Modern Irish Ghost Stories
Our readers often make contact with us to report their paranormal happenings. Here are some of our readers’ ghost stories. Please submit your own to us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bottle Tower Knocking
Every day I drive past an odd-looking building, locally known as The Bottle Tower, on the school run. It is located in Churchtown, South Dublin. It was built in reaction to the 1740 famine which ravished Ireland and many parts of Europe.
Kathryn Conolly (wife of William ‘Speaker’ Conolly of Castletown House) organised the build, mainly to employ people in the local area during the crisis. It was probably built as a granary. Inside it has two fireplaces and outside is a cantilevered staircase leads to a small lookout. This was probably used for shooting game. Now it stands as a historic ruin, and it is falling into dereliction.
One day, on the school run, my kids were in the back seat as I drove past it, and I heard a loud knock on the back window. I turned around and told my kids to stop banging on the window, but they said that it wasn’t them. They looked a little spooked, so I said that a bird must have hit the glass and I carried on as normal.
But as I was driving home, back past the bottle tower again, I heard the same loud knock on the back window, and there was no one in the back seat. This gave me such a fright that I screamed out loud. I honestly thought someone was outside the car trying to carjack me, the knock was that loud.
As I returned past the bottle tower later that day to fetch the kids from school, I heard it again, and this time I knew it wasn’t my imagination, my kids, or a carjacker. It was a damn ghost and I didn’t know what the hell it wanted or what it expected me to do for it, driving past at 50 miles an hour? I was spooked for hours afterwards.
I stopped driving that way, so scared was I of that damn knock-obsessed ghost. I didn’t go past it for months. But just today, there were roadworks on the alternative way to school so I had no choice to go past the bottle tower and there it was again…the heart-stopping knock on the back window. I’m gonna burn that damn tower down if I get the chance but until then I am not driving past that spook-fest of a tower ever again.
My husband is a total sceptic of anything ghost-like and I have had enough experiences where I reckon that there is a whole world out there that we really REALLY don’t want to know about because it is a bit creepsville. Anyway my husband is from Wicklow Town so anytime we are down there we try to make an effort to visit the graves of his mother and father, who are buried in the same plot. In the car our kid said, “Let’s go visit granny.” So we pulled in to the graveyard, while arguing about whether there was life after death or not.
When we got to the graveside, I said, “Listen all I know is that one day they will give us a sign and you’ll miss it because you are being so damn stubborn about it.” And just then my phone starting ringing while my husband was cleaning up the graves a little.
I took it out and the phone said my husband was calling me. I laughed at him and said, “You are butt-dialling me, control yourself.” He laughed and took his phone out of his pocket, only to find that it was locked, even though it was saying at the same time he was calling me. He had to unlock the phone to stop it calling me.
“Right,” I said. “This is your mum and dad messing with us, you eejit. Believe me now?”
Kevin of the Priory
I don’t speak a word of Irish and not does my husband despite learning it in school and even heading off to the Gaeltacht for summer lessons. When I had my daughter, we moved to a house that was built over an old Priory. In fact the street was called “The Priory.”
When my daughter was about three years old and talking, she was terrified of going into the family bathroom and would scream if I brought her in there to use the toilet. She preferred the toilet downstairs or she would use the potty, much to my frustration. One day, I asked her why she wouldn’t go in the family bathroom, and she said, “Because of the boy under the sink.”
I said, “What boy?”
She said, “There is a boy who sits hidden under the sink. He has no hands. He sits under the sink because he is scared. If the men see him they make him work. His name is Keevee. He speaks in a different language. He says words I don’t know. The words on Sesame Street.” (I used to put them in front of the Irish-language Sesame Street on TG4 thinking they would get a head start on Irish! It didn’t work.)
When I told my husband about Keevee, he said, “Does she mean Caoimhín?”
She has since forgotten about Caoimhín, the boy with no hands who speaks only Irish and was a child worker in a priory. But my husband and I haven’t forgotten and it still gives us the willies.
I was sitting on my couch at home, talking to my father about his mother, my Nana. Nana had passed away a year before I was born of pancreatic cancer. I didn’t know much about her, and noticing my own father’s progressing years, I thought it was time to press my father for information. He wasn’t very forthcoming, as he still felt her rather quick death quite keenly and did not like to show his emotions. But I wanted the goods.
I kept pressing him to talk about her, and tension was building as he refused to give in. All of a sudden, a hula-hoop, which had otherwise been resting against the wall for days, flew up from where it was, and rolled at lightning speed in front of my father. It then twisted and rolled at me. I pulled up my legs, and it rolled out of the sitting room and into the kitchen.
I was so dumbstruck I couldn’t talk for about five minutes. After I got my head together I said to my father, “You know that was Nana, don’t you.” My dad laughed at first. But then he said, “Well you know your Nana was a champion hula-hooper? She used to be able to spin 50 hoops on her body at the same time.”
This is something that I never knew.
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