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County Down Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Hairy Figure

Location: Annesborough - A25 towards Castlewellan
Type: Other
Date / Time: 01 October 2016, 21:00h
Further Comments: A driver watched a four foot high hairy figure dart across the road and disappear behind a bush. The driver looked behind the bush as they drove past but was unable to see anything there.

Orange Globes

Location: Bangor - Skies around the area
Type: UFO
Date / Time: 12 May 2007
Further Comments: Several media companies and air traffic control were contacted after witnesses watched three orange globes fly across the night sky. The objects were visible for around five minutes before disappearing.

Grey Victorian Lady

Location: Bangor - St Mary's Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2006/7
Further Comments: A site worker walking up the main path to the left of the church spotted a grey lady in Victorian clothing twenty-five metres away. The witness shouted to her that the gates were closed and that she would not be able to pass through. The lady ignored the worker and continued walking, passing behind the witness's work van where she disappeared. The worker searched the area; there was no way the lady could leave without passing or being seen by the worker.


Location: Bryansford - Hill between Bryansford and Moneyscalp
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Riding headless on a black horse, the Dullahan are said to be bearers of ill-omen. The entity carries his severed, decaying head in his right hand. Wherever the Dullahan stops, it is said that a mortal will shortly die on that spot.

The Landlady Neill

Location: Donaghadee - Grace Neill's public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: Though only appearing once, dressed in her Victorian garb, Grace Neill's ghost is more likely to create mild poltergeist effects, such as switching on and off electrical equipment and moving bottles and glasses around the bar.

Missing Sheep

Location: Dromara - Farms around Dromara and Hillsborough; Hill Road, Ballynahinch Road and Mullaghdrin Road areas
Type: ABC
Date / Time: August / September 2013
Further Comments: A large cat was held accountable for mauling and killing sheep in this area. Police issued a warning for anyone who spotted a large cat to contact them.

Lord Tyrone

Location: Dromore - Gillhall Estate area (original building no longer standing)
Type: Post-Mortem Manifestation
Date / Time: Tyrone in 1693, other entities mid twentieth century
Further Comments: The ghost of Lord Tyrone visited Lady Beresford shortly after his death - he made several predictions which were to become true before touching her wrist to prove she was not dreaming. This touch withered her wrist, and she wore a piece of black cloth over the wound for the rest of her days. It is worth noting that the same story is told about a house in Portlaw. Before the building became unliveable in during the twentieth century, many people claimed to have been driven from the area because of its ghosts.

Glowing Ball

Location: Drumbeg - Churchyard
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 16 March 2008, 22:00h
Further Comments: A glowing ball of light has been seen dancing around the headstones in the newer part of the graveyard.

A strange-looking figure standing on the road.

Older Woman with Child

Location: Drumbeg - Upper Dunmurry Lane
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s?
Further Comments: A withered lady carries a young child in her arms. One story says she was the wife of a highwayman hanged nearby, after which she killed herself and her child.


Location: Dundrum - Dundrum Bay, was known as Lough Rudraige
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: When Fergus mac Leti, a king of Ulster, first encountered the monster known as Muirdris, his face was left permanently contorted in terror. To prevent the king from finding out, all mirrors were banned in his company. Seven years later, Fergus discovered the truth and returned to Dundrum Bay to kill the monster. After a battle which lasted two days, the king killed the beast but himself died soon after from exhaustion.

Bottled Spirit

Location: Finnis - Dead sycamore tree in the village (no longer standing), near the Dree Hill Road bridge
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early twentieth century (tree fell in July 2009)
Further Comments: The bridge was once home to a malevolent spirit, until a brave village priest exorcised the ghost, trapping it in a bottle which was placed in the sycamore tree. It is said that no villager will touch the tree, and locals will prevent visitors to the area from doing so. The tree fell during a storm in July 2009, but an isolated patch of grass marks the spot where it once stood.

Countess of Clanbrassil

Location: Killyleagh - Killyleagh Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Once renowned for her charm and leadership abilities (she negotiated a pardon for her husband from Cromwell), the Countess is now said to walk in the old hall.

Radiant Girl

Location: Killyleagh - Unknown house in the area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Every seven years
Further Comments: Murdered by her own mother, the glowing ghost of this little girl returns to the scene of the crime once every seven years.

Headless Nun

Location: Kircubbin - Nun's Quarter
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s?
Further Comments: A floating, headless nun was spotted by a group of friends - they ran, shocked at what they had witnessed.

Young Woman

Location: Lisburn - M1 between Lisburn and Hillsborough
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s onwards?
Further Comments: This motorway is reported to be haunted by a young woman who hitchhikes - like the urban myth, she vanishes shortly after accepting a lift.


Location: Mourne Mountains - Slieve Binnian
Type: Other
Date / Time: 06 January 2019
Further Comments: A couple out walking on top of this mountain photographed a strange looking entity in the mist, which resembled Gollum (or a sitting hiker temporarily hunched over). Other ghostly entities are said to haunt the area, although little more is known about them.

A phantom boat drifts along the water.

Lough Keeper

Location: Newry - Lough House Number 6, and disused Forsythe's Canal
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Local folklore says this run down house is haunted by a former lough keeper and his wife. The nearby canal is home to a phantom boat and other spirits with connections to the house.

Strange Figures

Location: Portaferry - Cooley Wells
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1990s / 2000s
Further Comments: Several reports of phantom voices and visions of ghostly figures exist based around the area of this set of ancient wells.

Three 'Ghosts'

Location: Portaferry - Innisfallen Farm (likely no longer exists)
Type: Other
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This farmhouse had a reputation as being so haunted that no-one could stay there; the owner moved to England, leaving the land to be used freely by a local farmer. The owner promised fifty pounds to anyone who would stay there and banish the ghosts, and the offer was taken up by a constable. During his first night, the constable was confronted by three ghostly figures. In best policing form, he drew his truncheon and set upon the entities, who quickly revealed themselves to be the local farmer and two sons. The constable was paid and became the landlord of the site.

An old postcard of Warrenpoint in County Down.

Lord Blaney

Location: Warrenpoint - Carlingford Lough
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: November 1916
Further Comments: A Steam-Packet which travelled between Warrenpoint and Liverpool, the Lord Blaney broke in two when it hit a sandbank, sinking with most of its crew and travellers. The ship is said to reappear when a naval disaster is close to hand, such as in November 1916 when the Connemara and the Retriever collided and sank.

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