Legend has it that a stone removed from Blarney Castle will bring misfortune and misery to anyone who possesses it.
Linda Kelly from South Carolina says she’s living proof of the superstition. The estate agent, who organized the sale of contents from the home of a retired priest, bought the rock for $1 at the sale despite thinking the house was “creepy.” After three weeks of bad luck, including loss of work and unexplained depression, Kelly shipped the stone back to Blarney, Co Cork.
Kelly said the priest, a former teacher, had lived a “sad life” and had shut himself off from the world.
"This man's house was filled with religious items. It was a time capsule of stuff from the early 1900s until the 1970s," she told the Irish Independent.
Kelly bought the rock to send to her daughter, who is working in Ireland. But once the cursed rock was in her possession, Kelly's luck took a bad turn.
"First off, my work dried up for a couple weeks. Then, I had a few days where I felt very depressed, for no reason. I felt so low, I couldn't even leave the house. Totally not like me," she said.
Then she received a notice that a bill payment she had posted weeks earlier had never arrived.
"After that, I scooped up the rock and drove it straight to the post office. I was a little worried to drive with that rock in the car. When I finally passed it over to the postal clerk, I did feel a sense of relief," she said.
Staff at Blarney Castle confirmed they had received the rock from Ms Kelly.
Blarney Castle owner Charles Colthurst said stones continued to be returned to the castle by post every year.
"It's all buried in mythology and folklore and that speaks for itself. If someone takes a piece of stone, it's by their hand.
"I don't know if returning the stone makes them feel better, hopefully it does," he said.