Among the many ghosts said to haunt Ireland’s Leap Castle, perhaps the scariest is the elemental. This infamous entity has been seen numerous times in the central keep of Offaly Castle, the oldest part of the old Irish fortress. A primitive apparition, unlike the ghost of a specific person, elementals are believed to reside in remote rural locations.
One of the witnesses to Leap’s elemental was Mildred Darby, who lived in the castle in the early 20th century. Mildred had an interest in the occult and often held séances at Leap. He had a terrifying encounter with the castle elemental, also known as ‘It’, in the gallery leading to the main hall. In an article for The hidden review, Mildred described the elemental as bestial in appearance and smelling like a decomposing corpse.
Some researchers in the field of parapsychology speculate that Mildred’s foray into the dark arts may have contributed to temporarily bringing this hideous entity into the material world. Others suspect, however, that buildings that once served as the backdrop for scenes of immense cruelty and brutality may occasionally act as catalysts for ancient and evil spirits. Regarding this theory, a cursory look at the blood-soaked history of Leap Castle could possibly explain the existence of the building’s elemental.
In the 16th century, the castle was the seat of the O’Carroll clan, the ruthless Irish chieftains feared throughout the land. The O’Carrolls regularly disposed of their enemies in a hidden dungeon or dungeon, which they entered through a trapdoor just off the castle chapel. Enemies of the clan were regularly thrown into this dungeon, some were killed instantly by being impaled on the huge spike protruding from its floor, others lost the spike entirely and thus suffered a longer death.
The chapel itself came to be known as the ‘Bloody Chapel’, after it was the scene of a heinous crime when Teige O’Carroll murdered his own brother while the latter was at mass. This heinous act marked the climax of a dispute between the two brothers for clan supremacy after the death in 1532 of chieftain Mulrooney O’Carroll.
One of the other appearances in Leap is the ‘Red Lady’, who has allegedly terrorized several guests sleeping in the State Bedroom. These guests have recounted how they woke up in the dead of night with an ominous chill in the region of their hearts. Turning around, they were met by the eerie sight of a tall woman in a long red robe, her right arm raised and a knife, ready to strike. As they watched her approach the bed, they noticed how it seemed to be lit from within. However, when he turned on the light, it quickly disappeared.
The mysterious castle is also home to a pair of ghostly girls who apparently lived there in the 17th century, as well as a ghost monk and the restless spirits of an elderly couple believed to have once worked there as servants. A specter known as the ‘Wild Captain’ also stalks the castle, searching for a long lost treasure believed to have been lost somewhere within the ancient fortress centuries ago.