Built in Ireland around 1798, Charleville is a castle with a colorful history behind it. In fact, even the grounds that it was built upon have a history of their own. It is surrounded by an old forest that once belonged to the druids, ancient priests that to this day remain largely a mystery. Some guests that have spent the night in Charleville Castle claim to witness hooded figures that appear to be performing rituals.
In 1577, the land that Charleville now resides in was nothing more than an estate owned by the Earl of Moore. Though the Moore family ownership of the estate did not last very long, with the land eventually being relinquished to Charles William Bury in 1764, otherwise known as the man who built Charleville. Since its creation, there have been a number of different residents that have lived in the castle; in fact, some would say there’s a permanent occupant within Charleville’s walls. Harriet, the young daughter of the third Charleville Earl, died in 1861 after a terrible fall down four flights of stairs. She was sliding down the stair railing, and quickly lost her balance, causing her to fall to her death. Harriet is said to haunt the castle walls, there have allegedly been numerous accounts of her laughter, her singing, and even her screams.
As with any haunted location, this castle experiences no shortage of rumors and whisperings. The dungeon is allegedly one of terrifying history, rumored to be the home of a savage that tortured and killed people down there. Some have allegedly heard cries of agony coming from the dungeon, even the torturer himself laughing gleefully. Of course, one can’t help but think that this place was once inhabited by a psychopath that enjoyed the suffering of others, as it apparently houses a myriad of torture devices from hundreds of years ago. You’ll find whole manner of unsavory looking objects in Charleville dungeon, like a stretcher and instruments designed to remove limbs. Besides the torture devices still present, you can also find an altar of unknown origin. So even if the accounts of others haven’t quite convinced you that this dungeon is anything more than a basement in a hotel; perhaps the very sight of some of the mysterious and horrible things found in it will.
Although the castle is being watched over by its current keeper, Bridget Vance, there’s no telling how long she will be staying. Manager and former inhabitant of the castle, Dudley Stewart, says he doesn’t even want to spend the night in the Charleville anymore. He claims that at one point he felt vibrations, as if he was experiencing an earthquake in the building.
Charleville now stands as a hotel that is in a current state of restoration, guests that stay at the hotel fund the slow but steady rebuilding of the castle. Indeed, for many years it was abandoned by its former owners, only to be watched over by caretakers in the 1900s. Even then the preservation was minimal at best, and Charleville had soon succumbed to rapid decay. It wasn’t until 1971 that this hotel could finally be rescued by a man named Michael McMullen. Not long after, the hotel’s current keeper, Bonnie Vance, would take over the duty of restoration and preservation of Charlveville. Charleville Castle Heritage Trust now runs the castle, with Dudley Stewart as the head of it.
It’s up to you to decide if Charleville Castle is inhabited by spirits from a distant past. One thing that remains clear is this hotel’s long and rich history. From an ancient forest, to an estate owned by the royalty, to a grand castle and eventually a hotel, this is a location that has not only stood the test of time, but evolves as the years go by. It has housed many different inhabitants (some would say they’re still inhabiting the castle), and has spanned many generations. Regardless of whether the horror stories of Charleville Castle are true or not, there is no denying that this is a building that should be preserved. If you’re brave enough, come spend the night and support the ever growing project of rebuilding the castle.