Leap Castle is called Ireland’s most haunted castle, and I’ve even seen it said, the most haunted castle in the world.
The precise date Leap Castle was built is unknown, but it’s estimated to be around 1250.
In the 1500s it was owned by the O’Carrolls, who were Irish Chieftains. Legend has it that they murdered everyone they invited to a lavish banquet. Also, two brothers of the O’Carrolls had a big falling out, with one brother killing the other: this was in the chapel and the brother that was murdered was the priest.
In the 1900s, an oubliette was discovered filled with bones of the people thrown down the hole to their death.
‘Oubliette’ can be translated as the ‘little place of forgetting’. People were pushed down through a stone hole in the floor, where they were impaled on a wooden stake. If they didn’t die, they would have a slow agonising death.
The castle was gutted by fire during the Irish Civil War and remained boarded up and empty for 70 years.
Now, this isn’t your usual castle attraction. This is a privately owned castle by musician Sean Ryan, who has been restoring it since 1994.
For a small donation, he will let you come and look at the painstaking restoration work. Just e-mail ahead to see when it’s OK to visit.