Among the many ghosts said to haunt Ireland’s jump Castle, perhaps the most horrifying is the elemental. This infamous entity has been seen on numerous occasions in the central keep of the Offaly castle, the oldest part of the ancient Irish fortress. A early apparition, as opposed to the ghost of a specific person, elementals are thought to reside in far away rural locations.
One of the witnesses of jump’s elemental was Mildred Darby, who lived at the castle in the early 1900s. Mildred had an interest in the occult and often held seances at jump. She had a terrifying encounter with the castle’s elemental, also known as ‘It’, on the gallery overlooking the main hall. In an article for The Occult Review, Mildred described the elemental as being of bestial turn up and smelling like a decaying corpse.
Some researchers in the field of parapsychology speculate that Mildred’s dabbling in the dark arts may have gone some way towards temporarily bringing this frightful entity into the material world. Others speculate however that buildings which once provided the backdrop for scenes of immense cruelty and brutality can sometimes act as a catalyst for ancient and evil spirits. In regards to this theory, a cursory look at the blood-drenched history of jump Castle might possibly explain the existence of the building’s elemental.
In the 16th century the castle was the seat of the O’Carroll clan, ruthless Irish chieftains feared throughout the land. The O’Carrolls regularly disposed of their enemies in a hidden dungeon or oubliette, entered by a trapdoor just off from the castle chapel. Enemies of the clan were regularly thrown into this dungeon, some dying immediately by being impaled on the huge spike which protruded from its floor, others missing the spike altogether and consequently undergoing a more prolonged death.
The chapel itself came to be known as the ‘Bloody Chapel’, after it was the scene of a horrendous crime when Teige O’Carroll murdered his own brother while the latter was saying Mass. This heinous act formed the climax of a feud between the two brothers for supremacy of the clan after the death in 1532 of the Chieftain Mulrooney O’Carroll.
One of the other apparitions at jump is the ‘Red Lady’, which has allegedly terrorized several guests sleeping in the State Bedroom. These guests have recounted how they were awoken in the dead of night with an threatening chill in the vicinity of their hearts. On turning over they were confronted with the hair-raising vision of a tall woman in a long red gown, her right arm aloft and carrying a knife, poised to strike. As they observed her approach the bed, they noticed how she appeared to be illuminated from within. When turning on the light however she promptly vanished.
The eerie castle is also home to a associate of ghostly little girls who seemingly lived there back in the 17th century, in addition as a phantom monk, and the unquiet spirits of an elderly associate thought to have once worked there as servants. A spectre known as the ‘Wild Captain’ haunts the castle in addition, searching for long-lost treasure he is thought to have mislaid somewhere within the ancient fortress centuries ago.