As Ireland’s most haunted house, Loftus Hall in County Wexford is renowned across the world for its paranormal experiences. Here is everything you need to know about Loftus Hall.
Down an isolated road on the beautiful Hook Head Peninsula is the infamous mansion, Loftus Hall. Although rich in splendour and beauty, this magnificent house has a dark and haunting history.
Loftus Hall is part of a 63-acre estate and is one of the most visited attractions in County Wexford. This magnificent mansion fits the stereotype of a haunted house, with a spooky grand staircase and ornate mosaic floor.
The setting of Loftus Hall also adds to the eeriness as it stands alone on the bleak landscape.
When the Normans landed in Ireland in 1170, a Norman Knight, Redmond, built a castle on the site. His family then built the hall, which stands today, to replace this castle in 1350, during the time of the Black Death.
Although the hall has been heavily renovated since the 14th-century much of the original structure remains the same.
Locals believe that in the years before any castle or hall was erected here that the site of Loftus Hall was of incredible significance. They think that it was once a sacred place for druids, the high-ranking and religious class in ancient Celtic culture.
Legends – the stories of Loftus Hall
Countless legends and unexplained mysteries surround Loftus Hall. These, along with tales of ghostly apparitions, have enticed ghost-hunters and paranormal investigators from around the globe.
Loftus Hall’s haunted reputation dates back to 1766. Legend has it that, on one dark and stormy night, a man sought shelter here during the storm. Over time, Anne, whose parents owned Loftus Hall, fell in love with the stranger.
One day, when they were playing cards together, Anne leaned down under the table to pick up a card she dropped. It was then that she noticed the stranger had cloven hoofs. She screamed in fear, which caused the stranger to transform into the devil before shooting up through the roof.
It is said that, because of this, Anne’s mental state deteriorated and she was confined to her room until death.
Since Anne’s death, numerous people claim to have seen a dark and mysterious figure roaming about the house. Paranormal investigators have recorded temperature drops and spikes in electromagnetic fields, along with tapping noises.
In 2014 a tourist who visited the site captured a photograph, which appeared to have a ghostly apparition in the window.
When to visit – check the website for updates
This haunting experience is unfortunately not open year-round, so it is best to check the website for up to date opening hours. And, given the fact that it is one of the best things to do in Wexford, we fully suggest you plan well in advance!
What to see – walk in the foot-or-hoofsteps of the devil himself
The infamous roof, where the devil himself is said to have shot up through, is impressive to look at – but also incredibly haunting.
On many occasions, people have attempted to repair the hole; however, it continues to resist.
Explore Loftus Hall with a guided tour of the mysterious building. This 45-minute interactive guided tour of the ground floor will leave you with goose-pimples.
Learn about the grim and troubled past of the abandoned house before experiencing a re-enactment of the famous card game.
Since the house was bought in 2011, it has undergone extensive repairs and conservation as they have attempted to restore part of the house to its former glory.
One of the ways the estate has been restored is through the restoration of the magnificent walled gardens. The gardens have been beautifully designed with fantastic walkways throughout the five acres.
Things to know – parking and amenities
There is an onsite café offering coffee and tasty treats, which was recently renovated. However, for the remainder of the 2020 season, the café and gift shop will be closed because of COVID-19.
It costs €2 to park in the onsite car park, which is payable upon exit. However, if you spend €10 or more in Loftus Hall as part of a tour or in the café, you can redeem this for a token for the car park.
Be aware that paranormal experiences aren’t uncommon on the 45-minute guided tours. Some people experience being tapped on the shoulder or feeling their hair being played with. Others notice a significant drop in the temperature as they enter some rooms.
If you are brave, we recommend partaking in the paranormal lockdown. During this, you will be led by experienced paranormal investigators while also accessing areas of the house that are usually inaccessible. This is not for the faint-hearted and is only for those over 18 years of age.
Loftus Hall is currently up for sale, and the asking price is €2.5m. It is estimated that a full renovation and restoration of the mansion would cost approximately €20 million.
Although this would be a costly and time-consuming investment, it is hoped that someone with a passion for the past and paranormal will return Ireland‘s Loftus Hall to its former glory.