Gabriel lives with her family on the Island of Madeira, where a warm climate provides the perfect environment to enjoy the outdoor life.
Perhaps it is because an ancestor of mine had the maiden name of Redmond that I was told this story many times as a young child. There are many versions I'm sure, however this version is one that has been told from father to son and mother to daughter, over hundreds of years.
A family by the name of Redmond built a beautiful castle to be their new home in the southeast of old Ireland at The Hook Peninsula. The year was 1351. The reign of The Black Death was coming to a welcomed end. Their new home 'Redmond Hall' was to bring great joy and a budding future...
Three hundred years later (1651) The Redmond Family were subjected to the horrors of Cromwell and his army. Their beautiful home the target of cannons. The Redmond Family lost their castle and their lands when defending efforts to save their home were defeated. Redmond Hall was finally conquered by Cromwell's army.
The castle became the family home of The Loftus Family. Redmond Hall was now Loftus Hall. A daughter, Anne, of the Loftus Family married a man by the name of Tottenham and they had two daughters. Anne and Elizabeth. Happiness was not to be theirs and when their daughters were very young, Tottenham's wife Anne died. Tottenham took another wife to assist in the bringing up of his daughters.
Over the years many ships landed on the shores of the peninsula and it was customary for their occupants to take shelter from storms at the great Hall. It was during one of these many storms, that one such ship landed on the shores and took shelter at Loftus Hall. The days turned to weeks. The rain fell with a vengeance from the heavens. Great purple clouds rolled across the grey sky.
Among the visitors was a young man. He became very taken with Tottenham's daughter Anne. They would spend hours in the tapestry room talking. They longed for the rain to stop so they might take a stroll along the peninsula. The young couple became very close. The long dark evenings were spent playing cards by the fire in the large drawing room. The men played at one table, while the ladies of the house played at another.
One night it was particularly cold and both the men and the ladies moved their tables closer to the fire. Anne dropped a card and bent to pick it up. As she reached for the card her fingers brushed against something smooth and hard. Anne leaned further under the table only to see what looked like an animals hoofed foot. Jumping up; she sent the men's table flying. Exposing the young man as the owner of the hoofed foot. Every one screamed. ''It's The Devil.''
Tottenham who had been sitting at the far end of drawing room called for order. Finally everyone calmed down. That's when they realized the young man had disappeared. A cold breeze with an icy chill descended on the room. Anne looked up to see where the chill came from. And there in the roof over the very chair the young man had sat upon was a great gaping black hole surrounded by a smoky cloud.
The story goes that Anne unable to believe that her love was a demon or indeed The Devil himself, locked herself away in the tapestry room where she starved to death. It seemed the Loftus family were to know no happiness.
Anne's ghost was often seen wandering the hallways before disappearing into the tapestry room. Many sightings of her ghost fueled numerous stories of the haunted Loftus Hall. Unusual activities were blamed on poltergeist, encouraged by the returned visit of the young man with the hoofed foot or as he was better known 'The Devil'.
Eventually all the servants left. A catholic priest was finally called in at the request of the family to exorcise the building. Though the exorcism seemed to calm the worst of the haunting it never truly stopped. As was the hole in the roof never truly repaired no matter how brilliant the workmanship.
The Hall was knocked to the ground and completely rebuilt by the 4th Marquess of Ely in 1870. It is said part of an original corner foundation still remains and an underground tunnel survives to this day.
The Legned of Loftus Hall: an indept account of an Irish ghost story...
A Stroll Along The Peninsula
It was late afternoon; the sea breeze long gone engulfed by a cold wind. An eery silence settled about The Hook Peninsula. The fringed lands seemed to dissolve like searching fingers into the dark grey sea. The local fishermen and visiting walkers had left long ago. The dark purple clouds rolled in the sky. A storm threatened to full fill a promise of forecasted rains.
''I think it's going to rain,'' the young woman said reaching for her lovers hand. ''Perhaps we should leave,'' she added. Her lover; a tall, handsome man took her hand and smiled.
''You always hate the rain: why?'' he asked. The young woman turned to face the old mansion in the distance. Tightening her grip on the young mans hand she smiled back.
