Ross Castle, Co. Meath, June 2009.
I was invited to a birthday party and paranormal investigation by the medium who was present at the Duncannon Fort investigation. I jumped at the chance as I had heard that the castle was very active. Plus, it sounded pretty cool to spend a night in a ‘haunted castle’.
Ross Castle is situated on the shores of Lough Sheelin, County Meath, and currently serves as a B&B. Ross Castle was built in 1536 by Richard Nugent, the 12th Lord of Delvin, known as the ‘Black Baron’ due to his nasty streak. Its location at the top of a hill on the shores of Lough Sheelin, overlooking the enemy territory of the O’Reilly’s to the north, was of strategic importance.
The ghost of the Black Baron, his daughter, children and an ancient entity, among other spirits, are said to haunt the castle.
The paranormal events of the day kicked off well before nightfall, with one of our party being scratched on the arm by an unpleasant entity whom he had been mocking and cajoling into action. The person who was scratched could not recollect catching himself on anything and the scratch appeared too deep, even drawing some blood, to have been unconsciously self-inflicted. The medium who was with us believed she saw the unpleasant female entity near this guy often, seeming to take a particular interest in him.
I also had an experience in daylight hours, as I went for a nap in my room, the Yellow Room, and heard what sounded like to be a child or young woman exclaim ‘cou cou!’ I thought it to be someone in the hall, but another of our party remarked on it later in the investigation and believed that nobody had been in the hall at the time.
Following this we sat down to a birthday meal for one of our party. We ate, drank and were merry. A beautiful birthday cake was brought out and photos taken. After the meal we all withdrew to the garden for a breath of fresh air. Upon our return the birthday girl decided to browse the photos she had taken to find three mysterious photos she had not taken. One photo in particular was quite odd. It appeared to have been taken from very low down on the table between myself and the birthday girl when the party was still in full swing. Pictured in the photo was one of the ladies sitting at the table side opposite me, holding her wine glass with a candle in the foreground. What struck everyone as odd was the positioning of the ladies hand and arm. It almost seemed to be coming from under the table, in such an angle that might be almost painful. We tried to recreate the photo but were unable to match it. We were unsure who or what took these photos, but nobody in our party admitted to doing it. Could an unseen hand have taken these snaps? I for one did not see anything and from the angle the photos were taken the photographer would have had to have been sitting next to me!
By now night had fallen and so the investigation proper began. We started off in the Green Room, said to have the most ghostly activity. Here the medium tried to evoke the spirits who may be present. Here she and another member of the party heard music, like that of a harpsichord or shrill like a penny whistle. Orbs and strange blue lights were seen in the room by several members. The medium contacted the spirit of a man who enjoyed playing music. An EVP was done in this room and later playback revealed the sound of heavy breathing and something saying ‘Hello’, despite the recorder being put a good distance away from anyone in the party. The use of the word ‘Hello’ would certainly date the spirit that could have been present in this room, as the word was not in common use until the 1800s.
Next was the ensuite room, but no real activity was reported here. However, earlier in the day the people staying in this room reported that the drawers of the desk were found open when they had been left closed. Poltergeist activity?
After this we proceeded to the tower, the oldest part of the building. We began in the living-room there. Forms moving in the stairs were reported.
Next was the small bedroom. Here the medium sensed an anxious man pacing up and down by the bed. Footsteps were also heard outside the door.
Finally we ventured into the top tower room. In this room the medium sensed the unpleasant female entity and ‘saw’ her above the bed, taking a particular dislike to the birthday girl, even going so far as to growl and hiss at her. The entity was also still taking a keen interest in the man she earlier scratched, sometimes coming over to where he sat. It was here that the medium sensed an aggressive male spirit entering the room. A male that wanted us out of ‘his’ castle. The medium sensed that the female entity, although unpleasant, was actually protecting our party from this male spirit, so that he could do no harm. While these two spirits were said to be in the room I felt a heavy temperature drop, could sense a feeling of ‘unpleasantness’ and I saw shadows passing in front of the window.
To finish off the investigation we withdrew to the living-room in the main area of the castle. It had been noticed that several times when people were relaxed and socialising, knocks and bangs had been heard, so it was thought a good idea to test this. We sat in the living-room in darkness and the medium sensed several spirits in the room. One such spirit touched the mediums hair, and some strands could be seen to be standing on end. I myself felt that we were being watched from outside the window and the medium confirmed that the unpleasant female entity was outside the window watching with interest.
Finally at around 4:30am I retired to bed. However I had a fitful sleep. I constantly felt like there was something watching me. I heard footsteps out in the corridor at 6:15am and at around 8:10am I heard what sound like footsteps on the roof. I put this down to mice in the ceiling cavity or birds. I finally fell asleep at 9am and slept for one hour, during which time I had an awful nightmare of knives and an evil looking octopus bodied man. Surely due suggestion? The mind playing tricks after hearing so many stories about the place and listening to what the medium was seeing.
This was a very interesting investigation, but I have to say I came away from it absolutely terrified and vowing never to return. However, I realized that a lot of what I felt was due to suggestion. My own mind had basically scared myself silly! Following this investigation I began to look into protection methods, such as prayers and amulets, as I felt that if suggestion could work to scare me, it could also be used to make me feel calm.
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