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12th Apr 2019

The Terrifyingly Haunting Tale Behind This Beautiful Park In The West Of Ireland

Darragh Berry

Just like you’re not meant to Google your symptoms when you’re sick, we were warned against googling about Moore Hall. We knew there was certain tales that went around about the place but we didn’t want to know any of the stories in order to keep a clear mind about the whole thing.

Situated in Mayo between Ballyglass and Ballintubber in Carnacon and resting beside Lough Carra, I had gone to Moore Hall in the daytime a handful of times. It’s a good place to come to clear your head. The park could be filled with tourists but you’d still feel like the only person in the place.

To be honest, if you thought about that lonely feeling that it has too much, you wouldn’t want to come there in the daytime either.

The house in the main picture (credit: Ann Murphy) was belong to famous Irish writer, George Moore and is the ancestral home also of President of the Republic of Connacht, John Moore. It burned to the ground during the Irish Civil War and was never restored.

According to sources, George Moore was warned that the area around Muckloon Hill was unlucky. Local legend has it that King of Connaught’s druid, Drithliu, was killed near here in 400 AD

Locals went bushing in the house when we were teenagers and if you go there now, you’ll still see the odd can thrown on the ground outside Moore Hall. I was never brave enough to head to that house in the night time, something about it just gave me the creeps.

We had heard stories about people who ventured inside and doors slammed behind them and they couldn’t get out. Some said children had died there and that in the dead of night, you could still hear their childish giggles in the wind.

Moore Hall 2

Taking a break from our group study for the Leaving Cert in 2013, three of my friends and I decided to take a spin down to the park at around 11pm one warm Friday night. I was the only one who was able to drive at the time and although I was apprehensive, I thought that the fact that I had a few of my friends with me, I wouldn’t be spooked out.

We still don’t know if our minds had played tricks on us or if we actually saw and heard what we did. It seems too realistic for it not to be true, especially with what was heard.

There’s a car park at Moore Hall but before you take the right turn for the car park, there’s a small lake with a bit of sand on your left hand side. On request, I pulled in there and we parked up near this old boat which is pictured below.

Moore Hall 3

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Moore Hall, Mayo, Ireland. Thinking back of old investigations I have done . This one I will not forget 🙂 Tina Lough Carra is one of Ireland’s loveliest and least visited lakes and on a hill above it, lost amidst dark and gloomy woodland, stand the ruins of Moore Hall. It is a gaunt shell of broken walls, toppled brick and fallen masonry. The gnarled branches of skeletal trees poke from its empty windows, whilst its basement is a sinister labyrinth of arched corridors and dark rooms, their floors carpeted by a mulch of decaying leaves and squelching mud….. This was one of my more uneasy investigations . At the time I was with Mayo paranormal seekers. Although we had a laugh with great friends I distinctly remember when the clock 12 and deadly silence fell… Would love to go back here. #paranormalresearchersireland #pri #spooky #spookyireland #paranormal #paranormalireland #ireland #paranormalinvestigation #paranormalinvestigator

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Of course, one of my friends thought it would be a good idea to roar ‘boo’ just as we were turning into the lake as a brief silence had filled the car. We were going to be easily enough scared that night but we could have done without that.

As we turned in, I noticed a pair of old converse lying on the sand. We thought nothing more of it than someone had dumped their old pair of shoes there and rightly so because they were destroyed.

The shoes were small and looked like they had belonged to a child.

One of the lads in the back seat rolled down the window and stuck his head out but it wasn’t long coming back in. He rolled up the window immediately and said that he had heard children laughing in the distance.

If it was the same friend who had let the roar go previously, we probably wouldn’t have even bothered but it wasn’t so we all got out of the car to listen.

I still don’t know and I’m afraid to ever go back there again in the dark but I thought I heard the laughter too, we all did. We went back into the car and drove down as far as the car park to abandon ship and start on foot.

Everyone made each other swear on lives of mothers and dogs and their own that there would be no messing walking through the woods. No tapping each other on shoulders or letting out screams ‘for the craic’, if we wanted to make it through the house, we had to make sure that we hadn’t the complete shit scared out of us in the woods.

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All we had was the shitty light from our Blackberry phones but it was probably even too much because we really didn’t want to know if there was something ahead of us. Each time someone heard something, it was reported back to the group meaning that every minute, there was at least four ‘noise complaints’.

It’s hard to know if these reported noises had a domino effect but I still believe that I heard what I heard. But a part of me wonders if a small portion was my mind wanting to believe.

There was rustling, laughter and whistles and sightings of flashes of light and trees and branches moving as we walked through the woods but thankfully we all held the nerve in order to get to the house.

I couldn’t bring myself to go into the house itself but one of my friends was adamant to step inside and see if he’d come back out alive.

We agreed that one person would go in along with my friend and two would stay outside because, after all, no point none of us coming back to tell the story!

Being 17 and 18 years of age, we decided to sort it out by playing rock, paper, scissors. I won four out of five games which just shows how concentrated I was to make sure I wasn’t one of the two that was heading into the house.

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The main door with rails on it was unable to be accessed but luckily for the lads, they could climb in the gap where the windows used to be. I’d say they were in there no longer than two minutes before we heard one of them scream ‘fuck that’ and next thing, their two bodies jumped out the window so quickly and cleanly that they could have won gold at the Olympics.

Both of them agreed that they heard a child eerily singing a nursery rhyme before hearing a door slam. We were outside, we heard absolutely nothing. We said that they were messing but they assured us that it was true. We hurried on back to the car and said nothing to each other until we had cleared the pathway out of Moore Hall.

We told our families and other friends about the place and sure enough, the stories started coming, to the point where we were branded foolish for going down there by ourselves in the night time.

It was uncomfortable, it was scary-ish but we didn’t think that it was ‘dangerous’ to be down there at night although others would still claim otherwise.

It took me almost four years to return to Moore Hall. This time it was in the daylight and my girlfriend and my dog were in tow. I had told her about the scary stories and had spooked her out completely while I played the ‘meh, doesn’t scare me that much’ card, even though at 3pm on a sunny day in June, I was still terrified.

One of the many tales that we had been told about Moore Hall included the mysterious tunnel that was located below the house to the left hand side. Nobody knows where it leads to and nobody is brave enough to find out.

I wouldn’t chance it by myself either, the dripping sound alone from inside was enough for me to put on my best Dragon’s Den impersonation and say ‘I’m out’.

Moore Hall 6

You are now forbidden to enter the house, maybe you always were but we never took any notice of the sign before.

As I peaked in through the gaping windows I had heard that childish laughter that became so familiar on that night previously.

I pretended as if I had heard nothing but told my girlfriend that we’d head back to the car.

While I took my head from inside the window, I felt like someone or something was watching me. I just had a cold feeling on the top of my shoulders and around my neck although it was an above average Irish summer at around 20 odd degrees.

I was tempted to look back but I was also afraid to do so. I never did and I don’t think I ever will again.

Moore Hall has since been bought by Mayo County Council and they plan to turn the place into a tourist attraction. However, no matter how big of a tourist spot it becomes, the locals will still tell tales of the childish screams and laughter at night and the stories of those who went investigating but never came back.

Moore Hall 7

Would you venture as far as Mayo’s Moore Hall?

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