''It's not the rain I hate my love, but the memories the rain brings with it.'' Her pretty face was tarnished with melancholy. The young man followed her gaze to the old mansion. It stood like a lonely stranger, waiting for it's companions. A deep sadness seemed to cloak it's stone walls; misery seeped from every crack.
''Yes,'' he said ''It's time to leave, we'll come back tomorrow.''
''Yes, indeed. Perhaps tomorrow the rains won't come and we can take a stroll along the peninsula.'' The young woman said wearily.
''Perhaps.'' The young man touched his lovers face. ''One day we will.''
The young couple walked away hand in hand. If any one had been around to see them, they would have wondered at her old fashioned dress and the strange way the young man walked. They would have wondered at the rising mist that seemed to engulf their very beings as they headed toward the old mansion. But as always, no one was there to see; so no one was there to tell.
© 2011 Gabriel Wilson
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on November 06, 2019:
Thanks for reading Tim :)
Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on November 03, 2019:
Excellent story. Truly wonderful and thought provoking.
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on April 04, 2017:
You should read Stolen Breath, it's fiction based in the Wicklow mountains: I think you'll like it. Nice to meet you :)
Anita Hasch from Port Elizabeth on April 04, 2017:
Interesting story. Love spooky stories.
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on July 30, 2015:
Glad you read it, thanks for your time :)
Gods child on July 27, 2015:
Alright. Well thank u for the story. It's a good legend.
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on July 22, 2015:
Hi Gods child. I'm not sure what you mean and I really didn't understand. I'm sure you know what you mean. I doubt gambling started from Loftus Hall. I reckon gambling is probably older than God himself. Look after yourself.
Gods child on July 21, 2015:
I no just from the episode on the television of what has happened in this historical story. These are no lies and I no how to fix the problem. Yes he did play a card game and loftus hall is were gambling was created. I'm keeping my name quiet for the sake of human. If u would like a solution for are problem. Contact my walking bible at eldorado ok phone number 2574. Ask for her oldest grandson. I'll get back to you right here.
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on November 03, 2014:
Thank you for your comment, much appreciated: I know the hall very well and as I said there are many versions of this famous tale, I grew up near it, ran around it and spent many hours walking the hook for more than 18 years before I moved away. I still visit it too and have done over too many years to count. I was told many stories by the locals and indeed my own family, and there are many, many more stories too. I believe that's what keeps the interest there. There is no, one story, but of course I'm biased :) My Grandmother now 98, told of stories, told to her about the great hall. There are numerous reasons and beliefs behind it being demolished (apart from one foundation of an original corner, (as written in my hub) perhaps where the tapestry room was). Take a walk along the hook one summer evening and watch the mist come in to play... As for the skeleton in the wall... that's a whole different story...
anonymous on November 03, 2014:
The team from ghost adventures were just there investigating for Halloween. 2 corrections. Anne was pregnant with her lovers child. The parents killed the child upon birth and buried it in a wall in the tapestry room. In 1870 when they hall was renovated Not demolished the found a child skeleton in a wall in the tapestry room. The hall is original.
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on April 20, 2013:
I love stories and enjoy writing them; your comment is very much appreciated and feedback is so important; thank you for your time :)
இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу from Niagara Region, Canada on April 19, 2013:
Totally absorbing and wonderfully written! This was fantastic and right up my alley. Thank you.
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on February 06, 2012:
Hi Ghosthunter, thanks for the link. I've visited the hall myself; a desolate, lonely place.
Ghosthunter on February 05, 2012:
Fantastic story! Wexford Paranormal, a ghost hunting team from Wexford Town spent a night in Loftus Hall in Feb 2011 having been invited and they have released a video of their investigation. Some cool stuff in it. You can see it on their Youtube Channel page here http://www.youtube.com/user/wexfordparanormal
Well worth a look if you have any interest in Loftus Hall
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on April 07, 2011:
Tanx for reading guys; I love spooky and scary.
IamMaster from USA on April 07, 2011:
Very good story, great for telling around campfires and the like!
Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on April 06, 2011: