Today I bring you, in preparation for Halloween, the second and final part of a very special post inspired by the wonderfully creepy Loftus Hall in Wexford. Read The Visitor Part I here.
Loftus Hall is famed as the most haunted building in Ireland, you can find their website here. This year Loftus Hall celebrates it’s 666 year anniversary. Paranormal Lockdown tours have been running all year, the next three tours are already sold out! People enter the house at 8.30 and with a group of paranormal investigators and partake in an investigation until 3.30 in the morning. I’m dying to do one of these tours!
After visiting Loftus Hall a couple of years for a Halloween tour, I whole-heartedly agree that it’s one of the creepiest places I’ve ever been. The building is eerie (even in daylight_, even from outside, coated in darkness and set against the stark, exposed Wexford coastline. I have to add that the staff there are passionate, helpful and I would highly recommend it as a tourist destination.
Various special Hall’oween Tours are running through October. For adults there is the Loftus Hall Hall’oween Adult Night Tour which I highly recommend. General tours can also be taken of the house and it’s magnificent walled gardens. Special Loftus Family tours also run for Halloween –one suitable Over 5’s and one for Over 12’s. To book a tour click here.
Pull up a chair, grab a cuppa and relax for a while with the final installment of “The Visitor.” Happy Halloween!
We turned our heads towards the underside of the table now visible without the cloth and at the bottom of the seat where Natas was sitting, where his shoes should be, were a pair of cleft hooves. Suddenly he began to cackle as we looked up towards him in terror the noise like something infernal and demonic his face twisted into a menacing scowl satisfied by our fear.
He arched his head upwards towards the ceiling now squealing like some ungodly thing the noise burned my ears like white hot needles and I had to cover them to stop the pain. In a shadowy blur like the things in my dreams he shot upwards and through the ceiling shattering it, causing debris and fiery embers to fall on the floor around us lighting some of the carpet on fire and breaking the table in two. We all screamed in terror now at the site and ran to the corner of the room huddling together shaking violently, Anne began wailing tears rolling down her face. The demonic laughter still shook the house and could be heard from all around along with the clop of hooves along the floor above us stamping wickedly until suddenly, all went silent apart from the sound of the fireplace beside us and the fire within.
When we finally believed that whatever had just occurred was finished and that the creature was gone or was at the very least somewhere else in the house we all ran to my master bedroom, darting through the pitch black halls of the house slamming into things as we did so, I had fallen at one point and bumped my head of one of the grandfather clocks against the wall, leaving a large mark on the corner of my temple. We ran as if that infernal creature was giving chase and I pulled Anne by her hand heeding no attention to the fact I may have been hurting her. As we entered the room, I slammed the door shut and bolted the lock while Fintan pushed the dresser across the room and in front of it as to bar the door. I grabbed the crucifix from the drawer in the dresser and we all made our way away from the door and towards the dimly lit fireplace in the centre of the room. None of us slept that night; we barely spoke to one another as the shock of what had happened still shook us to our core.
The playful mood which resonated in the house only hours beforehand was replaced by a fear I cannot truly describe in words. Anne began to whisper and mutter under her breathe and any attempt at speaking to her failed. Her eyes stared off into the distance at apparently nothing, glassed over like someone in a daze. As I stared out into the storm in the early hours of the night I could have sworn I saw a figure in the flashes of lightning, walking into the distance and away from Loftus Hall.
The days after were spent trying to piece together the events of the night. We could have all claimed some delirium had come about in us all if it were not for the evidence. The hole lay burned into our ceiling above the card table and Natas was nowhere to be found.
We should have told someone but we could not for the publicity would destroy both our family names and the Loftus family who had not played a part in the events but for welcoming us into their home. We had called for workmen to fix the hole in the ceiling and claimed it had occurred when a box of ammunition for the many hunting rifles Charles had kept caught fire and burned a hole downwards from the floor above. They certainly did not believe us but never questioned our claims and finished the work on the same day.
Anne slowly became worse, her whispers becoming more frantic and more often. She would not respond to any of us and walked about the house constantly calling for Mr Natas, I had even awoke one night the sudden urge to open my eyes and found her standing at the bottom of our bed whispering and staring at the headboard above us. I took care not to startle her and slowly made my way out of the bed whispering her name and walked towards her. Suddenly she twisted her head towards me and with a face like someone in pain began to howl, waking my wife, who also began to scream in fright. She darted out of the room and into the blackness of the halls, I ran after her in a state of undress pleading for her to stop. I followed the howls through the house until they stopped just ahead of me, inside of the card room. I crept towards the doorway and peered in to see Anne sitting in the chair beside the new card table her back towards me. Her head and body jerked as if in some form of fit and her mutters became louder and menacing I could hear threats beneath them.
I had never felt afraid of her but on that night somehow I felt I had been in some form of danger. I did not make my way towards her to begin with but simply called her name from the doorway. Her jerking stopped and so did the mutters replaced by whimpering, she began calling out for me and I rushed in to soothe her. As I knelt down beside her to try so, her head jerked upwards to the now repaired hole in the ceiling and her wails became deafening burning my ears. I shook her now shouting in anger for her to stop, but she continued ignoring my pleas her head angled upwards. My wife then entered the room and as she did so Anne fell silent again apart from her whisper. Her eyes refocused in front of her to where our guest had been seated just over a week before.
