The other night, on a very rare occasion, I was watching television with my not so better half and I watched a rather interesting documentary on Haunting’s in Ireland and one story in particular hit my senses.
I grew up in a town called Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh, and knowing the legend of the Cooneen ghost existed gave me a sense of curiosity and an obvious desire to find out for myself. I remember on one occasion, my father took my two younger sisters and myself up to Cooneen, and I can tell you right now, the whole area is spooky. The forest around the surrounding country side is without a doubt eerie and I can remember well how awful it felt when we walked from the car. We searched for the path that led up to the house. But thankfully, our fear was enough to have the outing halted quickly. We all looked at each other and our faces said it all, ” Get us the hell out of here.” And even to this day, I still wouldn’t set foot near that place.
Here is the story of Cooneen and a family tormented by an unseen entity.
In 1913 a family by the name of Murphy were to become victims of one the worlds most famous Poltergeist cases in history. The story states that Widow Murphy, her son and five daughters, who lived in a mountain cottage near Brookeborough, Co Fermanagh, became plagued by a poltergeist shortly after her husband died in an accident. Strange happenings started to occur with rapping’s and banging’s along with other noises. Above the house was a room used as storage for hay, the room was only accessible by a stone staircase adjoined to the farmhouse. In this room heavy footsteps were often heard; even though nobody was in there. The family often got friends and neighbours around to witness the strange happenings and they did. Shortly after widow Murphy turned to the church for help and Father Coyle from Maguiresbridge. Two excorcisms were performed but to no avail, the torment continued, with the disturbances happening day and night.
Father Coyle described watching as the blankets would rise and fall on an empty bed, as if someone underneath were breathing. Mysterious shapes appeared and disappeared. He also reported that pots and pans would suddenly without warning fly across the kitchen and music would waft across the room. Sources claim the rapping’s were sometimes to the rhythm of tunes. A couple of favourites were ‘Boyne Water’ and ‘The Soldiers Song’ and that the Poltergeist would dance along to them.
The Murphy family became so scared they decided to flee their home and set sail for America, but they left with the knowledge that superstitious locals had started to accuse them of performing witchcraft. They left via Glasgow believing they would be safe as they were leaving the Poltergeist behind them in Ireland. Much to their surprise and horror it seemed the Poltergeist had travelled with them; at night the banging’s and rapping’s continued in their cabin, others aboard the vessel complained to the Captain so much he threatened to put the family off the ship. Even when the Murphy family arrived in America and found a new home the disturbances continued. But over time the manifestations and rapping’s subsided and eventually stopped completely allowing the family to get on with their lives the best they could.
It is said and believed that the “Cooneen Ghost” pronounced “Coonian Ghost” is the best-recorded and authenticated ghost in Irish History.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I will not be going anywhere near Cooneen anytime soon. I know that there are those of you who would be totally excited by this, and in some cases, you would travel from far and wide [folk have already done so] just to experience whatever it is that Cooneen has to offer. But take it from me, as a native of the area, this is no joke and is most certainly not for the faint hearted. If you dare to take a step towards that house, do so with caution, remember, that whatever it is that possess that cottage has a tendency to hold onto you and will not let go; well, not until it is ready to release you – no matter the cost.