One of my favorite Christmas stories has always been Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol”. The haunting backdrop of silence as Ebenezer Scrooge is awakened from his sleep by the sounds of chains and the ghostly voice of his former business partner always sends a chill up my spine. It was even more thrilling with the ghost warning him of three spirits who would visit for the purpose of showing Scrooge the error of his ways.
The notorious Charleville Castle is located in a “primordial forest” practically in the center of the Irish island, near the town of Tullamore in the County Offaly. Originally called Charleville Forest Castle, it was commissioned in 1798 by the first Earl of Charleville, Charles William Bury. This imposing edifice was designed by the renowned Irish architect, Francis Johnston and was completed in 1812. (For such a haunted castle, it’s a bit young!)
Some might say the castle is nestled among the trees…others may claim that the forest entombs the building; it really depends on your outlook. My view is that by day it is nestled, by night entombed! Many other people have a similar opinion. After all, the Charleville has been featured on Most Haunted, Ghost Hunters International and Scariest Places On Earth. But how does such a picturesque castle gather such a fearsome reputation? The answer is shrouded by the passage of time.