Kerry ghost buster shares his spookiest encounter and Ireland’s most-haunted locations

'I always say I fear the living more than the dead. The dead, I find never harm you'
Kerry ghost buster shares his spookiest encounter and Ireland’s most-haunted locations

Left to right Rory Murphy, Leo O Sullivan,front Eva Walsh,Veronika Slomiany, and PJ O Sullivan.

PJ O’Sullivan has been fascinated by the paranormal world since an experience as a young teenager that he says has never left his mind.

“Myself and a friend… we both [were] in a house and just happened to see a see-through person cross the base of a room,” the Kerryman explains.

“I forgot about it for years and then it kind of came back into my mind again and that's when I started checking around to see do people do [paranormal investigations]. So, it was all coming from an experience in my youth.” 

After over a decade involved in paranormal investigations with other groups, PJ decided to set up his own in 2019. His mother, Eileen O’Sullivan has always had a keen interest in the paranormal world, and it was when she was sick with cancer that PJ decided to set up Púca Vogue Paranormal Investigations.

With his 21-year-old son Leo now also involved, Púca Vogue Paranormal Investigations are second-generation ghost hunters.

“My passion has taken me all over the world. I did the Myrtles Plantation in Louisiana. I’m just back from Canada, I went to see the Riverview Mental Facility and I actually went to the Zak Bagans' The Haunted Museum,” PJ says.

So, how would PJ describe what he does?

“It’s a paranormal investigation. We call them a lockdown investigation because once you’re in, you’re in for the night.” 

Púca Vogue complete investigations in castles as well as for private, public, and charity events. And so far, PJ has only lost guests on one occasion when they left because they were too scared.

“I always say, you can go on a night, but you can’t predict what happens. There’s no script. You try your best by using equipment or yourself to interact with a spirit. I always say, we can only see and do and try our best. Where we find a lot is on the footage afterward.” 

For an investigation, they use various pieces of equipment such as Dictaphones, dousing rods, and “trigger objects” which can be something that a spirit can move or interact with. For an overnight investigation, PJ usually has between five to six cameras rolling all night.

The most common occurrences and captures include light anomalies and what is known as EVP — or electronic voice phenomenon.

“Light anomalies would be where [the light's] there and it disappears and it’s in a certain pattern. Another thing then that you would be looking for is obviously if objects have moved and of course, a common occurrence is what they call EVP.

“If you’ve an empty room and next thing you’re getting a voice in that room or somebody, be it a woman, humming; a lady singing or a man saying words — EVPs would be very common.” 

Leap Castle is known for being Ireland's most-haunted location.
Leap Castle is known for being Ireland's most-haunted location.

As PJ tells me more about the ins and outs of a typical paranormal investigation, I’m dying to ask him my one burning question: what is the scariest thing that has happened during one?

“It was actually a private investigation in a private house where I was standing on the stairs with a colleague. Laughter always builds energy. So, they had tried to frighten me and next thing right behind me, I heard a big jump on the stairs but there was no one there,” he starts.

“In Redwood Castle, I had my t-shirt tugged. I felt like there was a low-energy spirit. I got down on my hands and knees, I put out my hands and I was like, 'if there’s a spirit here come forward, pull my T-shirt, give me a tug, let me know you’re there' and I actually felt a tug on my t-shirt,” he says, as I get a slight shiver just thinking about it.

“I always say I fear the living more than the dead. The dead I find never harm you.” 

PJ explains that while he might see shadows out of the corner of his eye, he has not been lucky enough to see a spirit right in front of him.

“We did a private convent in Carlow. It was a private investigation that a friend of mine had secured but 20 minutes after we left the building, a child’s voice was clearly heard saying ‘I’m trying to go to sleep’.” 

On Friday night, Púca Vogue will be in Leap Castle in Co Offaly which is famed as being Ireland’s most haunted castle. According to PJ, it lives up to its expectations and in his opinion, is one of the most haunted places in Ireland, alongside Redwood Castle in Co Tipperary.

“For me, out of all the locations, I go a lot to Redwood Castle and I go a lot to Leap. Both of those locations have always delivered in every investigation. I’ve never come home and got nothing.” 

Púca Vogue Paranormal Investigations is totally non-profit. For PJ, it's all about following his passion — but he also finds solace in it.

“I do it for my interest and passion of paranormal. It actually gives me great comfort knowing there is more to the next life than what we have in this. For me, I’m totally driven by the passion of it.” 

For anyone who may not believe in ghosts or paranormal activity, PJ says: "It’s not my place to make anyone believe but I do say sit with me see some of our captures and make your own mind up and each to their own in their own right."

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