In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, we are delving into the history of Leap Castle, one of Ireland’s most haunted places. Leap Castle was once a thriving Irish castle, built in the late 15th century. It was built by the O’Bannon family and was originally known as “Leap of the O’Bannons.”
In 1513, Gerald FitzGerald, a rival Earl, attempted to seize the castle, yet he was unsuccessful and only managed to partially demolish it. By 1557, the O’Carrolls, who were the ruling family over the O’Bannons, managed to fully repair the castle and bring it back to normal.
Backtracking a bit, in 1532, the O’Carrolls struggled with family problems. It seemed like everyone in the family wanted to control the castle, which led to fierce inner family feuds. In one instance, a bitter rivalry erupted between the two O’Carroll brothers, whose names have been lost to time. One of the brothers was a priest and he decided to hold mass in Leap Castle’s chapel for his family. While he was performing the religious rites, the other brother appeared and stabbed him through the heart, leaving his body on the altar. Since then, the chapel has been renamed “Bloody Chapel,” and it still remains standing today.
Throughout the years, there have been countless executions and imprisonments within Leap Castle. Supposedly, the castle is now haunted by several ghosts and specters, which roam the halls and terrify anyone foolish enough to enter. One of the specters is simply known as “It!” It is a small gray humanoid with a decaying face and black holes for eyes. It smells of sulfur and the decaying rot of a human corpse. Some have suspected that “It!” is more of an Elemental than a specter, but the case remains open.
In recent years, the castle was renovated and the workers discovered an oubliette, which is a dungeon where people are locked away to die. While cleaning out the dungeon, the workers found three cartloads of human bodies at the bottom, with one of the bodies owning a pocket-watch dated to the 1840s.
Leap Castle is now privately owned by Seán Ryan, who continues to restore and renovate the castle.