On the coast of Ireland, on a barren cliff face of the Hook Peninsula, sits one of the most haunted mansions in the world. Legend has it that this building is a nexus of dark energy and a haven for evil spirits. It’s been whispered that it has more ghostly visitors than human ones. Today on Scream to screen, we’re going to explore the true story of Loftus Hall, one of the most infamous haunted estates on Earth.
Loftus Hall is a manner that sits in sprawling fields of the Hook Peninsula, County Wexford, Ireland. Beneath the serene exterior of this country mansion lurks a mysterious past and an incomprehensible evil. The history of Loftus Hall is as old and winding as the secrets housed inside its walls.
The plot of land where the hall would eventually be built was first claimed in1170 by Raymond le Gros. He acquired the land and built a fortress which he dubbed House land Castle. His family eventually replaced the original castle, around 1350, with a building known simply as The Hall or Redmond Hall.
Why did they tear it down and rebuild it?
Because at the time, the Black Plague was ravaging Ireland. The new location was slightly further away from the reaches of the common folk from neighboring villages. Its new fortified positioning was an attempt to keep its residents safe.
However, in actuality, it had the exact opposite effect. Perhaps, this act of reconstruction sparked an otherworldly need for revenge from the land of the Hook Peninsula. In 1642, The Hall was attacked by English soldiers loyal to King Charles (I). After numerous battles and massive bloodshed, the hall switched hands. It was acquired by a family of English planters named Loftus in the 1700s, but death seemed to dwell inside the building no matter who owned it.
The walls of the manor were drenched in blood. The Loftus family had no idea what they were getting into when they purchased the land. In 1872, John Henry Wellington Graham Loftus undertook the rebuilding of the property. This would be the addition of the estate that would become the stuff of legend.
The stories that surround Loftus Hall have enraptured people all over the world. However, it was the initial ghost story about the mansion on the cliff that really attracted people’s attention. The legend goes, one night, a horrible storm settled over Loftus Hall. Unbeknownst to the occupants of the mansion, the foul weather caused a ship to crash on the shore of the Hook Peninsula.
A single survivor emerged from the wreckage. He was a young man with a pale, thin face clad all in black. His eyes were sunken and misty gray. The stranger gathered himself and slowly walked with the gate of a man many years older than his appearance towards the dimly flickering lights of Loftus Hall. As he approached the building, the downpour intensified, and thunder roared the overnight sky.
The stranger’s pale hand reached out and knocked on the front door softly. Charles Tottenham, the nobleman who had married into the Loftus family and was now the owner of the state, answered the door. Charles found himself compelled to invite a stranger in for food and warmth. Charles Tottenham introduced the stranger to his eldest daughter, and over a meal, they seemed to have an immediate connection with one another. The stranger’s eyes seemed to light up whenever they made contact with Anne’s.
His body language changed in the flickering candlelight. He shifted to face her ever so slightly and flashed a thin smile. After they were finished with dinner, Charles Tottenham inquired if the stranger enjoyed a game of cards. The stranger agreed, and Charles, Anne, and a few of Tottenham’s local companions sat and played. As the night wore on, the guests noticed a disturbing pattern. The stranger would start to lose, but then at the last second, he would land the perfect card at just the right moment. He won, and he won, and he won again. Growing tired of this trend, the guests bowed out one by one, and eventually, it was just Charles, Anne, and the stranger sitting at the table playing cards.
Anne flirted more directly with the stranger, then laid down what she thought was a winning hand. The stranger, unfazed, supplied her with a witty retort that made Charles Tottenham deeply uncomfortable. Becoming flustered over the growing romantic tension, Charles Tottenham fumbled and dropped a few of his cards. Tottenham bent down to regain the cards when he made a disturbing discovery.
The strangers’ feet were in fact cloven hooves. Charles screamed, shoving himself back from the table. A demon! A demon in our home, Tottenham cried! Anne instinctively looked down to see what had terrified her father, and upon seeing the stranger’s hooves, she dropped her cards, her eyes welling with tears of shock and disbelief.
The stranger rose to his feet, unleashing a howl of anguish and torment. It was as if his heart was breaking. His bellow roared beyond what was humanly possible, as sparks flew from his sleeves, shoulders, and fingertips. Abruptly, his left arm caught on fire, radiating a cold heat. Then, in the blink of an eye, his entire body was aflame. Taking a moment to mournfully lust after Anne, the stranger leaped into the air. His flame engulfed his body, propelling him upward, as though he had been pulled by a supernatural force. This creature tore a hole in the ceiling of Loftus’s manner. To this day, that hole still exists. Regardless of how many times the various owners have attempted to repair it, the structural damage to the manor will re-materialize Every time, as if the building itself is permanently scarred by the happenings on that fateful night. Creepypasta
Multiple versions of this urban legend have existed over the past 200 years. Some of the tales have the stranger staying with the Tottenhams for an extended period of time. Some have him being questioned at the door before flying into a rage and damaging the house. Most of the versions of the story depict Anne and the stranger falling in love.
One of the legends even supposes that Anne was impregnated by the stranger before he was discovered. However, every version of the story ends with the fact that, after the stranger left, Anne sunk into an inconsolable depression. She retreated within herself, choosing to spend all her days in her favorite room in the house, the tapestry room. She would spend hours staring out bay windows, yearning for the stranger to return.
