I apologize that this is quite a lengthy story, feel free to skip some parts, I tried to get all the best parts in:
Last summer, a friend and I were bored playing video games at around 10 at night and we were getting bored and wanted to do something exciting, go on an adventure of some sort. Now I live in rural Ireland where there isn’t much to do for teenagers, we’d usually get our parents to drop us into town but it was too late for that so I thought it might be a good idea to venture down to ‘Wilton Castle’, an old medieval castle that’s now in ruin. It’s said to be heavily haunted and dangerous, but due to our adventurous traits, we decided to go anyway.
Quick history of Wilton Castle: The castle was built on land by a young man as a reward after he saved King Henry III from a bear attack whilst hunting in a woodland in rural England, but when the young man refused to give up his Catholic religion, the land was confiscated. A family by the name of Butler were granted the estates and were to remain owners of the estate until the arrival of Oliver Cromwell in 1649. Oliver Cromwell was said to have used the cells under the castle as interrogation and prisoner cells where him and his men butchered, mutilated and raped innocent Catholics inside. The ghosts of prisoners are said to roam the forests near the grounds and in the chambers where they wander mutilated and bloodied.
Following Cromwell’s reign, the land was given to an officer in Cromwell’s army, who complained wolves were wreaking havoc in the district, who eventually sold it to the Alcock family, the final owners of the castle. Apparently, one of the final duels in Ireland took place on the grounds during 1807 where William Alcock decided to duel his rival electorate candidate – and once childhood friend in which he ended up winning and shooting his friend through the heart. The guilt got to his head and he eventually ended up in a mental asylum – another abandoned landmark near my home – only it’s partly inhabited.
There is a story told that a certain Harry Alcock died in 1840 and on the anniversary of his death, a ghostly carriage would come down the castle driveway and his ghost has apparently been seen on the roads surrounding the castle. Another story was of, Captain Archibald Jacob, a magistrate during the 1798 Rebellion – and also a tyrant and later murderer whom fell from his horse near the castle is said to haunt the grounds, although reports of an exorcism during the early 1900’s was said to have taken place which may have removed his spirit.
In March 1923, the castle was burnt to the grounds by IRA arsonists whilst some of it’s owners were on vacation. Inside were two butlers and an apparent young aspiring actress. All three were killed in the flames and their ghosts have said to roam the inside, especially the actress who is said to stand on the balcony, ready to jump, which she hesitated to do on the night of the fire. Following this, the castle remained in ruin until recently where plans were made to turn part of it into a small hotel, but we wanted to visit whilst it was still empty and dead.
It was only a five minute walk. We grabbed our two phones which we made sure were fully charged. There’s two sides into the castle – the driveway, which involves crossing a damaged bridge – or through the forest, which says specifically not to enter, but of course, we did anyway and soon the castle was looming over our heads, the moonlight peaking inbetween the clouds.
We took photos of the area and spent time exploring around, but unfortunately, we were witnessing no supernatural activity, but something happened, something that I can’t explain to this day. My friend was taking a photo of the chambers when all of a sudden his phone shut off and wouldn’t turn back on, followed by the dead battery symbol, even though seconds before it was an almost full battery. As soon as I went down with him, our luck ran out – as mine did the same, only it went straight down to 15%. This was our que to get out whilst we still had a light source.
The battery wasn’t right as it was going down every 20 seconds or so. We decided to stay calm as that would be the best thing to do, not like in the movies. I decided the best thing to do would be to ring my mother, which I did and told her to meet us at the end of the road as soon as she can, but unfortunately, after this call, the phone was dead, and we were in the midst of a supposedly haunted woodland in the midst of night with no light. We grabbed onto each other, using communication and our hands as help to get out. Every creak or rustle made us jump but we kept going. I had a terrifying feeling that I was being watched from every angle and I swear I heard breathing a few times too, but somehow, part of me felt protected, like something was protecting us. After around five minutes that seemed like hours, we managed to make it onto the dirt road which eventually led to the main road. We took out our phones and they switched themselves on and soon as we got onto the road – the batteries were back to 75 and 80% – and also six missed calls from mum. I didn’t know which was scarier but holy shit as soon as we got into the car and back to mum it was the biggest relief I’ve ever felt in my life. As soon as we arrived back home, we stuck on two cheese pizzas and watched re-runs of Seinfeld for the rest of the night – but wow, what an experience.