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Ghost Castle – 1862

Belfast Newsletter 8th September, 1862 p.4

Photo: EO'D

Photo: EO’D

An islander of the British Isles, and possibly a Highlander, purchased some time ago in the Landed Estates Court, a property in a maritime Irish County, upon which stood what might be described in the words of one of your illustrious bards;
“An old, old monastery once, and now
Still older mansion, of a rich and rare
Mixed Gothic, such as artists all allow
Few precedents are left us to compare
Withal.”

The building did not satisfy the taste of the new proprietor. He scarcely got possession of his title deeds before he commenced improving at once the land and the mansion. The improvements made rapid progress under the special superintendence of the new lord of the soil, who planned and directed early and late. It is his semi-nocturnal predilection for business that raised him to the dignity of a ghost story here.

He was in the habit of remaining about the mansion and grounds long after everyone else had retired, contemplating the progress of improvements or devising fresh ones. While engaged in this manner one evening shortly after twilight, he beheld upon the site of what had been an old out office a luminous figure. It first bore resemblance to the human shape, then gradually assumed the form more and more as twilight deepened. Finally it presented to the gaze of the astonished proprietor the perfect outline of a man, formed of light of a bluish tinge and subdued brilliancy.

Mr—— stood contemplating the apparition till it vanished from his view, owing, as he thought, to some change in the atmosphere, for he felt the air very much colder about the time of the disappearance. He said nothing about the apparition to anyone as he mistrusted his judgement and thought a vivid imagination might have played a trick on him. He resolved however, to discover if possible whether the phantom were reality or illusion. Accordingly he wandered about the scene of the vision every evening after twilight and occasionally his watchfulness was rewarded by a sight of the figure. It sometimes appeared an indistinct mass of still flame, and sometimes presented some outlines of a human form. Seldom did it appear in the complete human shape in which it first presented itself.

Having satisfied himself that his imagination was not trifling with him, the gentleman began to make inquiries of the people about his demesne as to whether any former proprietor of the property or any other person in any way connected with the castle had met an untimely end or disappeared suddenly and mysteriously from the mansion, or, if there were any tale of mystery connected with the place. None was forthcoming.

The lord of the Castle set a considerable number of them to search the spot, the site of the old out offices, where he had so frequently seen the apparitions. At a considerable depth before the surface a skeleton of a man was found. By all appearances he had been a warrior and the place of repose was the cause of the troubled times led by the spirit. The remains were respectfully and decently removed

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