New Ross Co., Wexford, Ireland is home to one of the most haunted places in the country, Loftus Hall. Come Explore its mystery with Haunted Journeys.
Raymond Le Gros built this 22-bedroom castle known as Houseland Castle. The Redmond family replaced their original castle with another in about 1350, during the time of the Black Death. This second castle was also known as The Hall or Redmond Hall. In 1642, the future Loftus Hall – then still known as Redmond's Hall – was attacked by English soldiers loyal to Charles I of England.
Although he was sixty-eight years old, in 1642 Alexander Redmond barricaded the Hall and prepared to defend it. He was assisted by his sons, Robert and Michael, some of their tenants, two men at arms, and an itinerant tailor who happened to be at work in the Hall when the attack took place. After much-spilled blood and help from circumstantial conditions, Redmond maintained command of the mansion.
It is alleged that Alexander Redmond received favorable terms from Cromwell and died in the Hall in 1650 or 1651 after which his surviving family was evicted, allowed only to retain a third of their original estate. Built over the remains of Redmond Hall, the home of the Redmond family since around 1350, in 1666 it became the home of the Loftus family and was renamed Loftus Hall.
Between 1872 and 1884, The Most Honorable John Henry Wellington Graham Loftus, 4th Marquess of Ely (1849-1889), under the guidance of his mother Lady Jane Hope Vere Loftus (Lady in Waiting to Queen Victoria), undertook the extensive rebuilding of the entire mansion, adding many of the famous elements such as the grand staircase, mosaic tiled floor, elaborate parquet flooring and technical elements which had not been seen in houses in Ireland at the time, such as flushing toilets and blown air heating.
The Loftus family abandoned the house in the early years of the 20th century when it was bought by the Sisters of Providence and turned into a convent and school for girls. It changed ownership again in 1983 when Michael Deveraux transformed the building into a hotel. Devastation occurred, again, Michael died in the Hall and his wife struggled for several years trying to run the hotel on her own, until one night she took off without any explanation, leaving everything behind.
Again, Loftus Hall then entered another dark period. The property was left vacant but was occupied illicitly for nearly a decade by people conducting satanic rituals and meetings.
The Hall remained empty until a few years ago. In 2011 it was purchased by the Quigley family, who underwent an ambitious project of restoration. In more recent times the hall has been turned into a tourist attraction with guided tours of the property and seasonal events.
The mansion, with a long history of ghostly occurrences and misery, opened its doors to the public for the first time in 30 years in 2012. The Gothic thriller The Lodgers was shot on location at Loftus Hall in 2016 and premiered to International acclaim at TIFF 2017.
This chilling story includes Satan and a game of cards in 1775. The legend tells us that in 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 of 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.
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 as 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. She refused food and drink. She sat with her knees under her chin, looking out the Tapestry Room window across the sea to where Dunmore East is today, waiting for her mysterious stranger to return until she died in the Tapestry Room in 1775. It is said that when she died, they could not straighten her body, as her muscles had seized, and she was buried in the same sitting position in which she had died.
There is another twist in this story. During the restoration of Loftus Hall, the skeletal remains of a tiny infant were found between the walls in what is believed to have been the room Anne had been locked in. This has fueled a devilish story say that she was with child, perhaps that of the stranger. For 9 years, she isolated herself from all others. Did Anne fall pregnant with the stranger, casting shame upon her family? This could have provided a motive for her father to lock her away, never to be seen again.
Loftus Hall is considered to wear the haunted crown in Ireland, with a high density of otherworldly supernatural activity that rivals any property (most probably) in the world. Loftus Hall became plagued by severe poltergeist activity. It is said that the troubled Anne has never been able to rest in peace.
Since her death, there is a corner of the room that is extremely cold to this very day. One of the early reports of a haunting occurred in 1790, soon after her death. The father of the Rev. George Reade was a guest at the hall. His sleeping quarters were found in the infamous tapestry room. As he drifted off to sleep, he claimed an entity leaped onto his bed, growling like a hound of hell. The curtains flung open and his bedclothes were violently torn from the bed. His suspicions of foul play on the part of his hosts were not realized, as he discovered his door was still locked, just as he had left it upon first entering the room.
Many years later, George himself stayed in the same room. He was unaware of his father’s frightening encounter with the spirit. One night as he sat up reading, the door of the room slowly swung open and the figure of a woman in a dress floated across the room. She disappeared into a wardrobe, leaving no trace behind. George paid no heed to this occurrence and went to sleep.
The hall also played host to the second Marquis of Ely on occasion. During one particularly frightening stay, his valet Shannon was given the Tapestry room to sleep in. As Shannon settled in for his rest, the curtains of the four-poster bed flung open, and the figure of a lady dressed in silk stood over him. Shannon ran from the haunted room in sheer terror.
It's also said that Anne is sometimes caught in pictures, staring out at visitors. She is often seen walking down one large oak staircase in the present-day hall. Today, Anne Tottenham’s grave is located in Wexford in a local graveyard. There is an entity here as well, for you see, unlike the surrounding graves it is completely cemented over. The people that buried her clearly wanted to ensure no one could ever access her body. What dark secrets did Anne take with her to the grave?
While Annie's room is extremely active, the most haunted room is said to be the Tapestry Room where the card game was played. Experiences include everything from significant temperature drops to EMF spikes to full-bodied apparitions. People have also seen Orbs and manifestations around the house. People will feel the touch or tugs delivered by unseen hands. Strange and unexplained voices and sounds will come through the staff's walkie-talkies as well.
In August 2014, a tourist snapped a shot of a ghostly female figure on the grounds. Thomas Beavis, 21, from Lewisham, snapped this shot while he was on the tour. This image is included in our second gallery below. Loftus Hall believes is the spirit of little Anne Tottenham – and the face of an old lady at the window.
A visitor once said about the third floor, “Everyone in it experienced something, the way this room would darken when the group felt there was a presence walking around was creepy, to say the least, and when the paranormal investigator was talking to a presence and asking it questions, nobody could deny it was answering through flashes on the EMF reader, this was enough to warrant two hot cups of tea before the next room.”
He claimed that the strangest experience he had was in the card room. He reported, “A presence in the room made a woman in our group’s finger shake so much her ring fell off. Now, I was next to this woman and I’ve tried to make my finger shake like that but it’s impossible. You just can’t shake your ring finger without moving at least one other, It’s like something was just pulling on her finger and she couldn’t explain how it happened… nobody could!”
Folks have admitted that not only does Anne haunt the place, but the Devil himself. When the cast of Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures visited, Aaron claimed that a demon climbed on top of him. Several Protestant clergymen were summoned by the family to put a stop to it, but none could rid the house of its evil forces.
In their desperation, the family, themselves Protestant, called upon a Catholic priest who was a tenant on their estate, Father Thomas Broaders, who was successful in cleansing the house of negative forces. He died in 1773 and was buried in Horetown Cemetery. His epitaph reads,
"Here lies the body of Thomas Broaders, Who did good and prayed for all, And banished the Devil from Loftus Hall".
Locals disagree, though, for there is no evidence the ritual was successful.
The most recent reported haunting (according to the Quigley family) took place when the Redmond family, (Brendan, wife, and daughter Elizabeth) traveling from Dublin and thought to be direct descendants of Alexander Redmond, encountered a number of family ghosts around the site of Loftus hall and were warned never to return without first hosting a feast in their lost families honor.
The entire crew of Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures included this property as one of the few international investigations they have ever done. The movie “The Lodgers” filmed in the house and gardens of Loftus Hall in 2016. Which coincidentally was the 666th anniversary year of the house.
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