Several of Gogarty’s servants reported fearful “presences” in the home, and reported bedsheets inexplicably flying off beds and doors opening and closing on their own.
One night, Gogarty even experienced a ghostly presence himself.
The Irishman was woken up by heavy, limping footsteps along the hallway, slowly approaching his door. Gogarty lit a candle and went to investiage the strange noises, but as soon as he entered the corridor, the flame blew out and he was alone in the dark.
Gogarty said his limbs became heavy, as if he “were exercising with rubber ropes.”
The supernatural activity at Renvyle increased when Gogarty’s close friend Yeats and his wife Georgia came to stay.
Yeats and his companions were sitting in the library at the home, when the door suddenly creaked wide open. Though his friends were terrified, Yeats raised his hand and shouted, "Leave it alone, it will go away, as it came.” The door then slammed shut.
The Yeats later held a séance, in which a vapory mist appeared, and eventually assumed the form of a red-haired, pale-faced boy who looked to be about 14. "He had the solemn pallor of a tragedy beyond the endurance of a child," Georgia Yeats later said, and discovered that the boy was a member of the Blake family, who originally owned the house.
Renvyle House was soon after burnt to the ground by the IRA, but it was rebuilt, and ghosts are said to still roam its corridors today.
8. Grace Neill’s Bar
Donaghadee, County Down
Grace Neill’s in County Down is one of the oldest pubs in Ireland.
Built in 1611, the pub was originally known as “The King’s Arms,” but was renamed after Grace Neill, who ran the inn for many years until her death in 1918 at the age of 98. Neill was an Irish woman with a big personality, and liked to keep a watchful eye on things at the inn.
But Grace hasn’t let her death interfere with her work at the pub.
A ghost of an old woman in Victorian clothing has been spotted in dark corners of the inn, and her spirit can be seen at the front bar, straightening glasses and furniture and switching lights on and off.
A strange shuffling can often be heard coming from the second floor, and some have even felt an invisible “presence” pass through them while standing near the building’s staircase.
But patrons visiting Grace Neill’s have nothing to worry about – the former caretaker of the inn is as friendly as ghosts come!
Grace ran a welcoming establishment while she was alive, and continues to do so in her afterlife.
Originally published October 2009.