Haunted History – The Charleville Castle

Alright, Let’s get into some creepy ghost legends, more specifically the ghosts that are known to haunt Irelands’ Charleville Castle.

We talk about Castles and their ghostly residents a lot, but most of these structures are really really old.  This one, the Charleville Castle, is nowhere near the age of most haunted castles, yet that hasn’t seemed to stop the ghosts from homesteading!  Construction began in 1798 on the site that was once known to host rituals of an ancient druid cult.  By 1812 the castle was completed and would be home to first Earl of Charleville, Charles William Bury and his family.

One of the first tragic events to mar the castle’s history was the untimely death of a young girl named Harriet.  Harriet was the 8 year old daughter of the third Earl of Charleville.  After having been sent upstairs to clean up after dinner one night, Harriet decided to slide down the banister of the massive stair case to rejoin her parents on the bottom level of the castle.  Somewhere about midway down, she lost her grip and fell to the stone floor below, she died almost immediately from the impact.

Harriett is seen most frequently of all of the Castle’s ghosts.  She’s heard laughing and singing sometimes, and sometimes, she’s heard screaming as she relives that fatal fall to her death.  Harriet is described as a fair young lass wearing a blue and white dress with matching ribbons tied in her curly flowing locks.  She’s seen mostly around the stairs but also in her room that is on the top level of the castle.  She’s not always alone though, she’s spotted often with a young male playmate that no one knows who he could have been or where he could have come from.

There’s an interesting story concerning Harriet and her playmate.  In 1971 the castle was purchased by Bridgette Vance who had full intentions on restoring the structure to it’s original glory.  One afternoon Bridget’s 5 year old son went missing.  She and all of the workers immediately dropped what they were doing and began scouring the structure in search of the boy.  There was a lot of restoration work going on at the time, and a lot of ways a small child could hurt himself or worse.  So everyone is in a panic trying to find this kid and then all of the sudden, he pops up on the landing at the bottom of the stairs.

The boy was happy to report that he had made friends with a little girl and a little boy; it had been them that helped him down the stairs just before he was discovered on the landing.  This was only one of the first encounters had by the Vance family.  There was a visit by Bridget’s mother who had been eager to spend the night in the tower bedroom.

Well she did, but she didn’t get much sleep.  How could she when she wakes up in the middle of some ancient druid ritual!  Yep, she wakes up to a room full of men, most of them appeared to be monks wearing robes with hoods.  They had surrounded her bed by forming a circle around her and were performing some “type of blessing ritual” so she claimed.  Yeah, I’d be a little freaked out if I woke up in a room full of robed and hooded men too, I gotta tell ya!  Your Vampire Mama would have gone a little psycho.  Hell!  I may have even scared the ghosts, if it had been me!

Anyway, those are just a couple of occurrences reported by the Vance family members.  Trust me, there are tons of documented occurrences ranging from disembodied footsteps and voices, to chiming clocks, where there are none, and moving furniture.  It seems that nearly every room within the castle has a ghost or ghosts of it’s very own.

Downstairs, just feet from where Harriet fell to her death, is the library.  Legend has it that the Bury’s, who first built the castle, were involved with the Freemasons and this was supposedly the place where they held their odd rituals.  During this time, women weren’t allowed in this room, and today, the ghosts still have issues when a woman is present.  Many females that have taken part in the castle tour have complained about having strange experiences in this room.  Things like being pushed by unseen hands or their hair being pulled or heavy footsteps following behind them until they exit.

Another haunted hot spot here is in the ballroom.  Nearly every paranormal investigation in this room has resulted in photographs of unexplained lights that bounce across the bare ceiling as well as misty shapes that glide across the floor as if dancing to some eternal yet unheard orchestra.

 

And then there is the bottom level of the castle, which is highly avoided by many, why? Because that’s where the dungeon is! and in the dungeon there is a fearsome and sadistic entity, that does not care for your company, at all!  The first room encountered upon entering the lower level is known as the “Waste not want not” room.  Legend has it that the first Earl was a practitioner of satanism and within this tiny chamber, some wicked shit was supposed to have gone down.  Tour guides say that the second you descend, your senses are racked with terror.  Torture and death can literally be felt in the air.

Within the dungeon itself, many of the original torture devices can still be found.  But the creepiest feature over all, is the altar.  This Gothic structure is decorated with stone goblets and skulls.  It was once said to have been hidden behind a concrete wall that was removed during earlier renovations.  No doubt this stone structure was used within some un-Godly rituals, and perhaps it is what holds the attention of the terrifying and sadistic entity that dwells there in the dungeon.

There is another well known legend on the grounds of Charleville, this is the tale of the King Oak, a massive tree that is connected to the Bury family.  The tree has always warned members of the family when death would come to visit.  Every time this mammoth oak dropped a branch, a member of the Bury family would die shortly thereafter.  In 1963 the entire tree was struck by a massive bolt of lightening,  the tree managed to survive the blow however, Colonel Charles Howard Bury suddenly and unexplainably died immediately thereafter.  He was the last member of the Bury family that owned the castle.

 

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