A horrific history with each passing century being punctuated by ferocious acts of violence. Makes this location the most Haunted Castles in the World.
One of the most gruesome murders to take place in the castle occurred in 1532 in a room above the main hall of the castle which is now know as ‘The Bloody Chapel’.
The original castle is thought to have been built circa 1250 and was the principal seat of the fearsome Ely O’Carroll clan. In the aftermath of the death of the chieftain Mulrooney O’Carroll in 1532 a bitter succession dispute arose over the leadership of the clan.
The dispute came to an abrupt end when ‘one-eyed Teige O’Carroll’ who as mass was being celebrated in the room stormed in chanting holy rites and drove a sword into the back of the priest who was also his older brother Thaddeus. The fatally wounded priest fell onto the altar in front of his family and breathed his last.
The priest’s spirit is said to haunt the Bloody Chapel and is thought to be one of Leap’s earliest ghosts. Even centuries later when the castle lay in state of ruin, passers-by have seen the window of the room light up suddenly late into the night.
In 1922 workmen at Leap Castle
found an oubliette in a secret dungeon hidden behind a wall in a corner of the Bloody Chapel. When they explored the sinister dark hole further they made a horrific discovery – there were enough human skeletons amassed on top of wooden spikes that it would take 3 cart loads to remove them. Prisoners – or unsuspected guests – of the O’Carrolls would have been dropped down through the hidden trap door above the oubliette where they would have had their lungs punctured by the wooden spikes below. There they would be left to die a horrific death within earshot of their gracious hosts and their merriment below.
One of the most infamous killings that took place at Leap Castle was also one of the most treacherous. About 40 members of the northern McMahon clan had been hired by the O’Carrolls to train them in new methods of warfare. The McMahon men attended a feast at the castle in celebration of a victory over a rival clan of the O’Carrolls. However the mercenaries were totally unaware that their ruthless employers had poisoned their food so as to avoid having foot the bill. The ghosts of the McMahon clan are said to haunt Leap Castle to this day.