Last week, I received a call from an old friend, Mike Hirons. The paranormal group that I was a part of before joining Abandoned Ni was headed up by Mike. In fact, I believe it helped me bring about my dereliction project into the abandonment world. He told me that he was taking part in a paranormal investigation for BBC radio Ulster at the Haunted Ballygally Castle Hotel on the North Coast, and he asked if I would be interested. I said yes right away! Since I had not seen Mike and had not done a proper investigation in over 10 years, I was very excited to revisit this.
I set off on my journey to the hotel to be there for 7PM. Although I had never been to the Ballygally hotel, I had heard that the tower bedroom was haunted.
Lord James Shaw and his wife Isabella built the original castle almost 400 years ago in 1625.
The legend tells us that Isabella fell pregnant and James had hoped for an heir, but to James' dismay Isabella delivered a girl. This caused him to become infuriated, so in a rage he took the baby girl from her and locked her in the tallest tower's bedroom as punishment!
Isabella was trapped in here for days and weeks with no food or water. She was screaming for help but no one came to her rescue.
In sheer desperation and a last ditch attempt in saving herself she opened the tower window to try to escape, however it is reported that she fell to her death below. Isabella is said to still roam the castle to this day, especially her tower bedroom which has been kept as it would have been in 1625. Numerous investigations have taken place here and paranormal occurrences have been recorded. We are full of anticipation of the night ahead!
Ruth the receptionist at the hotel told us of a frightening experience she had in the tower bedroom a few years back. She had gone to clean up broken glass from the room and felt that she was pushed at the top of the stairs. This sent her tumbling down the numerous steep stone steps and she lay at the bottom with a broken foot! She has not entered the room since... I don't blame her!
Some smaller windows in the tower turret. The tower is icy cold.
The Ghost room is opened for our investigation.
We set up equipment and start the investigation.
Kathy is able to sense a dark figure in the turret room and the temperature drops an hour into the night.
Some voices come through a ghost box, a child like voice comes through and some male voices who we believe might be speaking in Gaelic.
At one point in the evening we feel the bed depress, almost as if a person sat up from the bed. We all felt this at the same time.
We close the investigation with the conclusion that something paranormal was indeed occurring in the hotel bedroom with the sharp temperature drops, voices, a dark figure sensed and us all feeling the bed move. We will review our recordings for more evidence.
To hear some of the investigation you can catch it up on BBC radio Ulster here play 2 hours 32mins to hear our clip. Enjoy!