Leap Castle, Coolderry, Ireland

The Most Haunted Building In Ireland

There are varied accounts as to when exactly the main tower/keep was constructed; ranging anywhere from the 13th century to the late 15th century, but most likely around 1250 CE. It was built by the O’Bannon clan and was originally called “Léim Uí Bhanáin” (as was the fertile land around the castle which was associated with the Bannon clan), or “Leap of the O’Bannons”. The O’Bannons were the “secondary chieftains” of the territory and were subject to the ruling O’Carroll clan. There is evidence that it was constructed on the same site as another ancient stone structure perhaps ceremonial in nature, and that that area has been occupied consistently since at least the Iron Age (500 BCE) and possibly since Neolithic times.

Leap Castle is said to be the most haunted castle in Ireland.  It has had a horrific history with each passing century being punctuated by ferocious acts of violence.

One of the most gruesome murders to take place in the castle occurred  in a room above the main hall of the castle which is now know as ‘The Bloody Chapel’ where in 1532 ‘one-eyed Teige O’Carroll’ murdered his own brother as he celebrated Mass in for the rest of the family.  The priest’s spirit is said to haunt the Bloody Chapel and is thought to be one of Leap’s earliest ghosts.

The Bloody Chapel is said to be the home of many a ghoul. People have said on passing the Castle at night they have seen a very bright light shooting out of the upper windows.This occurrence has been reported since the time of the Darbys. However neighbours have called the current owners the Ryan’s to report that the Chapel was in full Illumination. Strange smells of rubber have also been reported during peoples visit to the upper hall.


One of the more sinister features of the Bloody Chapel is the oubliette. The oubliette is a small chamber located in the North-Eastern corner of the Bloody Chapel. It is thought that the original use for these chambers was to store valuables. They were also used as a place to hide in the event of a siege. The O’Carrolls used this chamber for a more a deadly purpose. They adapted this chamber to serve as a small dungeon where the poor prisoners were thrown in, dead or dying. The entrance to the chamber is a narrow hole originally fitted with a form of trap door. The name is derived from the French “to forget”.

Since the burning of Leap Castle in 1922, the Priest’s House is still an empty shell so most of the accounts relate to the times of the Darbys. At present, shadowy forms are most seen wandering through the empty building.

Castle Ghosts of Ireland (HD) (1995) (COMPLETE EPISODE)


Leap was burnt out and destroyed in 1922 by the IRA while the Darbys were living in England. The castle lay in ruins until it was purchased by the current owners Sean and Anne Ryan in 1991.  Sean has restored the castle and was a most gracious host when I called to visit Leap to take these photographs.  Sean has frequent sightings of the numerous spirits of Leap but thankfully the Ryan’s have never encountered the Elemental who for now seems to have retreated.  Despite some early skirmishes he has found that his family and the resident spirits have been able to coexist quite happily at Leap.

Here is a YouTube video of the current owner the very talented musician Sean Ryan talking of the Castles Ghosts and there are quite a few.




The photos are property of respective owners






Leap Castle “Another Haunted Irish Castle”

Haunted Places in Portugal

Sanatório de Valongo



Being a Sanitarium from 1910, it was built to hold 50 patients who suffered from tuberculosis. Unfortunately this number rapidly grew to 150, as the epidemic known as the ‘white plague’ grew. This number then grew to 500, where these patients roamed the halls, lost, as there was no cure for this disease, and one by one they all died. These souls are said to haunt the corridors, with visitors and passers-by said to hear the hallow cries of pain and see swift movements in the shadows. Souls of the victims of tuberculosis epidemic are said to haunt this sanitarium in Valongo. Today, the Sanitarium is used as a battleground for paintball enthusiasts.

Cemitério dos Prazeres 1591141


As well as being one of the most interesting, and beautiful places to visit in Portugal, it can certainly be a creepy one. The name originates from the fact that the centre of the area, on a grassy plain, originally offered a fun fair, but as the urban lifestyle crept in, the fun disappeared, and much like the tombs of Paris and other cities in Europe, the tombs appeared.The tombs are above ground, and are shaped like houses, where the dead live. Most bizarrely, some of the tombs have windows where you can see in, and with some deterioration of coffins over time, you can even see a glimpse of the dead themselves.

Sanatório da Serra da Estrela



This construction was built in 1936, as a treatment facility for the staff from the Railway services who suffered from fatal illnesses. At a later date, the building was leased to the society of Sanatariums in Portugal, and became a general sanitarium for any patients needing treatment. The facility closed in 1980 after most of the patients passed, and the building was left to deteriorate over time. Rumours have circulated that it is haunted by the souls of the patients admitted to the hospital. The building is now situated on the edge of the Serra da Estrela mountains and has been converted into a 5 star boutique hotel where you can relax on a luxury holiday.


