Ghost

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!

Ghosts and mysteries

creepy tree

Many years ago I and my young daughter were looking for a place to rent. I was in the middle of my postgraduate studies and she was about to start her second year in the Mittelschule. After a long, fruitless search, we found that woman who gave us the keys of her late ex-husband’s apartment and asked for a very modest rent. The man died in September, and we got the keys the following July. The apartment was stripped almost empty, but if we really needed anything, we could ship some stuff from our own home, so I agreed and we moved in.

The worst piece of furniture was an old bed. I timidly inquired  whether the old man died in there,  but was told that it happened in the next room and his bed was dumped. Needless to say, we made that room a non-living zone.

The said bed didn’t look like the one in the picture, but it was still very old, so I though I would use this image to create some suspense, since the story is actually scary and difficult to believe.

folk park

That first night nothing happened – or so I think. I arranged for a children’s bed to be delivered, and until then my daughter and I shared the old wreck. It was our second night in the place. My daughter was already asleep when I switched off the light and joined her. Trying to be quiet, I covered myself with a woolen spread and the same second I heard distinct heavy footsteps coming from the kitchen. I stopped breathing. The footsteps walked into the room and my hair stood on end. I was waiting, breathless – I would fight hard to protect my daughter. The footsteps never stopped and went straight to the next room. I didn’t move. After a minute or so the footsteps made it back and disappeared in the kitchen exactly the same way they came.  Here is the path.

ghost pathI was listening for the door to unlock, but there was no sound. Being completely shattered I fell asleep.

The following day was a torture. I already realized that my visitor didn’t belong to this world, but this realization didn’t give me a clue how to stop him from coming. Besides, I was not sure he wouldn’t venture to our bed to say hello one night. I discussed the situation with my friend, and she suggested lighting a candle in church. The candle didn’t help.

For the rest of the summer, every single night he was there shortly before midnight. I was so grateful that my daughter was always sound asleep by that time. I have never looked at him – I was not sure if he liked attention.

ghost

But I did talk to him – after a month or so. “For God’s sake,  I would tell him in a hushed voice, why are you walking here instead of resting in peace? You are a grown up man, shame on you! Don’t you know I have a 8 year old child here, and you can scare her! What are you looking for here? Just let me know and I will take to your grave whatever stuff you need.”

He kept coming until his one year anniversary, and I kept giving out to him for that. Then he just stopped coming, and that was it.

Some mysteries can be explained though, like the ones in the books of Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes

These pictures were taken in the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London, England. It opened in 1990 and is situated in Baker Street, bearing the number 221 B, as per books, although it lies between numbers 237 and 241. The Georgian town house was formerly used as a boarding house from 1860 to 1936, which covers the period of 1881 to 1904 when Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson were reported to have resided there as tenants of Mrs Hudson. The museum is run by the Sherlock Holmes Society of England, a non-profit organisation. I guess they actually have some profit since the tickets are overpriced, but it is not that  I am complaining – the museum was a #1 item on my London list.

This is the monster from The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Sherlock Holmes

The Red-Headed League

Sherlock Holmes

A criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty

Sherlock Holmes

I read all the Sherlock Holmes books when I was a young teenager. People read a lot at that time. Not that I am a hardcore Sherlock fan, but I enjoyed reading the novels way before I saw my first movie: for that, I consider myself lucky. And I did want to visit the museum because I love the idea of the monuments and museums dedicated to the fictional characters.

It is why the reviews in the Trip Adviser upset me. Especially one like this:

“I think it’s interesting if you’re a big fan and know all the stories. If you’re not (like me) you’ll learn nothing.”

For Goodness sake! Sorry you learned nothing, man.

But there was one review that  I loved. A very long one, and I want to quote a part of it here, because I couldn’t say it better myself:

“…I’m sorry that you probably live in a world where people insist that Sherlock Holmes is not real. I invite you to live in my world instead, my friend. Because in my world, people can fall from waterfalls and 15 story buildings and live to solve crime another day. In my world empty hearses are not creepy precursors to post apocalyptic zombie films. In my world one landlord can be both Mrs. Hudson, AND Mrs. Turner, because the hell with continuity! The difference between fiction and real life is that fiction has to make sense, and when did Sherlock Holmes ever make sense? Never! If that’s not confirmation, I don’t know what is.

Anyway, they’ll try to tell you this is a “museum”, but whatever. You know that the great detective and his dear friend Doctor Watson have just stepped out on a consultation at Scotland Yard. And don’t you ever forget it.”

Bless you, young lady.

Sherlock holmes

Sherlock Holmes

I want to share some soundtracks to the different Sherlock Holmes movies.  Which of the soundtracks is your favorite?

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984–1985), Granada Television,  starred Jeremy Brett  and David Burke/Edward Hardwicke. Composer Patrick Gowers.

 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1979-1986), Lenfilm, starred Vasily Livanov  and Vitaly Solomin. Composer Vladimir Dashkevich.

BBC Sherlock (TV series) 2010. Starring  Benedict Cumberbatch  and Martin Freeman. Composers  David Arnold and Michael Price. This is actually a cover, but I think it is brilliant – Sherlock Medley on Violin – Taryn Harbridge

And this one is from the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes movie, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. Composer Hans Zimmer

The living room and all the familiar items are on display – you can sit in the chairs, put on the hats and even play the violin if you wish.

Sherlock Holmes

The maid is real.

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes

If you don’t mind wax figures, Madame Tussauds museum is some 10 minutes walk from here.

Sherlock Holmes

And you know what? There are people who still write to the famous Detective.  Blessed readers – I am sure that most of them are readers.

Sherlock Holmes

So, that’s the story. Some mysteries still remain unsolved…

Sherlock Holmes

The Rocky Road to Dublin by The Dubliners – this song was used in the Sherlock movie.

IneseMjPhotographyHave a wonderful weekend!