The 'Spooked Ireland' Team Tackles Generations-Old Banshee Haunting At Ardgillan Castle

November 12, 2023 1:00 AM ‐ TelevisionParanormal
Spooked Ireland At Ardgillan Castle
Photo: © Discovery+
In the latest instalment of Discovery+'s Spooked Ireland', Vogue Williams and Chris Fleming lead a paranormal investigation at the hauntingly beautiful Ardgillan Castle, located 20 miles north of Dublin. Joined by Ryan O'Neill, and Evelyn Hollow, the team delves into the castle's eerie past and confronts its ghostly residents.

Ardgillan Castle, an 18th-century mansion, stands on lands once seized during Cromwell's colonisation. The castle, now open to the public, has been a hub of paranormal activity, with its history rooted in the tragedies of the Taylor family who once resided there.

Vogue, familiar with the castle since childhood, shares her personal connection to the place, "I grew up around here, and I spent all my summers here. And this place, even looking at it now, it still terrifies me." She recounts tales of the supernatural that have long been part of the castle's lore, particularly in the servants' quarters.

Local historian and castle manager, Tom Riley, provides valuable insights, mentioning Edward Richard Taylor's death in the castle and a maid who tragically died in childbirth – incidents that have fuelled ghostly tales.

Chris and Ryan begin the investigation in the kitchen, a spot avoided by some staff due to its frightening atmosphere. Chris reports seeing a shadowy figure, he believes to be a woman, in this area. Could this sighting be linked to the story of a maid?

Using a range of ghost-hunting gadgets, including a Structured Light Sensor (SLS) camera. This specialist camera projects a grid of infrared light that is invisible to the naked eye. It then uses a camera to detect any distortions in this grid. The idea is that if a spirit or ghostly entity is present, it might disrupt this grid, creating anomalies that the camera can detect and display.

Later, Chris spoke with retired nightwatchman Jim Cunningham, who shares a spine-chilling encounter on The Lady Stairs, leading to the beach. Here, Lady Louise Augusta, a friend of the Taylors, drowned in 1853 and is said to haunt the area.

Jim then tells Chris about one of his own encounters in the woods surrounding the castle, where he saw a mysterious figure that vanished suddenly, an experience his mother later described as an encounter with a banshee. Banshees, as Chris explains, are considered ominous harbingers in Celtic folklore, their cries believed to foretell imminent death in the family they are attached to. Jim suggests a possible link between this banshee and Lady Louise.

This connection prompts Chris to conduct a daring experiment on the beach where Lady Louisa drowned. Avoiding direct contact with the banshee to escape its curse, Chris uses a ghost-hunting app on a tablet, which unexpectedly captures the words 'scream' and 'for the', interpreted as "scream for the banshee". Chris call to the entity, shouting "banshee" at the top of his lungs on the beach. The banshee seems to reply through the app in the form of a scream.

The episode deepens its exploration of the castle's haunted history as Chris, and the team speculate that the banshee might be influencing the entrapment of spirits within the castle. Chris explained, "With the confirmed presence of one of Ireland's most feared spirits, it's possible that a banshee is responsible for trapping the many spirits here."

Towards the end of the episode, the team gathers in the dining room for a vigil. They use an Instrumental Trans-Communication (ITC) app. This technology is said to enable communication with spirits through electronic devices. The app works by producing various sounds and phonetic elements, which are thought to be manipulated by spirits to create words or messages.

As they attempt to communicate with Edward Taylor, a former resident of the castle, they hear a sound from the app that resembles a scream, suggesting a confirmation of the banshee's presence.

The team reflects on the depth of the castle's haunted history. Evelyn wonders whether the land's connection to the mythological banshee has contributed to the series of tragic deaths and spectral entrapments within the castle. Chris acknowledges the presence of the banshee but admits that some mysteries, like the exact identity of the banshee, are perhaps better left unresolved.

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