An Evening at Leap Castle
By Al Tyas
Sit back and listen to the story of Leap. The year was 1532.
A Catholic priest was saying Mass in the chapel located on the top floor of Leap Castle. As the Rites were being read
by the priest, a dark figure could be seen behind him. Without warning a man sprung up behind the priest and plunged
a dagger deep into his back, causing the priest to bleed to death on the altar. The man who killed him was his own brother.
The bloodshed over a sacred mass caused the first haunting of Leap Castle, and the room has since been called the “Bloody
Chapel”. It is believed this act paved the way for twenty more ghosts to wreak havoc on curious guests at Leap,
including American paranormal investigation groups.
We were invited to investigate the castle to see what the ghosts
were up to. In my opinion, the ghosts of Leap are the master haunters. It’s hard to explain, but we knew
these guys weren’t happy with a bunch of Americans poking around hoping they will show us why Leap is the second most
haunted place in the world. They fulfilled our request.
On Saturday night, November 8, 2003 myself, some of my team members,
and guests were invited to a banquet at Leap Castle. The experience was one of major contrasts. We were fed a
feast of magnificent food and outstanding hospitality. Later we were treated to the music of Sean Ryan’s pan flute,
his daughter Kira’s harp playing and her exceptional dancing. While all the food and hospitality was being experienced
there was an underlying more mysterious feeling in the house…something didn’t feel quite right.
I personally had to leave the castle and go outside due to intense
psychic attack. At one point the area felt so thick I felt unable to breathe and nearly fainted…not too uncommon
for me in haunted places, but it certainly felt like I wasn’t wanted there.
Another of our members witnessed a horrible scene in a dark hallway.
Two men wearing red coats were seen breaking the arm of a woman. The vision was so disturbing she was barely able to
stay. The woman who saw this vision wasn’t the same the rest of the night, as she experienced anxiety attacks
and difficulty breathing.
In the Bloody Chapel, our host Barry was looking for the head ghost
of Leap, the priest murdered on the altar 400 years ago. In a small hallway in the corner of the room, the priest was
seen. Barry called me over immediately to take a picture of the priest. In front of three witnesses, I immediately
ran over there and snapped a pic, or attempted to do so. My camera jammed up right when I pushed the button, and was
jammed for the rest of the evening.
As the night went on, the atmosphere became more intense.
All our equipment failed, and the feeling of not being welcomed (despite the warm hospitality of the owner and his daughter)
began to increase. We were now moving close to midnight.
Part of being the leader of a ghost group is knowing when enough
is enough, and knowing if your team is in danger. Barry and I knew we had to wrap it up before someone get hurt or attacked.
The priest was getting quite agitated with us, as well as the others. We packed it up and went back to our own quarters
At this point you may be asking what makes Leap so different? Why
would this castle have so man ghosts and he reputation for being the most haunted place in Europe? Many incidents were the
ingredients for Leap having its reputation for being so haunted, particularly in the Bloody Chapel. In addition to the
slain priest, the Bloody Chapel has a second piece of disturbing history within the ominous room.
The Ubilet (or uvillette) is located in the back section of
the room behind where the altar once stood. Originally was a shaft with spikes located at the bottom and people were
mercilessly thrown into the dungeon to die from impaling. The lucky ones died instantly, but those who survived died
slow, painful deaths from exposure, starvation, and disease while smelling the food of the living and hearing the mass from
the chapel above. It’s unknown how many people died this way, but three cartloads of bones were removed from the
The third incident to add to the sinister presences of Leap came
with a woman named Mildred Darby. Mildred was known to experiment with black magic, and through her rituals a new creature
emerged at Leap: the fire elemental. Mildred described this creature in her journal:
“I was standing in the Gallery looking down at the main
floor, when I felt somebody put a hand on my shoulder. The thing was about the size of a sheep. Thin guanting shadowy...,
its face was human, to be more accurate inhuman. Its lust in its eyes which seemed half decomposed in black cavities stared
into mine. The horrible smell one hundred times intensified came up into my face, giving me a deadly nausea. It was the smell
of a decomposing corpse."