Throughout history, the land that Leap Castle has resided on has been soaked in blood from sacrifices, cold-blooded murders, and torture. This Ireland castle is the most haunted in the country because of the strange paranormal activities and sightings that have scared visitors speechless.

Though parts of the castle burnt down in 1922, the spirits still stayed forever connected to their place of death. The castle has been featured on famous supernatural shows as well – how’s that for spooky Halloween travel?

The Blood-soaked History

The druids were believed to be the first people on the land. Afterward, Leap Castle was built on top of their lands in 1250 by the Bannon clan. The castle was originally named Leim ui Bhanain (which means Leap of the Bannons) after two brothers of the Bannon Clan jumped off a rocky ledge contesting for the spot of cheiftan. The idea was that the one who survived would be the chief. What a gruesome end!

In the 1500s, the O’Carrol clan took ownership, giving Leap Castle its bloody history. The clan was blood thirsty and power hungry, they were either quick to kill you or chain you up to die. Through marriage, the Darby family took over the castle in 1650, but the horror didn’t stop there.

It is said that one of the members, Mildrid Darby, was interested in work of the occult; her actions are said to have awakened and angered some spirits that reside in the castle. Today, the castle is run by the Ryan family, and they have restored much of the castle from the fire of 1900.

leap castle ireland

Photo: Mike Searle via Geograph

The Bloody Chapel

The story goes that during a mass for his family, a brother of the O’Carrol family, who was also a well known priest was murdered by his brother. The priest’s spirit still remains within the room and has been seen a few times. People can see a light fill the window at night and others hear footsteps shuffling around the room.

The oubliette, a secret room within the chapel’s walls, was once a dungeon where people were thrown into to. Eventually, when rediscovered, it was said more than three carts were used to take all the bones out. Many of these skeletons are members from other clans whether they be allies or enemies of the clan. It is told that the O’Carrol’s used other clans as mercenaries to rid them of their rivals, then in payment, they would poison their food or simply kill the other clans’ members in their sleep.

Off to the side of the castle is an old priest’s house, many who travel here have seen a spirit or felt a presence on the outside of the old building. Some have even mentioned the sight of a monk wearing a robe and slippers.

The Other Spirits

A gruesome, distorted face is the depiction of the Elemental who had made many encounters with the Darby’s. Some say the druids cast a spell on their sacred land and others say it is a twisted spirit of the O’Carrol clan haunting the castle. Many who travel here have said they smelt something rancid along with seeing a human-like figure crouching on the ground.

When the Darby’s lived inside this Ireland castle, they came across women wearing red, holding a dagger; they detailed her to look in pain. It is said that an O’Carrol member raped the woman creating a undesired child. After birth, the woman’s child was killed and unable to bear the grief she kills herself with the same blade. Her sightings are rather frightening for she still holds the blade, but she has not created a serious harm or made any physical contact with anyone.

How to get there

To visit Leap Castle, travel to Coolderry, County Offaly, Ireland.

Whether the legends of this Ireland castle are true or not, the castle certainly makes for a fascinating travel destination.

Also read:

Ireland Travel: 14 Natural Wonders That Will Take Your Breath Away

Spooky Halloween Scares: Best Corn Mazes