Ireland is beautiful. It's magical and pretty and it can make you wonder at history and at the nature of the world. It also has the fantastic quality of being quite spooky now and again. With our bloody history and our fascination with, at times, morbid and dark mythology, a dark, stormy day in Ireland has all the aspects of a horror movie.
Imagine, then, as you stroll through the countryside on a dark, foggy day in Ireland and you come across something you know shouldn't be there. In 2012, a photographer did just that, convinced he'd taken a photo of a 19th century Claddagh nun at the Long Walk, an industrial estate in Co. Galway.
According to reports in the Galway Independent, Jonathan Curran was “freaked.” He took 12 other pictures and the ghost nun did not appear.
He said, “The image was not visible either before or after the photograph was taken and was not captured in any of the other photographs, either going or coming. She just seemed to appear for a moment and then disappear. There were other people on the Long Walk that day, but they seemed oblivious to her presence.”
Locals in Galway are now trying to distinguish whether this image is the real deal – is it a ghost or an optical illusion?
William Henry, a local historian said there have been many haunting around the Claddagh, Wolfe Tone Bridge, and the Long Walk. These stories include tales of “The Lady in White”.
He said: “An elderly man once described seeing a lady dressed in medieval clothing near the bridge one night, long before our festivals began. Other stories of hauntings were told in the old Claddagh and many young people were warned to avoid Wolf Tone Bridge after midnight. This had the added advantage of ensuring that they were home before 12 bells.”
He called the image in question striking and said it “certainly stands out as clearly out of place in a modern context.”
“She appears to be looking directly at the camera indicating an awareness of her surroundings.”
We'll be avoiding the Long Walk this Halloween night. Spooky!
* Originally published in 2012.