Guests and ghosts to roam around ‘most haunted’ house

A house described as the “most haunted” in Ireland has opened to the public for the first time in over 30 years — just in time for Halloween.

The 22-bedroom Loftus Hall, set on 60 acres overlooking a lonely stretch of the South East coast, has a history of ghostly occurrences and misery.

The house is located on Hook Peninsula, on a coastline known as the graveyard of 1,000 ships.

Since being abandoned decades ago, it has only had structural repairs but will now host guided interactive tours which, according to owner Aidan Quigley, are not for the fainthearted.

“We are really looking forward to telling the tales of the house and sharing its mysteries with adults and children alike,” he said.

This week, in the walled gardens of Loftus Hall, younger children can trick or treat with Grimmelhook the Witch in her cottage made from sweets. For children aged eight and older, there is a climbing wall and archery instruction as well as a pets corner.

For the grown-ups there’s a chance to learn more about Loftus Hall’s history. Built over the remains of Redmond Hall and home of the Redmond family since around 1350, in 1666 it became the home of the Loftus family and was renamed Loftus Hall.

The ghostly tours, however, are based on the story of Anne Tottenham and a visitor to the house in the 18th century whose body, during a game of cards, went “through the roof”, leaving a hole in the ceiling which is visible to this day, and left young Anne in a state of terror.

She was put into a room known as the Tapestry Room to rest, and it is here that she stayed completely silent until her death in 1775.

Over the years since, servants claimed to have seen a dark, mysterious figure roaming the halls, causing disturbances.

Loftus Hall was abandoned by the Loftus family in the early years of the 20th century.

The house is available for weddings for brave brides and grooms in association with the Brandon House Hotel, New Ross, along with conferences, corporate events, and adventure days.

* loftushall.com

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

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