Go bump in the night with Irish Ghostbusters

They’re the real-life Irish Ghostbusters — the guys you call when there’s something strange in your neighbourhood.
Go bump in the night with Irish Ghostbusters

Irish Ghost Hunters has been around in one form or another since 2003 and they say that while 95% of the team’s investigations can be explained by science, there is 5% that cannot.

“We do work with private houses,” explains Tim Kelly. “You might get someone ringing us up saying they constantly see a shadow at the end of their bed or the wardrobe door keeps opening and closing for no apparent reason.

“We’ll investigate it, we do it for free, it’s part of our research.

“Sometimes it is unexplainable.”

Tim is clear to point out from the get-go that he and his team of about 10 ghost hunters try to understand supposed hauntings using physics and fact.

“First of all, we are a scientific team. We want to stay away from the mumbo jumbo, airy-fairy side of things.

“Like 95% of the time we can get down to the bottom of things,” he says.

But, having said that, there are plenty of times where the team has not got to the “bottom of things”.

“There are so many unexplainable things out there for us,” says Tim. “One of the guys on the team, in a castle once, saw a full apparition of a monk for a good three seconds.”

“In Dublin Castle, we heard a dog barking and also children’s voices. This was near the tower where a river now flows under the castle,” he adds.

Other places where they have experienced the “unexplainable” include the Hell Fire Club in the Dublin Mountains and Wicklow Gaol, which he describes as having a lot of “activity”.

The Hell Fire Club has attracted many ghost hunters over the years due to some paranormal happenings.

The stone structure was built on Montpelier Hill in 1725 as a hunting lodge but the roof blew off shortly after construction — this act was attributed to the devil.

Locals believe that this was a form of punishment because there had originally been a passage grave on the summit of Montpelier.

“In the Hell Fire Club, we heard a shuffle coming towards us, it was 10 out of 10 for loudness,” says Tim.

“Then, in Wicklow Gaol, we heard the sound of boots moving very solidly towards us.”

On both of these occasions, the sounds were recorded on the team’s audio equipment and evident for all to hear.

While Cork City Gaol is still on the team’s hit list to investigate, with plans to go there in 2017, Tim picks out two locations in Ireland which he believes to be truly haunted.

“Of all the places we’ve been, there seems to be a lot of activity in Wicklow Gaol and also in Charleville Castle in Tullamore,” he reveals.

They have visited the gaol in Wicklow, the 18th-century prison known for its extremely harsh conditions, regularly because of the level of activity consistently recorded there.

When the team head out on an investigation, be it to a private house or to a public place for their own research, they travel equipped with high-tech equipment.

“We use night vision equipment, we use electromagnetic field meters, temperature guidance equipment and vibration sensors,” says Tim.

On one of their recent expeditions, which they filmed for a documentary airing on 3e tonight, one sceptical crew member was left with the smile wiped off his face.

The team travelled to Hook Head in Wexford to investigate what is said to be Ireland’s most haunted house, Loftus Hall. The devil was supposed to have appeared during a card game there one winter night in 1666.

He disappeared up through the roof leaving a large hole that could never be repaired and is still visible to this day.

The then owner’s daughter, Anne, was said to have grown close to the man with the cloven hooves and, after his disappearance, spent the rest of her life in the tapestry room rocking back and forth. Some say her soul remains there to this day.

“Tom O’Mahony, the comedian who plays Tarquin in Damo and Ivor, had wanted to do something with us so we decided to go to Loftus Hall one night,” explains Tim.

“He was all jokey but by the end of the night he was very different. We sent him upstairs by himself with night vision goggles.

“He got very different vibes about the place by the end of the night.”

So after, 13 years of work in the area, Tim is neither sceptical nor gullible.

“I am totally open-minded but yet I can shut down a lot of stuff,” he says.

Having said that, though, there is something about Halloween that brings things to life, he believes.

“When you get into autumn you can feel a strange feeling in the air — so what is that? Is it something aligning? I don’t know,” he says.

Irish Ghost Hunters will be screened at 10.05pm on 3e tonight.

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