Charleville Castle is regarded as one of the most haunted buildings in Ireland, located near Tullamore. The castle is situated in Ireland's most ancient primordial oak woodland, once the haunting grounds of Irelands druids thousands of years ago.
The castle was built in 1798. Abandoned in 1912, for unknown reasons, it was not until 1971 that the new owner Bonnie Vance began restoration work on it. It may have been the restoration work that disturbed the spirits at the property because it was at this time that the ghosts at the castle started to become active.
On the Castle grounds was once the site of an ancient burial ground inhabited by druid Celtic priests in the 6th century. The Oak was the Sacred Tree of the Druids and in the grounds of the castle is a Druid's Initiation Circle a constant reminder that this was a Sacred Ritual site. When the plague hit Ireland it was widespread during the middle ages, many of the local sick people were buried alive to prevent the sickness from spreading. Many believe that their spirits continue to haunt the castle grounds.
There are many local rumors that the man who built Charleville Castle, Charles William Bury practiced devil worship and chose this site for its paranormal energy. The castle was designed by Francis Johnston for Charles Bury . Both Francis and Charles were followers of Sacred Geometry and the design and layout of the Castle and grounds reflect those beliefs and practices . Two of the Earls of Charleville were Grandmasters in the Freemasons of Ireland .That is why the towers were designed with the eight point star construction . The castle was purposely built on Electro Magnetic Ley Lines in the earth that past civilizations had discovered here long ago.
Harriet, youngest daughter of the third Earl of Charleville, tragically died on the main staircase of the building at the age of 8 in April 1961. Her presence in the castle has been reported many times by many different people. Singing in the middle of the night, laughing, screams. Visitors have also said to have seen an image of a little girl with a blue and white dress, with golden curls with blue ribbons in the hair. The ghost of a small boy occasionally joins her and once, when he was around three years old, Bridget Vance's son went missing in the castle. Fearful of the steep stairs and precarious drops around the property, the family began an anxious search. They eventually found him at the bottom of the stairwell where he told how "the little boy and girl" had looked after him as he came down the stairs.
Bonnie Vance awoke early one morning to find a ghostly cavalcade in her bedroom. The ghostly gathering included the ghosts of Charles Bury, Francis Johnston, a woman in a black hood, a little girl and a group of around seventeen "monks or druids" who encircled her bed and appeared to bestow a blessing upon her.
There are two main areas in the castle where the paranormal activity seems to be focused, the old dungeon and the library. The dungeon, a dark damp place, is said to be the haunting grounds of the entity of a sadist. Over the centuries many prisoners are said to have died down there through torture, some of these torture devices are still present. Paranormal investigations that have taken place down there have often to be cut short due to members having their faces scratched and in one case a cameraman that was dragged halfway down a corridor.
Any one that enters the castle is asked by the owner not to go near the balcony overlooking the library. When a paranormal team conducted an investigation at the Castle, their medium immediately picked up on a figure up on the balcony. He studied the figure for a moment and then asked the team to leave the library. He explained afterwards that what he had seen was an 'elemental', a collection of spirits formed as one. Very powerful, he felt, and not to be approached. Not totally evil, but certainly not good. He advised the owner never to leave anyone up there and never to try and banish it, just leave it be. The door to the balcony remains locked at all times now.
Other ghosts and entities sighted at Charleville Castle include a white mist which encircles the ruins and a hideous, evil eyed figure that roams the castle walkways. Paranormal activity recorded in recent years includes the sound of clock chimes where there is no clock; chairs rocking with no occupants; the sound of a child crying; disembodied voices and footsteps are often heard throughout the night.
Charleville Castle holds various events throughout the year including Halloween. Overnight stays are organized in exchange for donations towards its restoration project to help save the building. There are still however, some areas strictly off limits to visitors. Charleville Castle has appeared on Living TV's Most Haunted and ABC Family's Scariest Places on Earth and Ghost Hunters International.