With the Halloween season now in full swing, I thought I’d share a ghost story about the haunted ruins of Three Castle Head (or Dunlough Castle) in County Cork.
This medieval castle is situated on the Mizen peninsula – Ireland’s most south-westerly point and an area well known for its wild coastal landscape and ancient history – and was built in 1207 on the site of a much older promontory fort. Sandwiched between sea cliffs, rocky hills and an eerily still black lake, this site is extremely isolated with no road access, and requires a bit of a hike to reach it.
The desolate loneliness of this castle has provided inspiration for many local legends of its haunted past. One such tale is about the last family said to have lived there, who are believed to have died in violent circumstances. Local folklore says that every day since their passing a drop of blood has fallen into the lake from the lowest of the three towers.
By far the most famous ghost said to haunt Three Castle Head however, is the “White Lady”. Taking the form of a woman dressed all in white, it is said that this spirit is an omen of death, and to see her means that your own death is imminent. There is actually a case of this very thing being alleged to have happened in the 90’s to a French woman who was living in the area named Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
The Tragedy of Sophie
Most Irish people will recognise this name, as her tragic killing is one of the most infamous crimes in modern Irish history. On the day before she died Sophie was walking at the ruins, where she is said to have seen the ghost of a woman dressed in white. She was so frightened that she allegedly told a neighbour about it, before heading home to her cottage. Sadly she lost her life hours later.
I must say, leaving aside the supernatural, this site is incredible, and one of the more unusual and breathtaking places I’ve visited. I’d definitely recommend going to check it out, just be mindful that you cannot bring dogs or drones as there are sheep in the fields on the way up.