It is with great shame and guilt that I wrote of our decision to place Anne in a locked room in the house for both our sake and hers. Jane and I had feared that she would either do harm to herself or to us in our sleep one night while caught in her madness. The idea of getting her treatment was pushed aside as our family name would be tarnished forever and my place in politics and business would be lost, although I love my daughter how was I to tend for her if I had no income to do so. We had both decided to place her in the Tapestry room in belief that perhaps the paintings would calm her in some way. The room is located on the third story of the house meaning that if guests were to visit they would not come across it or think to question us about it, her whispers and mutters would also not be heard from there. We had decided to tell guests who came to Loftus Hall the story of how Anne was away in France and would not be returning for a number of weeks as we believed this to be the most rational of excuses.
As hard as I tried to care for her and spend time with Anne I slowly grew tired of her disorder and began to spend less and less around her. Jane had become ashamed of her as much as she tries to convince herself otherwise , she began to ignore the whole situation and act as if nothing had ever happened, never mentioning our daughter as if she did not exist. Fintan became her carer and would enter the room in the mornings to feed her, this had become extremely difficult as she refused food and would claw at his face if he attempted to open her mouth and due to this her frame became thin and frail, she was but a husk of her former self and in some ways it disgusted me to look upon her at times. She spent her days sitting on the small chair in the room, her knees pulled in towards her staring out the window sometimes calling for Mr. Natas as if waiting for him to return.
Although her door was locked and bolted shut during the night I awoke many times to find my bedroom door open and faintly hearing her whispers from outside. Whenever I would investigate I would find the Tapestry room door locked and after opening it would find her seated in her usual place as if she had never moved staring through the window into the darkness of the night.
One morning as I sat in the library reading I was startled by cries of my name from my wife somewhere in the house. I jumped from my seat and ran towards them; her cries became screams as I rushed up the main stairs and towards the third floor. As I reached the top of the stairs I saw Fintan holding my wife, she squirmed and struggled in his grip screaming like some banshee in the night. I roared at him in confusion questioning what was happening but before he had a chance to reply Jane screamed for me to look at Anne. My heart sank like an anchor into the depths as I heard the words and I forced my way past both of them almost knocking them off balance and ran into the tapestry room.
Music played softly on the small music box we had brought up to the room in an attempt to rouse Anne from her sickness, she sat in her usual place staring out the window her back turned to me. I made my way towards her almost expecting her to turn or scream like she had the weeks before but she remained silent. I called her name softly as I made my way across the room and placed my hand on her shoulder. She stayed motionless and beneath her dress her skin was icy cold and it seemed to radiate from her freezing my very being as I held her. I moved to her side trying to see her face and as I did so it became clear what my wife had seen. Her skin was pale and lifeless yet she still stared glassily into the distance her face one of anguish and still as some statue. I began to wail in pain and terror pulling myself away from her along the floor at the realisation that she was dead.
The days after are a blur of horror and pain. My life took on a dark bleakness like nothing I had ever felt and it destroyed me from the inside out like wood lice burrowed into a tree feeding on its guts. The true horror of it all was that in an attempt to prepare our poor Anne’s body for burial, the mortician could not free her from her state of rigor mortis, he had told me how he had attempted all of the practices which worked on every body he had prepared and none had worked on hers. In my complete anguish I had pleaded he breaks her bones to do so but he assured me it would only end with the bones piercing her skin and protruding from her body.
So with shame we buried her in the position she died her knees pulled up to her chest like some doll or child’s play thing her face like a frozen marionette still waiting for Natas to return.
My wife could not bear to see this and collapsed in the mortuary having to return home and stay there for the funeral proceedings. As I watched the dirt being placed on the grave I swore I had heard her pleading for me to let her out. I pushed the men burying her aside and began clawing the dirt with my hands shouting that I could still hear her that she was still alive and wanted me to get her out. Fintan grabbed me from around my neck hauling me away reasoning with me to see she was gone, finally I gave in and stopped. Caked in soil we made our way to the carriage and into its compartment. I began to sob uncontrollably as we ordered the driver to move down the path and away from the plot. Before we came on the road to return back to Loftus House I looked from the carriage window one final time. Beside her grave stood a figure in black barely visible from a distance and I could have sworn I could hear the cackling laughter we had heard that horrible night months before.
I regret that this may be my final entry into my diary as writing of the events which have occurred has me once again contemplating suicide. I would do so in a second for not for the fear that doing so would bring me to the realm of that creature we had welcomed into our home. We prepared to leave for our own homestead and to leave this place behind forever but word has come to us of a fire in the home and we have been informed it is uninhabitable for the coming months until repairs are finished I fear this was all a plan by that monstrous thing. My wife has withdrawn to the east wing of the house and I see her only occasionally since the burial, coming down from the tapestry room where she sobs for hours on end. I have seen things in the night recently shadow lurking about the house and I fear that he has returned to Loftus Hall. The sound of cleft hooves walking along the floorboards wakes me at night sometimes I hear them in my room along with bestial breathing and panting in the darkness. I feel the events which have unfolded were only the beginning.