Ireland’s most haunted house, Loftus Hall, is up for sale at €2.5m – about $2.8m…and the price includes the ghosts and legends.
The 22-bedroom mansion is on the Hook Peninsula in Co Wexford. It’s very close to the historic Hook Lighthouse and to Baginbun, the tiny harbour area where the Normans landed in the 12th century.
Loftus Hall, however, has a history all of its own. Althoug the mansion as it stands today was built between 1885 and 1895, there has been a house on the site since the 12th century.
Since then, it’s been the site of several ghostly tales, including one that dates back to a stormy night in 1765. A stranger approached the mansion looking worn and bedraggled. He said his ship had been sunk in a gale and he was looking for somewhere to stay.
He soon settled in and before long he was playing cards with the Anne Tottenham – who was the daughter of the family who owned the mansion. She found the handsome stranger very charming.
At one point, Anne got distracted and her cards fell to the floor. As she bent down to pick them up
caught a glimpse of the strangers’ legs and was horrified to see that he had cloven hooves. She had been playing cards with the devil!
At that instant the man left into the air in a ball of flames and went flying through the roof. Legend has it that no matter how many times they tried to repair the roof, the damage returned, and it continued to leak. This story is the main reason it earned the title of being Ireland’s most haunted house.
The house had fallen into disrepair and had been abandoned for 20 years when Aidan and Shane Quigley took it over in 2011. They turned it into a tourist attraction, with the haunted past being played to great effect on guided tours.
While popular, the venture hasn’t been an overwhelming commercial success and has also been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which has devastated the tourism industry.
Aidan Quigley now plans to focus on his other business interests. He told the Times:
“I’m not just going to sell it to anyone: I’ll be interviewing potential buyers. If a state body comes in, that’s an option. If an American owner wants to live here, I’d be keen to work with them to restore it.”
Local historian Liam Ryan wrote about Loftus Hall in his book, 2020 Visions of the Hook Peninsula, said the former owners of the hall, the Loftus family, were not popular because they were English ‘planters’ who had be installed in the area at the expense of local owners.
He said: “There are no monuments erected to them because they were landed in and put out the Redmonds, who were Catholics, but you can see their impact in the lovely stone walls in the area. Loftus Hall is one of the most recognised buildings in the country.”
Check out the Loftus Hall website for more details.
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