Everyone on the Ireland Tour had an amazing night at Cabra Castle and their unique accommodations. Some of the tour guests reported hearing footsteps in their rooms, voices, and items move from place to place before their eyes. Let day 4 begin!
Day 4 Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle, Kinnitty Castle
Cabra Castle dates from 1760 and is known to be one of Ireland’s scariest castle hotels. Some guests have spoken of meeting a man in full early 20th century military uniform striding down the corridor. Another guest heard a horse and carriage pull in to the courtyard in the dead of night just before depositing a screaming infant at the steps of the hotel. There is also an old hanging tree on the grounds. The Cabra Castle Hotel tells their version of the story:
“’In the 1780’s, the local people of Dun na Rí witnessed the unfolding of the tragic saga which was to become the legend of the ghost which still haunts Cabra Castle to this present day – dare to walk the corridors of this haunted castle knowing that the footsteps that went before you were that of evil predecessors. The then owners of the castle had a daughter and two sons, one of whom fell in love with a servant girl called Sarah. In true Romeo & Juliet style, it was a passionate but secret love, which for the sake of property, could only be pledged silently.
The secret was broken when Sarah became pregnant and her lovers family ordered that she was to be killed; legend has it that she was taken from the Servants Quarters of the castle and dragged deep into the forest, where her body was hung over a bridge.
It is said that in the dead of the night, the haunting cries of a baby may still be heard in Cabra Castle. Local people say that the baby is pining for its mother. There is also a testament by those who have felt a ‘presence’ in the courtyard rooms – formerly the Servant’s Quarters, where it is said that Sarah’s lost soul still wanders the Castle in search of her lost love and lost child..
The forest where she alleged met her death, is now open as a park and the bridge which Sarah was hung has been named ‘Sarah’s bridge’. In honor of the legend and in her memory, there is a room in the Castle that we have named after her – ‘Sarah’s Well’.”
Soon the bus was loaded and the tour began a journey to Rock of Cashel (AKA St. Patrick’s rock) in Tipperarary. This Irish castle sits atop a gigantic limestone (perfect for a haunting) outcropping that rises to a height of 358 feet. The stone fortress wall encloses the ruins of great medieval structures including the Irish-Romanesque Cormac’s Chapel.
Legends about the castle range from the whimsical to the historic. The legend claims that the rock was hurled by the Devil when he spied a church being built at Cashel. But, the evil one had a bad aim, and the Christians were unafraid. More likely, St. Patrick—the Briton who legendarily endured danger and hardship to convert Ireland to Christianity—did baptize King Aenghus of Munster at Cashel about AD 450, thus establishing Cashel as a bishopric. It is not surprisingly that St. Patrick’s Rock is haunted. The wind adds a strange atmosphere. The cold grey sky, the cold grey stone, and the old graves, made an eerie place of ‘The Rock.’”
It was very windy as the ghost gang trudge up the steep hill to visit Cashel. There is a wonderful old cemetery on the grounds with a lot of photo opportunities. It is no wonder that ghostly monks have been showing up in guest’s photographs over the years.
After lunch we were whisked away to Blarney Castle. Kissing the fabled “Blarney Stone” was on many bucket lists and is listed on the 100 places you must visit before you die. The legendary Blarney Stone is said to have the power to bestow people with the gift of gab and the ability to speak with wit, charm and persuasion.
The stone is built into the wall of the medieval Blarney Castle in County Cork. Sir Winston Churchill is the most famous world leader to kiss the stone and celebs such as Laurel and Hardy, and Mick Jagger also have a lot to thank it for. Thousands of tourists have come to Blarney Castle each year to kiss the stone—and now the Ghost Gang has done it too!
There are many legends that tell how the stone became a source of power. One is that Cormac Laidir McCarthy, the man who built Blarney Castle, had been taken to court. He was very worried that he was going to lose his case so he prayed to the goddess, Cliodhna—who was Queen of the Banshees. Cliodhna advised him to kiss the first stone he saw on the way to court. McCarthy followed her advice. He pleaded his case in such an articulate and persuasive manner that he won his case! Word was spread about his success by kissing the stone and the legend was born!
Blarney Castle history is an intriguing one. It was the third structure to be built on this site. The first one was a wooden structure built in the 10th century, and a stone structure replaced it in 1210 A.D. This building was torn down because of foundation problems, and the final, medieval Blarney Castle was built by Dermot McCarthy in 1446. At one time, the castle was occupied by Cormac McCarthy, King of Munster, who allegedly sent 4,000 Munster men to held Robert the Bruce at the battle of Bannockburn. According to legend, Robert the Bruce gave half of the Stone of Scone to McCarthy in gratitude, which was incorporated into the structure of the castle, becoming the Blarney Stone.
With the newly required gift of blarney (as if any of us needed more) it was back on to the bus for a ride up to Kinnitty Castle—one of the most haunted castles in Ireland, and where the ghost gang would be spending the night!
Kinnitty Castle was another gothic revival Castle and is located at the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in County Offaly. Some of the tour guests were given rooms within the Castle walls while others were assigned rooms that surrounded the courtyard. Dinner was served in a medieval banquet room with long tables and period music.
Who would become a human pendulum? Would there be table tipping? Who would have paranormal happenings in their rooms during the night? Will the fairies in the forest surround the castle walls? Find out more in Day 5 of Arizona Ghost Hunter Travels: Haunted Ireland Tour in the next couple of weeks.
For More information: Arizona Haunted Sites Examiner: Debe Branning: Nazanaza@aol.com