Leap Castle

Leap Castle is one of the more interesting castles in Ireland, and this has much to do with its haunted history. Many people have reported seeing ghosts in this eerie edifice, and one of these ghosts is an elemental that goes by the name of "It." Those who claim that they have seen "It" describe the specter as being a small, grey-colored humanoid with little more than black holes for eyes. These black hole eyes are set in a decaying face, which only adds to the horror, and rumor has it that a foul stench accompanies the phantom. As you might expect, teams of scientists and ghost hunters have come to Leap Castle in the attempt to prove or disprove its paranormal tendencies, and you can take a tour yourself should you wish to make your own determination.

Whether you believe that there are ghosts in Leap Castle or you are full of skepticism, there is no denying that the structure has a relatively bloody history. Built by the O'Bannon family in the late fifteenth century, Leap Castle in Ireland was besieged on two occasions by the Earl of Kildare in the early 1500s. During one of the Earl of Kildare's attacks, part of the castle was demolished. Eventually, the more powerful O'Carroll clan overtook Leap Castle, and when the O'Carroll Chieftan passed away in 1532, a fierce family rivalry developed. One O'Carroll brother, who was a priest, was slain by another O'Carroll brother in the castle chapel, and it all happened in front of the family.

The slaying of one O'Carroll brother by another O'Carroll brother isn't the only bloody event that occurred at Leap Castle in Ireland. A healthy number of people were either imprisoned or executed in the castle, and workers who were renovating the structure around the year 1900 found a dungeon that was full of human bones. In fact, these workers claimed that it took three cartloads to carry all the bones out. Those who were executed at Leap Castle suffered horrible deaths. There is a shaft leading down to the dungeon, and at the bottom of this shaft are spikes. A prisoner would be pushed into the shaft, and you can imagine what happened from there. The history of Ireland in general includes a lot of bloodshed, and places like Leap Castle have a past that is as imposing as their medieval grey-stone exteriors.

Leap Castle is privately owned, and as such, those who wish to visit will have to get permission in advance. Paranormal tours that include a visit to the castle are relatively easy to arrange, and from time to time, there are story night sessions that you can hope to take part in. As for the Leap Castle location, you can find the structure in County Offaly, approximately four miles north of the town of Roscrea, which is in between Dublin and Limerick, about 90 miles north of Cork. The road that it is situated on is regional road R421. County Offaly, it should be noted, is a landlocked Irish county that can be easily reached by way of train, bus, or car rentals.

Image: ChiaLynn (flickr), CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Generic

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