The Bloody Chapel

The Bloody Chapel is the home to many of the spirits of Leap Castle. People passing the Castle at night have reported bright light streaming out of the upper windows. This occurrence has been reported since the time of the Darbys. When the castle was left a burnt out shell after the 1922 burning, this event was also reported by passers by. Even now, neighbours have telephoned the Ryans and informed them of the Chapels illumination. Strange smells of rubber have also been reported during peoples visit to the upper hall.
One of the most well known is referred to as the O’Carroll priest. After the death of Mulrooney O’Carroll in 1532, a fierce power struggle developed within the remaining O’Carroll family. Brother fought against brother to gain Chieftainship. Legend has it that an O’Carroll murdered his brother, a priest whilst performing a mass in the upper hall of the Castle. It is believed that the priest started the mass before the arrival of his brother and this was considered to be a great insult. The angered O’Carroll then flew into a rage a slaughtered his brother where he stood. The Priest has been seen on many occasions in the Bloody Chapel. This spirit has also been seen lurking on the stairway below and also leaving the chapel via the western door to the bartizan and down the northern stairs.

One of the more sinister features of the Bloody Chapel is the oubliette. The oubliette is a small chamber located in the North-Eastern corner of the Bloody Chapel. It is thought that the original use for these chambers was to store valuables. They were also used as a place to hide in the event of a siege. The O’Carrolls however, used this chamber for a more sinister purpose. They modified this chamber to serve as a small dungeon where prisoners were thrown in, dead or dying. The entrance to the chamber is a narrow hole originally fitted with a form of trap door. The name is derived from the French “to forget”.

Once someone was thrown into the oubliette, they were simply forgotten about. The O’Carrolls were said to be an extremely cunning and brutal clan, stopping at nothing to achieve domination. Legends tell of several occasions where the O’Carrolls would employ other clans as mercenaries to kill off nearby threats. Upon completion of the job the mercenaries were invited back to Leap Castle for a celebratory feast. Unfortunately for the mercenaries, the feast was poisoned and their throats were cut. The corpses were then thrown into the oubliette. 39 of the O’Neil clan are said to be disposed of in this fashion. In 1599, another deadly deed occurred at Leap Castle. Charles O’Carroll, the last chieftain at Leap, was at war with the Earl of Tyrone and hired the MacMahon clan, from Monaghan as mercenaries. After they had fought for him, the O’Carrolls held a feast for the mercenaries. They were then murdered in their sleep. The MacMahon clan are said to haunt the great hall at Leap Castle.
During the occupation of Leap Castle by the Darbys, the oubliette was cleaned and the contents removed during some of the renovations carried out. It is said that three cartloads of skeletons were removed from the oubliette during this period. Some believe that since this gruesome discovery, an emotional shockwave was sent through the castle and the many spirits including the Elemental were woken from their dormancy.
Sean Ryan speaks of a man who seems to live in the oubliette. He leaves the Bloody Chapel on occasion and wanders down to the lower levels of the castle.

17 Responses to “The Bloody Chapel”

  • Fantastic ! Are you going to keep writing articles? I like the way you write. But.. it has been very slow to load lately.

  • Fantastic. Are you going to keep writing articles? I like the way you write. BTW how did you make the little widget on top of your blog ? Thanks.

  • leapcast:

    Thanks for your kind words.
    Which widget are you to referring to? The whole site is custom made…..

  • Casey Smith:

    I’m a fan of haunted places. I love to investigate and wander through old buildings and explore them with child-like wonderment of what happened there. I have been to ireland once. It was a family vacation and we did cross country horseback riding. It was fun getting to visit different towns and such. Now that I’m in my early 20’s, I’m getting ready to play harp at my brother’s wedding, but this inspired me to look at different places to get married for when I’m ready for that. I was wondering, is this castle open to weddings and such? Especially the chapel…I think it would be ironic to have a wedding in a haunted chapel where the priest was murdered.

  • paranormal:

    wow. talk bout creepy x x x x x x

  • debbie matthews:

    i lived for many years in the village of cloughjordan which is a stonesthrow away from emmel then partner had been brought up in emmel..i started having very vivid memories about a william ocarroll who was murdered by his family..and in these memories he died in a church and then was consumed by flames…your site has really got my wondering.

  • I live near the castle and never heard the history til now. Thee castle isnt open for weddings, just to let casey smith know. I think its all so fascinating and please if you can write more about the history.

  • dis is scary !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i am gonna ave nitemares !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! god help me !!!!!!!!!!!!!! xxxx

  • dating sites
    Incredible that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over yet again. Anyways, just wanted to say fantastic website!

  • Sydney L:

    I saw on Ghost Hunters that someone was pushed over in this room. Has anyone else been pushed over?

  • These spirits aren’t creepy at all. Actually, now that i think about it, they are pretty creepy. Think the Red Lady is pretty. However, the O’Carrol Preist is freaky.

  • The Preist is creepy but I’m into creepy stuff!!

  • A good amount scary for a 7seven your old girl like me who is into scary stuff!!!

  • lola:

    if you look closely at this picture you’ll notice that there is a white, see through figure in the right corner

  • Marianna:

    While touring the bloody chapel of Leap Castle in May 2014, I looked into a small doorway in the wall, but felt an extremely strong urging to back away. I couldn’t go near the opening for the rest of our time in the chapel. It was creepy. After returning to the main floor,Sean Ryan informed us that the opening lead to the oubliette, which we didn’t know beforehand (because of a bad leg, Sean sent us up the spiral staircase alone, with a couple of faulty flashlights – there’s no electric light up there). Sean also told us that he and his wife have never actually encountered the elemental spirit, and if they had, they would no longer be in the castle!

  • Uneva:

    While visiting in July 2015 with my family, we were surprised when,
    in the Bloody Chapel, we saw
    A rock rise off off the floor and smack into the wall.
    No explanation for it.,,

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