The legend posits that Anne died clutching her knees and rocking back and forth, literally death by a broken heart. It said that her body was stuck in this fetal position and that a special casket had to be constructed for her to accommodate the peculiar body shape.
Some have even said that Anne and the stranger’s child was born but then smothered in its infancy and was then buried in the walls of the manor. The Tottenham were so ashamed of Anne’s behavior, they would have done anything to hide it.
This rumor was substantiated when during a renovation of the 1870s, the new owners purportedly discovered the skeletal remains of the child lurking between the walls. The exact identity of the child and its lineage has not been substantiated to this day, but many suggest that it was Anne’s baby.
Was this baby born out of wedlock, was this child the spawn of Satan himself, or did Anne simply have a late-term miscarriage that the Tottenhams wanted to keep secret? No one knows.
Other rumors suggest that the child was in fact killed by the Tottenham to conceal the fact that Anne had committed a dalliance with a man from a neighboring village. The only thing that’s for certain is that the baby’s spirit haunts the tapestry room. If someone is alone late at night, wandering the halls of the manor, the faint cries of an infant can be heard on the wind, the mournful sobs of a helpless soul abandoned by all who should have embraced decency but instead relented to cowardice.
The next evolution in the disturbing tale of Loftus Hall is when the property, now riddled with urban legends, ghost stories, and paranormal happenings, was sold to the Sisters of Providence. It’s rumored that during the many years of being left abandoned, The Hall was used as a ritualistic meeting ground for Satanic cultists. They were drawn to the spot because of the otherworldly sightings.
In 1917, the property was purchased by the Catholic Church. They then attempted to use the property as a school for wayward youths who were interested in becoming nuns. The Sisters of Providence held a rigorous schedule of Bible study, as well as basic educational coursework. A fairly large student body lived within Loftus Hall, in addition to the nuns of the Sisters of Providence who oversaw the day-to-day goings-on of the convent.
The students reported seeing strange shapes, light trails, and hearing weird, unexplainable noises late into the night.
One young girl on multiple occasions saw a specter of a young woman drifting behind her, as she attempted to walk to the kitchen for a glass of water. Another young woman claimed she witnessed bizarre, seemingly sentient light orbs. When she sprinted down the stairs in an attempt to get away from them, she says, they traveled through the ceiling to follow her and then flew at her and submerged themselves within her chest.
The nuns refused to believe the students, saying they were making it up to attempt to get out of their coursework, but the nuns would soon regret this admonishment. One night, while walking up the stairs to the second-floor landing, two of the nuns dropped dead, no explanation, no reason. Living one moment, and dead the next. This happening would cause Loftus Hall to be abandoned by the Sisters of Providence.
Before they extracted their students and faculty, they etched a large Roman cross on the floor of the second-story landing, where the two nuns had passed away. It’s still there to this day, a grim reminder of past traumas.
Loftus Hall remained abandoned for some time. It stood as a solemn warning to all those who doubt the powers of the paranormal. Eventually, after many potential owners viewed The Hall and then were scared off by the swirling tales of death and torment, The Hall was sold to Michael Deveraux, in 1983.
He worked diligently and renovated it, updated the amenities, and transformed it into a hotel. From the exterior, the building was unrecognizable, cheerful, well-lit, and inviting. Unfortunately for Michael Deveraux, the strange happenings kept occurring.
Guests would report locked doors swinging open, lights mysteriously turning on and off, and strange, ghostly shapes seen in dimly lit rooms. Michael ignored all these complaints, thinking that people’s imaginations were being spurred on by the locals telling them tall tales.
He soldiered on, running his business for close to a decade without any serious issues, but the stress of the constant interaction with the spirit world eventually got to Michael. After seeing a strange shape in a mirror, he died of a heart attack. Michael’s wife briefly ran the hotel, but the ghostly happenings were too much for her, and she put it up for sale.
The urban legends, paranormal sightings, and trauma associated with the Loftus manor took a new turn once cameras rose to prominence. The manor became a tourist and ghost-hunting locale that would draw many people searching to capture proof of the great beyond. In fact, multiple would-be ghostbusters have captured interesting evidence of the ghostly occupants of the manor.
The Zack Bagans show, Ghost Adventures, featured it on an episode and discovered this interesting find.
Loftus Hall was eventually purchased by the Quigley family. They’ve taken Loftus Hall’s disturbing backstory and chosen to embrace it. They’ve turned the manor into a tourist attraction, where people can come and see the facility and potentially witness a haunted happening for themselves. One tourist snapped this photo which many have said is tangible proof that the ghost of Anne Tottenham still haunts the manor.
Thanks to the legions of otherworldly sightings and unexplained phenomena, Loftus Hall has taken on a life all its own in the minds and the hearts of the Irish public. Its tragic backstory coupled with its secluded location has caused multiple generations of people to fear and distrust the old house out on the Hook Peninsula.
Today, thanks to numerous recorded sightings and bone-chilling examples of ghostly encounters, Loftus Hall has taken on the life of the most haunted place in Ireland. From the evidence we’ve seen, this is anything but a tourist moniker. This is a warning, a call to adventure perhaps, but venture forth at your own peril.
If we know anything about Loftus Hall, we know something otherworldly will always be lurking within those walls, something that doesn’t often take kindly to strangers poking and prodding.
What do you think? Would you stay there for a night? Let us know in the comments below.
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