Domain of Elementals: Leap Castle, Offaly
I had long been enamored of the stories swirling around the eerie Leap Castle in County Offaly. Notorious for being the most haunted castle in Ireland
, Leap looms out of the rolling countryside, a crooked finger gesticulating at a leaden sky, windows like the dark eyes of a fractured soul. Even Simon Marsden, that intrepid photographer of the macabre edifices dotting the northern european landscape, names Leap as "without a shadow of doubt the most sinister and frightening building I have ever photographed." With a violent and tragic history, Leap is home to a number of ghosts, including an 'elemental' - half human, half beast - that emits a foul odour as it haunts the curving stairwell leading down to the ancient hall. The current owners run private tours of the dismal interior. Call +353 057 913 1115.