728 x 90

Leap Castle, Co. Offaly - Gareth McCormack for Tourism Ireland

Leap Castle, Co. Offaly - Gareth McCormack for Tourism Ireland

Leap Castle: Ireland's Most Haunted Castle

Leap Castle, known as the world’s most haunted castle, has a violent and bloody history that spans over 700 years. The castle has been home to many fascinating and sometimes horrific spirits, including the infamous Elemental, a menacing and sinister presence that only makes itself known to those who provoke it. Visitors can also experience the ghosts of Emily and Charlotte, two little girls who lived on the estate during the 1600s, and the ghost of the Red Lady, who roams the castle in a long red dress carrying a dagger. The castle is open to visitors, and nearby attractions include the Slieve Bloom Mountains and the town of Roscrea.

Located in County Offaly, Ireland, Leap Castle was built in the 15th century by the powerful O'Carroll clan. The castle was originally used as a fortress to protect the clan from rival clans and invading forces. However, the castle's history is filled with violence and bloodshed.

One of the most notorious events in the castle's history is the murder of a priest in the 16th century. The O'Carroll clan hired a priest to perform mass in the castle's chapel. However, the priest was actually a spy for their enemies, the Fitzgerald clan. During the mass, the O'Carrolls stormed the chapel and killed the priest, who was said to have been stabbed in the back while holding the chalice. This event is known as the "Bloody Chapel" and is said to have left a stain on the floor that cannot be removed.

The castle was also the site of many battles and sieges throughout its history. In the 17th century, the castle was taken over by English forces and used as a barracks. During this time, many prisoners were held in the castle and were subjected to torture and execution.

The castle was abandoned in the early 20th century and fell into disrepair. However, in the 1990s, the castle was purchased by Sean Ryan, who began a restoration project to bring the castle back to its former glory. The castle is now open to the public for tours, and visitors can experience the castle's haunting history firsthand.

In addition to the ghosts mentioned earlier, visitors have reported seeing other spirits in the castle, including a monk, a woman in a red dress, and a man in a black cloak. The castle's haunted reputation has also been featured in numerous TV shows and documentaries, including "Ghost Adventures" and "Most Haunted."

The Elemental is one of the most infamous spirits associated with Leap Castle. It is said to be a malevolent entity that lurks in the castle's dark corners and only makes itself known to those who provoke it. The Elemental is said to be a dark, shadowy figure that exudes an overwhelming sense of dread and fear. Some visitors have reported feeling as though they were being suffocated or choked by an unseen force when encountering the Elemental.

Emily and Charlotte are two other spirits that are said to haunt Leap Castle. They were two young girls who lived on the estate during the 1600s. Legend has it that they were murdered by their own father, who was a member of the O'Carroll clan. Visitors have reported seeing the ghostly apparitions of two young girls playing in the castle's halls and rooms.

The Red Lady is another well-known ghost at Leap Castle. She is said to be the ghost of a woman who was imprisoned and tortured in the castle's dungeons. The Red Lady is often seen wearing a long red dress and carrying a dagger. Some visitors have reported feeling a cold, clammy hand on their shoulder when encountering the Red Lady.

Despite its haunted reputation, Leap Castle is also a beautiful and historic site. The castle's architecture and design reflect its rich history and cultural significance. Visitors can explore the castle's various rooms and chambers, including the Great Hall, the Chapel, and the Dungeon. The castle's location in the heart of Ireland's countryside also offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

In addition to visiting Leap Castle, there are several other attractions in the area that visitors may want to explore. The nearby town of Roscrea is home to several historic sites, including the Roscrea Castle and Damer House. The castle is a 13th-century tower house that was once a stronghold of the Butler family. Damer House is an 18th-century Georgian mansion that was built by the wealthy Damer family.

The Slieve Bloom Mountains are also a popular destination for visitors to the area. The mountains offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside and are home to several hiking trails and nature reserves. The Slieve Bloom Way is a 70-kilometer hiking trail that winds through the mountains and offers hikers a chance to experience the area's natural beauty up close.

For those interested in Irish folklore and mythology, the nearby town of Kinnitty is home to a famous fairy fort. The fort is said to be the home of the fairy queen and is a popular destination for those seeking to connect with Ireland's mystical past.

Overall, Leap Castle and the surrounding area offer visitors a chance to experience Ireland's rich history and culture, as well as its haunting and mysterious side. Whether you're interested in exploring historic sites, hiking in the mountains, or delving into the world of Irish folklore, there's something for everyone in this fascinating part of Ireland.

Online Details