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  • A Dublin Haunted House Case December 23, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern , trackback

    ghosts dublin

    We’ve looked before at Irish haunted houses in court cases. But in this forgotten nineteenth-century ghost story there is some ambiguity about whether the noises were nasty neighbours, creaking floorboards or spirits from the other side (1885)

    A remarkable case was heard on Saturday in Dublin. Mr Waldron, solicitor’s clerk, sued his next door neighbour, who is a mate in the merchant service, named Kiernan, to recover £500 damages for injuries done to his house by, he alleged, the defendant and his family. Kiernan denied the charges, and asserted that Waldron’s house was haunted, and that the acts complained of were done by spirits, or some person in the plaintiff’s place. Evidence for the plaintiff was to the effect that every night, from August, 1884, to January, 1885, his hall door was continually being knocked at and his windows broken by stones, which came from the direction of defendant’s yard. Mrs. Waldron swore that one night she saw one of the panes of glass the window cut through with a diamond. A white hand was inserted through the hole so made in the glass. She caught up billhook aimed a blow at the hand, cutting one of the fingers completely off. The hand was then withdrawn, but on her examining the place she could find neither the finger nor any traces blood. On another occasion the servant, hearing mysterious knocking, fell down with fright, upsetting a pail over herself. Mr Waldron armed himself with rifle and revolver, and brought a detective into the house, while several policemen watched outside. They, however, could find nothing. Kiernan’s family, on being taxed with causing the noises, denied such was the case, and suggested it was the work of ghosts, and advised the Wnldrons to send for a Roman Catholic clergyman to rid the house of its uncanny occupants. A police constable swore that one evening he saw Waldron’s servant kick the door with her heels about the time the rapping usually commenced. Chief Justice Morris said the affair suggested the performance of the Davenport Brothers or Maskelyne and Cooke. It was quite inexplicable from absence of motive, and remained shrouded with the mysterious uncertainty of the Man with the Iron Mask, the authorship of Junius’s Letters, or [the question of] why Anderson left Dycers. The jury found for defendant.

    What would Lefanu have done with this… Beachcombing is always fascinated by ghost stories that end up under judicial review: and even better fairy stories.  drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com