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Leap Castle, Ireland

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By Al Tyas

DCMAG was the first, and only American paranormal group to conduct an official investigation at Leap Castle. Sean Ryan hosted a banquet/investigation for Al, Barry and their team. Al will tell you Leap is the scariest place he's ever investigated, yet a warm and hospitable experience at the same time!

Some of the pictures you will see here are from the "Bloody Chapel" where a priest was stabbed to death by his brother while he was saying mass. You'll also see the uvulette, a deep shapt filled with long spikes that people were thrown into. The lucky ones died quickly. There was no escape from the Uvulette.
Note: This page will not be updated.  Al does not want to discuss Leap Castle and the trip there last year.  Also, there ARE typos on this page, as well as others...They are here on purpose because Al is rebelling from the nuns he had in Catholic school...deal with it.

Read more about DCMAG account of Leap Castle here in Ghost! Magazine!

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 in Cavan.  

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 shaft. 

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." 

The Lounge Balcony

The Uvulette
The spikes were filled in.

The Bloody Chapel
One of the windows.

Sean's daughter Kira
Pouring some Irish punch

The Banquet Hall

The Bloody Chapel
Barry Gets freaked out a bit...

The back passage
Our equipment died here

Bloody Chapel
This is probably dust

At the banquet
Here we are listing to Kira playing the harp.

Second Investigation/Banquet

Leap Castle Lounge

An alcove at Leap

Leap Castle, November 2004

Bloody Chapel


Elemental's Room?
Supposodly "it" hangs down here.

Alvin & Lawana
Examining a painting at Leap

In addition to the hideous past of death and the dark arts, the castle eventually fell to ruins from abandonment and human destruction.  Leap was bombed in 1922 by the Irish demanding independence from England, and since the Darbys were an English family the castle was bombed and looted.   

Leap was sold to an Australian in the 1970s, and a white witch was brought in to assist with the hostile entities.  The ghosts are still there, but nowadays they coexist with the new family of musician Sean Ryan, his wife and twelve-year-old daughter.  The Ryan Family have learn to coexist with the spirits of Leap Castle.   

Some stories say the spirits have been laid to rest.  Others say they still want vengeance.  All I can say is that the spirits of Leap Castle are still present and made themselves known to me and my team, and bring haunting to a new level.  Through several murders, wars, dark rituals and ruin and renovation, they had plenty of practice.   

I took some experiences back with me that I’ll never forget.  I think the main thing we felt at Leap was truly humbled.  I realized what I was up against, and knew it was no contest, the ghosts at Leap play hard ball.  They don’t like attention, and hate attempts to catch them on film.  They tolerate visitors, but they do have their limits. They have my utmost respect as the residences of Leap Castle and the most intelligent ghosts I’ve ever dealt with.  I think the main thing I have learned is that ghosts have their limits too, and they must be respected.  

Thanks again to Sean Ryan and Barry Fitzgerald for such a fantastic, unforgettable experience DCMAG will never forget. 

-Al Tyas

Please keep in mind we had formal permission to be at Leap, and all pictures were apporved by Sean Ryan before putting them on the website. We look forward to seeing you Sean and Kira again!