“Ah, COOOOMMME ON!!”, I shouted aloud to an empty car.
I’d been chugging along a seemingly never-ending-maze of narrow country roads for the guts of an hour in torrential rain, with no signal on my phone, and a set of window wipers that were about as useful as a pair of glasses on a bloke with one ear.
I’d had enough!
I steered the car into the nearest gateway and made an attempt to glimpse through a little patch of window that hadn’t yet been obscured by steam or rain.
“Where AM I”, I muttered to myself, as I wiped the side window clear with an already damp sleeve, and attempted to peer out of it.
To my right, stood a set of rusty old gates, with thick unruly bushes surrounding them.
My window fogged up again.
“Ah, go and sh*te”.
I jabbed the button to lower the window.
The wind and rain began gushing in the moment it began it’s descent, but I didn’t care – I finally had full vision of where I was, and what lay in front of me.
The old gates marked the beginning of a driveway – a long driveway.
It snaked around 250 feet up to an enormous old building that looked like something you would have seen Scooby and Shaggy legging it around, back in the day.
I grabbed my phone and, to my immense surprise noticed that there was signal, and hurriedly clicked into Google Maps and zoomed in on my location.
I was sat next to a building called Loftus Hall.
If, like me, you never heard of it – here’s what it’s all about!
The Legend of Loftus Hall
You’ll find the towering structure known as Loftus Hall on the wild and windy Hook Peninsula in County Wexford.
It’s a large, old mansion house that was built in the mid-1300’s during the time of the black death, by the Redmond family.
According to legend, the mansion is haunted by both the devil and by the ghost of a young woman (yep, I was glancing over my shoulder nervously while reading this…).
The building passed through many different hands over the years, but the curious tale begins while it was occupied by The Tottenham family in 1766.
Lord Tottenham married a woman called Anne Loftus, and the couple had two children; Elizabeth and Anne.
While their children were still quite young, Anne Loftus Senior became ill and died.
During this time, many ships landed on the shores of the Hook peninsula, and it was customary for those on the ships to take shelter from storms at the great Hall.
It was in the midst one such storm that a ship pulled into Slade Harbour and a stranger from the ship made his way to Loftus Hall, where he allowed to stay.
On this occasion, the storm thundered on for days, if not weeks, which meant that the stranger continued to stay on at the house.
Lady Anne Tottenham, now a young woman, became close to the visitor during the storm, and they spent many hours chatting together in The Tapestry Room.
During the evenings, the mansion’s various inhabitants used to sit around and play cards.
One evening, as a game was in full swing, Lady Anne dropped a card.
As she leaned down to pick it up, her eyes fell upon a cloven hoof, and she began to scream.
The stranger from the ship whom she had become close to was exposed as The Devil.
He immediately disappeared through the roof in a large ball of fire, leaving those present shocked and terrified, and Lady Anne in a traumatised state, from which she would never recover.
According to legend, the family grew embarrassed by her state, and decided to lock her away in the same room where she had spent so much time with the stranger.
She remained in that room until she passed away in 1775, and it is from then that her ghost is said to have begun to haunt the house.
Is there any evidence?
After reading all of the above on my phone, I made my way to the cafe in Hook Head Lighthouse.
As I sat sipping a piping hot mug of coffee, I dug a little deeper, and discovered a story about a ghost sighting from back in 2014.
A man name Thomas Beavis had taken some photos during a visit to Loftus Hall, and managed to capture the below image.
The photo appears to show the ghost of a young girl standing in a doorway…