The 'Spooked Ireland' Team Attempt To Smoke Out The Ghosts Of Aughrim, County Galway

October 18, 2023 1:00 AM ‐ TelevisionParanormal
Spooked Ireland - Aughrim
Photo: © Discovery+

The latest episode of 'Spooked Ireland' that aired on the Really channel and now available to stream on Discovery+ has taken a different turn than its usual format. Vogue Williams and her team head to the tiny village of Aughrim in County Galway, to explore an entire village reportedly plagued by various supernatural phenomena, from headless horsemen to ghostly wails in the night.

In most paranormal investigations, the focus is usually limited to a building or a particular site. However, Vogue led her team to Aughrim to cover the whole village, stepping up the level of complexity. Ryan O’Neill made it quite clear that they're not dealing with just one eyewitness account. Multiple residents have reported eerie happenings, requiring a full team deployment. Chris Fleming noted that every resource would be needed to "get to the bottom of this vast haunting."

Vogue and Evelyn Hollow, a parapsychologist on the team, met local guide Abby McGowan at the village's historical centre to learn more about Aughrim's past. The battle of Aughrim, fought in 1691, was a significant and bloody encounter between the Jacobite and Williamite forces. The story also delves into local folklore, particularly the legend of the Headless Horseman, a spectral figure believed to be the Jacobite commander Saint-Ruhe, who was decapitated by a cannonball during the battle.

Chris and tech expert Ryan conducted an initial investigation at a local farmhouse. Their meeting with Thomas Dolan, the owner, was particularly insightful. Dolan revealed that a gate on his property frequently opens by itself, with no logical explanation.

Once inside, Chris described feeling pockets of energy and even believed he sensed a presence, possibly of a man with a leg injury perhaps linked to the historical battle. The investigators experience what they term as 'direct voice phenomena,' including an unexpected giggle and a mysterious whistle. Most significantly, they hear a bell sound. Given the historical context of Aughrim, this could be a symbolic representation of the soldiers who never had their death ritualised or a bell rung for them. Chris posits that this could be the spirits' way of communicating their unfulfilled rites and the lack of closure they experienced in life.
Spooked Ireland - Aughrim
Photo: © Discovery+

Chris decides to up the ante. He heads to a place ominously called the 'Bloody Hollow', the site where most of the soldiers reportedly lost their lives during the 1691 battle. According to local history, the fields turned red with blood, so much so that even the rivers were tainted. This hollow acted as a grim collector, accumulating the spilled blood when it rained.

Recognising the magnitude of the situation, Chris enlists the help of local paranormal investigator Kieran and tech expert Ryan, who brings along a specialist kit. Kieran explains he will be using a spirit box, which rapidly cycles through radio frequencies in the hope that spirits might manipulate them to communicate.

Ryan, on the other hand, places a TriField metre to detect electromagnetic disturbances during their spirit communication session. As they commence the session, Kieran asks, "Spirits, do you remember me?" The TriField metre flickers in response, and Ryan suggests they've received a direct reply, adding an intellectual dimension to the investigation. "I feel something is going on here," Chris acknowledges, thereby offering another layer of validity to the scientific readings.

Chris then poses the question, "Tell us why you're still here. Why are you damned?" The group believes they hear the word "portal," leading Chris to speculate that when he conducts prayers, a portal usually appears to guide the departed. It's an intriguing and potentially paradigm-shifting idea that adds a spiritual counterpoint to the team's empirical methods.

Feeling that more spirits are surrounding them, the investigators move further into the field and decide to use another piece of equipment—an app called GhostTube. It’s a quieter tool, allowing them to focus on potential one-word responses from the spirits. While using the app, they hear what they interpret as a drum sound, as though heralding an oncoming army. Fog starts enveloping the area, and Ryan suggests that they keep their distance to see if any forms manifest within it. "I keep thinking I've seen figures in the fog," he remarks. Chris also believes he sees a figure standing in the fog.

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Spooked Ireland - Aughrim
Photo: © Discovery+

The team re-group to share their evidence, and Ryan suggests a strategic move. "Why don't we go to the farmhouse, because we had a lot of phenomena. We could hear things, we've got those EVPs, and you really need to get there and see this," he advises. The team, now including Vogue, makes their way back to the previously investigated farmhouse. Vogue poses a crucial question: "What we really need to understand from the spirits now is will they accept our help? Will they even interact with us tonight?"

The group moves into the kitchen, where Vogue suddenly starts to feel uncomfortable. "I feel itchy," she announces. Ryan identifies this as a possible physical effect induced by paranormal activity, stating, "There is a thing where you can get paranormal activity that happens, where they let you feel how they felt when they were alive." Vogue recalls a conversation with Evelyn earlier about how the soldiers would have had fleas. The experience aligns strangely well, painting a vivid, albeit unpleasant, picture of the past.

Undeterred, Ryan unveils Frank's Box—a device that scans through radio waves, allowing for possible spirit communication. Asking directly, "Are you affecting Vogue?" a voice seems to affirm with a "yeah" through the device. "This is the weirdest feeling. It's like it's all over my body. It felt like it had attached itself to me," Vogue elaborates. Her willingness to articulate these experiences adds a layer of subjective depth to the investigative process.

Later, Vogue feels as if something is moving behind her, brushing past. Ryan correlates this with a path that soldiers might have used, something that Chris had picked up on earlier. Then, an unexpected occurrence—the sound of a bell reverberates through the farmhouse. Chris calls out from another room, "Did you guys use a bell?" Both Ryan and Vogue deny triggering the sound, yet it's evident that the bell has rung while they were using their investigative app.

After collating the evidence and experiences gathered so far, Vogue surmises, "This village has a massive problem. Souls from this battle have never managed to find peace after such a grisly end." A feeling of urgent responsibility fills the investigators as they prepare for the night's climactic event. Evelyn has devised an audacious experiment, and the setting is the ruins of the old castle.

Evelyn outlines the strategy, "What we're doing basically is something called past enactment theory, which is the idea that if you reenact the conditions under which someone died, you're more likely to get a paranormal interaction." To facilitate this, Ryan brings in a genuine artefact, a cannonball used in the battle. Chris elaborates, "A trigger object is an item that is relevant to a place or specific entity, but to have an item from a spirit's actual death directly connects them to a specific memory or moment in time."

Evelyn reveals they're not just relying on the cannonball. "We're also going to set off smoke because on the day of the battle we know it was really foggy. And we're going to play sounds of a battle." As the fog-like smoke envelops the ruins, Chris implores, "Spirits come forward, please. Show yourself through the smoke." A medley of battle sounds fills the air, mimicking the battlefield conditions in hopes of eliciting a response from the lingering spirits.

Almost immediately, the environment seems to react. Ryan shows a photo he took with what looks like a face shaped in the smoke. "It's like a skull," he says. Chris contemplates, "Is this photographic evidence that the spirits of the soldiers are with us right now? I want to help the spirits move on."

Chris offers a poignant closing gesture. "For me, it always comes down to the final thing," he says. "The souls that are lost, confused, want some peace and to go home." With solemnity, he rings a bell, similar to the unexplained sound they'd heard earlier, and begins to pray for the souls of the departed.

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