’s husband, Sir Tristram Beresford, died unexpectedly eight years later; she married again, but because of her young husband’s misconduct had to obtain a separation; her son Marcus married Catherine Power, the niece of Lord Tyron, the only daughter of his younger brother James (you can read about them in my The Stag and The Dragon blog posts). Lady Nicola thought she escaped the last prophecy about the year of her death, but alas, her birth record was wrong. When she invited her friends to celebrate her 48th birthday, it came out that this was actually her 47th! She died the same night, on 23rd February 1713, her 47th birthday, shortly after the birth of her daughter Dorothea (1712), future Lady Desart.

Hope you have a fun and eerie Halloween.

PS Here are three links for you to explore: Teagan Riordain Geneviene new book Atonement In Bloom. This is not a hair-raising paranormal suspense thriller, but rather a relaxing and charming sort of magic that makes you think of packing and moving to the town of Atonement for good.

Exquisite poetry blog Poet Rummager by amazingly talented Rose Perez who shares her fiercely intelligent, dark, bittersweet and heart piercing poetry.

If you are looking for pure horror, visit FlyTrapMan blog 🙂

 Happy haunting!


  1. They’re never easy to encounter, each encountering is always different from the others. I have encounter two within my life time, the first I was while in the back of my father truck in a camper, we were just starting down a very rugged and steep mountain in the searing summer heat of the desert, at the base of the extremely steep mountain was a mid Victorian cemetery, tiny old, surrounded by a Gothic black Wrought Iron fence.

    My father and step mother didn’t see her, she was a sheer horror a fright, no clothing, rotted, decayed, ghoulish is an understatement, and they thought my screams where because we were descending the mountain and he my father kept yelling at me to shut the hell up he was driving.

    The second encounter was two summers ago, it was nothing as ghoulish and frightening as the first. It was a few days after a neighbor’s dog had died it had been hit by a truck. It was again a mid day a hot summer days sighting. Only the back half of the dog was seen, no front half as it walked across the street in front of me, then mid way it just fell like raining practical dust when a hat breeze blow by, it was a windless day. Because I see them, and hear them, I avoid going to Cemeteries and funerals, I do not even like driving by them day or night. But you’re made a physical contact, and having your throat closed up at that. I am glad it didn’t attach or following you home. Thanks for sharing of your encounter, great pictures and told history.

    1. Thank you for sharing your amazing story! I don’t know how it happens, why the veil opens. It is not like they are following me. The same with you – it was only twice, some glitch I guess. I am ok with the graveyards, but so far I stood clear from the official haunted houses, just in case 🙂 I hope they leave you alone. They have to be where they belong. Unlike you, I have never seen one, only heard. This one was quiet and invisible. Your ghosts were way too scary for my liking. Hope they all rest in peace.

      1. I’ll check out my controls and set up on my blog, I may have missed something upon set up. I work on it and get back to you. Thanks for the heads up.

        1. Do, as I am not the only one I guess. But you are not alone either – I have a lady who follows me four years and I have never be able to track her blog 🙂

  2. Hello dear Inese ❤
    The photos and story – especially your personal experience – are gripping!
    I felt a chill in my spine just reading your post 😉
    Thank you for sharing, and a Happy Halloween 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! It was scary for a moment until I realised that no one was actually strangling me for real. The ghost didn’t want to see me die from a heart attack, apparently, it is why he/she didn’t come from behind 🙂

  3. Oh, I don’t know which story is better, yours or the older one! The photos of the house were beautiful…too bad you could not have gotten one of the ghost. Loved the angles of the photos and the huge windows. I don’t think I would be going back but I am glad you went to share with us. Perfect to put us in the mood for Halloween and ghost stories! Cheers!

    1. Thank you! I am going there quite often, but never to the shed 🙂 I shared my story immediately after I returned. The owners of the Tannery have never heard of anything paranormal in the area.

  4. ooohhh…the best Halloween to you. An amazing post. I love the story,,,ah these names. Ah, the whole thing come to that. But your images and the idea of this house? Well, I just love abandoned and deserted houses( I do think there is a tiny diff in terms of definition.) I would love to go there. And what was that chair doing there exactly???

    1. Thank you for stopping by! 🙂 I think the chair belongs to a workman who is cutting the fallen Rhododendron branches during the week. Can see a pile of firewood in the shed. Looks eerie, but is, probably harmless 🙂

        1. The chair wasn’t a mystery, it was just a chair 🙂 If I were scared by that chair I would turn around and leave, but unfortunately I stayed 🙂 I am always getting in trouble.

  5. Scary story. I’m kind of ambivalent about ghosts – I’ve never encountered one and am not sure I believe in them. But it would be interesting to be proved wrong – or maybe not…

  6. I think your experience was more creepy than the story, Inese. You had me holding my breath. The pictures definitely give the house a haunted feel. A beautiful home though, even as a ruin. 🙂

    1. Thank you Diana! 🙂 This house is under 200 years old, and it is a disgrace that it ended up in ruins. The Powers/ Beresfords preserve their family home since the 12th century. It is not only about money I would say.

  7. Oh my, I would love love love to do a photo shoot there, what an amazing location!!! Although I might be bit scared, but I am weird as well, I scare everything, but if I would have the camera and some unfortunate model with me, I would be just so excited to shoot there that I wouldn’t be scared 😀

    1. Yes, the place is perfect for photo shoots in the grass-less season. Then you can walk into the gallery that is still looking safe, and also the entrance – the ‘tower’.

  8. Now I’m shattered with fear and horror! John Power has never visited me, but I’d like to know what all this shrivelled tissue is doing on my body! Terrifying!
    What punched you in the chest?
    How will I sleep tonight?
    Great shots, a creepy intro and a pigeons from hell tale in The Beresford Ghost story.
    😱😳🤭😬Happy Hallow’een, Inese! 👹😈👺👻

    1. Thank you Resa! I am absolutely certain that it was not related to my health issues. I know a ghost when I sense one. It was a hard punch, and then a choke on my throat, and then it was gone. The bloody thing was bored and there was me wandering around… 🙂 Happy Halloween!!!

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