Ireland’s most haunted house has gone on the market and could be yours, ghosts and all, for around Dh10 million.
Loftus Hall in Wexford, south-east Ireland, is a 22-bedroom mansion that dates back, in parts, to the 14th century.
Surrounded by 63 acres of rolling countryside, the 2,520-square-metre mansion has its own private shoreline and beautifully manicured gardens. The part-Gothic, part-Palladium house is on Ireland’s Hook Peninsula and is one of the region’s biggest tourist attractions.
Visitors book daily tours and the house is a popular space for weddings and events. The grand staircase is reportedly one of only three of the same design in the world, with the others in the Vatican City and at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean aboard the Titanic.
The house has been used as filming location several times – most recently in Netflix's Gothic horror The Lodgers. It was also used as a backdrop for international pop star Hozier's 2019 album, Wasteland, Baby!
But the house also has another fame, one steeped in darkness and the paranormal.
The story of its haunted past
Legend has it that the historic halls of this mansion are home to Anne Tottenham, who resided in the property in the 18th century.
The story goes that one night, during a family game of cards, a visitor to the house with whom Anne had struck up a rapport revealed himself to be the devil. He then fled the household by rising up through the roof, leaving a hole in the ceiling that has never been repaired.
Soon after, Anne became sick and was banished to the Tapestry room where she remained until her death. Since then, Loftus Hall was plagued by poltergeist activity – several occupants of the house claimed to see Anne's ghost wandering the grounds at night. Today, many visitors say they can sense the building's troubled history and the ghostly sightings continue.
The Quigley brothers purchased the building in 2011 and undertook extensive reconstruction work including restoring the great hall’s staircase and the stained-glass skylight.
Historic features have been retained and modern amenities added, but there’s still work to be done – with 97 windows that will soon need replacing. It is something that potential buyers will have to be willing to invest in say the current owners, who will not sell the property for monetary value alone.
Having been approached by a number of interested parties over the last few years, the family are holding out for the right buyer.
As a major tourism attraction in New Ross, the owners want to ensure that whoever buys the house will keep it as a national attraction, rather than converting it into a private residence. Plans to add a hotel or guest lodgings would be well accepted.
There’s no official asking price, but it’s thought that the owners are open to offers above €2.5 million (Dh10.8m) for both the house and the surrounding land.
"The sale is not solely money motivated and discussions would have to take place prior to an offer being tabled", a representative of New Ross Tourism told The National.
If you want to get a feel for property, or simply investigate its haunted past more closely, you can join an after-dark live stream captured by six cameras set up different rooms around the mansion that are turned on when night falls.