Quinta da Paulicêa, Águeda



Not far from the city center of Águeda, Quinta da Paulicea sits in the middle of large unkept plot of land surrounded by a wrought iron fence.It was inhabited by an Águedense family, who had moved to Brazil in the late 1800s, but returned in the early 1900s, naming the home after the city of São Paulo. Much of the family succumbed to the influenza pandemic in 1918, with the exception of Neca Carneiro. there are many reports of supernatural encounters at Quinta da Paulicea. Some have heard the neighing of horses where the stables once stood. Others have been frightened by the sound of a shotgun blast or a gentle pulling on hair. A worker in the garden suddenly experienced such an intense headache that he fled and never returned.

The Castelinho of São João, Estoril



Legend has it, and local estate agent Sandra Fernandes, of Fine & Country Portugal, agrees that several owners of the house have moved away in fear, after misfortune fell upon them whilst living at the property. Sandra and other locals living in the area attribute the strange events to the ‘evil powers of the house’ and the legend of the little blind girl. Many people in the Municipality of Cascais have attempted to explain the phenomenon, and most stories lead back to the legend of the little blind girl who lived in a house near the castle. One day, she accidentally fell from the cliffs nearby to her death. Legend has it that the parents of the little blind girl offered the property to the ‘Holy House of Mercy’ in her memory, and it was used it as an institution to support the blind for ten years. Some say that a girl with a doll in hand can still be seen strolling through the walls of the property today…

Termas de Água Radium



Legend has it that this beautiful structure, in the Guarda District, was built by Spanish Count Don Rodrigo after learning that the natural “healing waters” might cure his daughter’s skin disease. News of the waters quickly spread. In the 1920s, the site became a restorative spa known as the Hotel Serra da Pena. In actuality, the waters were radioactive, seeping from a uranium mine not far away. Radioactivity was all the rage in the 20’s and 30’s, so the site bottled the spring water and sold it under the name “Radium Water.” Of course, after radioactivity was studied further in the 40’s, it became apparent that the healing qualities of radium water actually carried the opposite effect. The hotel went out of business in the 50’s and has been abandoned ever since. It is said the site is haunted by the many people who drank from the contaminated spring.


Quinta do Esteiro Furado (Casa dos Ingleses)



Also known as Casa dos Ingleses (House of the English), this grand residence is located on the Tagus River.   The chapel of the home dates back to 1630.  A wealthy business man in the salt industry built the villa with a private dock to ship goods to Lisbon.  In the early 20th century, the property was built by two Englishmen who came to Portugal to export cork. At that time, it became a meeting place for high society and business dealings.  The Englishmen returned home but not before selling the property.  After the death of the new owner, the heirs let the property fall into ruin.  It is questionable whether the home is actually haunted.  Yet, visitors to the site claim hearing guitar music, feeling a “heaviness in the air”, and experiencing raised heart rates.

Casa Amarela, Ovar



This home in Ovar (about 50km south of Porto), has sat vacant for many years.  It has been reported that even Roma have settled in the home, but left in a hurry, leaving their belongings behind.  There are many legends associated with the house.  One claims that a man and his daughter built and lived in the home.  The father found out his daughter was dating.  He flew into a rage and threw the daughter and her boyfriend into a pit in the center of the house where they were left to die.  The couple now haunt the house to protect their love.  Another version claims the owner of the house was bankrupt.  To prevent the bank from taking his home, he killed himself vowing never to leave.

Casa de Dr. John Pike – Olhão


Early in the 20th century, poet, naturalist and romantic John Pike built a lovely home in Olhão.  However, shortly after inhabiting the home, a tragic accident took place.  His elderly mother, who suffered from senility, dropped his young son from a window to his death.   Dr. Pike then decided to design, build and relocate to a new home closer to the sea . Many people have tried to inhabit the Chalet, but at night they hear a child crying and sounds similar to objects being dragged across the floor.

Source: Portugal Confidential, This is Horror .

The Photos are property of the respetive owners.


Teresa Baliño

Published Graphic Designer and Fine Art Photographer from Lisbon, Portugal.


Teresa Baliño Bio: After the Degree in Graphic Design and the Graduate Program in Communication and Image, she worked on Design Ateliers, Magazines and Advertising Agencies.
After completing a Master Degree in Design and Visual Production she felt the need to invest in Photography to overcome the expectations of the most demanding customers who were not happy with pictures of image banks.

Years later, after discovering that her mother was seriously ill , immersed in the Fantasy World and used her imagination and creativity to abstract from reality. Now invests all time to produce fancy photo shoots taken from Fairy Tales or Horror Movies. Teresa has customers all over the world.
Ever had interviews to National and International Magazines and two book covers published (Canada and USA).

Follow Teresa Baliño Work: Website, Facebook, Behance, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Society6



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