Today’s haunted journey takes us to the southeastern part of the Republic of Ireland, County Wexford. Here you will find what claims to be the most haunted house in all of Ireland, the dreaded Loftus Hall. Do you dare?
The Loftus Hall sits near one of the oldest lighthouses in the world -- the Hook Lighthouse, situated at the tip of the Hook Peninsula. The Peninsula's rough and rocky presence is so daunting that it gave rise to the saying, “by hook or by crook." Here, you'll experience a savage wind, prepared to push you off the unforgiving cliff and down into the jagged rocks below. And you will be teased by the air of spirited maliciousness that mingles with the salty sea breezes.
But is Loftus Hall truly haunted? Enough to be “The most haunted of all of Ireland?”
This chilling story includes Satan and a game of cards. On a dark and stormy night, many decades ago, a devilishly good-looking man knocked at the front door of Loftus Hall. His horse had gotten spooked by loud thunder, he said, throwing him down on the road. There is also a folklore version of the story about a mysterious stranger who claimed to be on a recently docked ship; as he walked from the road to the long lane leading him to the Hall, a storm arose. Yet, he remained completely dry.
The stranger begged for shelter from the dark and challenging night. Lord Charles Tottenham, a kindhearted soul, agreed. But, to add a bit or interest, he challenged the stranger to a game of poker. The stakes were agreed upon: If the strange won, he could spend the night for free; if, however, Lord Tottenham won, the stranger had to pay a large sum for his stay.
During the game, Lord Tottenham’s daughter, Anne, served refreshments. The stranger was very taken with young Anne’s beauty and she was charmed by his good looks. The flirtation was not missed by Lord Tottenham. And though Lord Tottenham was kindhearted, he did not plan on losing the bet. While the stranger was distracted with Anne, Lord Tottenham cheated and dealt himself four aces. During the game, servants reported that the stranger had hooves instead of feet and smelled of sulfur.
Illustration: A Poker Game With Lucifer in Loftus Hall (Credit Aura)
With great enthusiasm at winning the bet, Lord Tottenham gleefully revealed his victorious hand, an unbeatable four aces! Angered, the stranger returned to his true self, Satan! Cursing the Tottenham family as well as anyone entering Loftus Hall, he horrifically pledged evil doings to all. With this, he turned into a ball of flames, and shot through the ceiling. Could the scorched section of the ceiling still found in this room validate this chilling story?
Frightened by the spectral reaction from this ungodly monster, Anne fled to her room and locked herself in; there, many say she was then possessed by demons. Speaking in tongues, she engaged in strange rituals. Other versions of this devilish story say that she was with child, perhaps that of the stranger. For 9 years, she isolated herself from all others. Since her death in 1775, there is a corner of the room that is extremely cold to this very day. It's also said that Anne is sometimes caught in pictures, staring out at visitors.
Lord Charles Tottenham – Loftus Hall (Credit: Credit Aura)
Let’s be clear at this point: The house is rigged with moving pictures, special lighting, and cameras. The guides are all actors. It's clear that this is a theatrical production. A reenactment.
Haunted Theatrics of Loftus Hall (Credit: Independent.IE’s “Travel Ireland”)
However, the tour does include Anne’s room, aka the Tapestry Room. It's said that there was a body of an infant or young child found in the walls of this room. It is a dark and lonely bedchamber. There are isolated pockets of cold, especially in one corner; this corner also seemed darker than the rest of the room, as if a dark fog filtered out the light. The energy and feelings in that room were not man-made fun-house illusions. It is one of those places where gravity changes and there is a heavy and disorienting feeling.
There was something dark, sad, and very confused lurking there. Perhaps a heartbroken Anne. Perhaps something more sinister.
For the most part, Loftus Hall has been turned into a tourist stop, a fun-house, a place to go, especially near Halloween season. They even have a concert venue on the grounds. Because of all of the human activity, it's hard to tell how haunted the location is.
Actors in ghostly mode inside the haunted Loftus Hall in Co Wexford (Credit: Independent.IE’s “Travel Ireland”)
There is a definite activity in Anne’s room. It is the residue of a troubled soul and a broken spirit. There is a darkness that can be found in places of madness and depression. Does that make it Ireland’s Most Haunted? This may be worth a visit should you find yourself on the Hook Peninsula of southern Ireland.
Phantom captured on a tourist’s Photo (Could this be Annie?) (Credit: History Goes Bump In the Night)
You can find out more about Loftus Hall and watch the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures as they investigate the building.
Ghost Adventures in Loftus Hall (Credit: Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures)