As Hallowe’en approaches, Emma Connolly talks to the Cork Paranormal Investigators about some of their scariest assignments, including one particularly unsettling visit to Macroom
CORK’s paranormal investigators were called to a house in Macroom earlier this year where the young boy living there had been hearing frightening late night noises.
Kevin Healy of the group explained how they had been contacted by the six-year-old boy’s distraught mother, who was desperately trying to find out what was going on in their rural home.
‘We travelled there for an all-night investigation and we definitely heard voices. I heard a man with a British accent say “Oh no, I’m f*****.’ I was also hit on the head with a candlestick, which looked like it came from a church, but which the mother had never seen before,’ said Kevin.
Later, research revealed that a soldier had been killed in the house, and that he had possibly been hiding in a wardrobe.
‘I threw some holy water on the house and the mother told me they haven’t had any trouble since,’ said dental technician Kevin.
Kevin has been part of the group, Cork Paranormal Investigators, since it was set up in 2006 and says their main objective is to find out if there’s an afterlife or not.
‘I want to find out where I’m going to go when I die,’ he said.
His interest stemmed from an incident growing up in Derry.
‘I remember when I was 13, going into a house where there had been an explosion and three men had been killed. It was boarded up, and I was upstairs looking around when suddenly I heard footsteps coming up the stairs and noises. I didn’t hang around and jumped out the window but that’s how I got into this,’ he said.
He believes that if people die suddenly, they ‘don’t pass’ and are lost, and these are the people they encounter.
They’ve spent a lot of time in the former Magdalane laundry in Cork city, where Kevin claims he felt someone tugging on his trouser leg, and saw a child’s figure on the stairs.
They’ve also recorded lots of kinetic activity on their recording devices in the city’s former psychiatric hospital, St Kevin’s. ‘The majority of our private house visits don’t pick anything up, to be honest,’ admitted Kevin.
West Cork isn’t short of ghostly figures including The White Lady of Kinsale and The Hag of Beara.
There’s also a spooky tale relating to the Eldon Hotel in Skibbereen, where it’s said the ghost of a lady who died in a fire many decades ago still haunts one of the rooms.
Numerous people down through the years have reported that they heard the sound of someone crying, while others said that strange things had happened there.
Such was the interest in the Eldon Hotel that members of the Cork Supernatural Society, which was formed in 2013, paid a visit to it about three years ago with special equipment to record any sinister movements.
They claimed they witnessed a wardrobe flying open as well as hearing whisper-type sounds and the sound of something being dragged across a floor. Other West Cork spots that are alleged to be haunted include Carrigaphooca Castle in Macroom and Timoleague Abbey.
Kevin says his favourite Hallowe’en film is The Exorcist, but he’ll be spending Hallowe’en night in a three-storey castle near Ovens.
‘I’ve been there recently and recorded lots of activity on the ground floor so want to check out the rest.
‘To me this is fun, it’s a hobby. But it does leave lots of people terrified. They don’t like to talk about the afterlife. But there’s definitely something there.’