Ghost Hunters in Ireland

by Sandi Mitchell
(Wyoming, USA)

Good story I picked up on the web: Ghost hunters flock to tiny village after dozens of locals are spooked by mysterious 'white lady' By Arthur Martin of the Daily Mail, England.

The numerous ghoulish encounters with a mysterious 'white lady' has prompted many to believe they had met a supernatural being. For bemused locals, the only question on their minds, was: 'Who You Gonna Call?' Well, Ghostbusters, of course.

Over the past six weeks there have been dozens of sightings of the apparition near the ruins of a remote farmhouse in near Coalisland in Co Tyrone. Ghoulish encounters: Cars have been queuing at a road near Coalisland in Co Tyrone after dozens of sightings of a mysterious 'white lady' near the ruins of a remote farmhouse.

Convinced that the sightings are true - rather than the result of one too many pints of Guinness - convoys of ghost hunters have flocked to the dip in the road where she was seen. Up to 60 cars have been spotted parked on the side of the road at midnight, causing traffic jams in the usually desolate area.

Villagers who have spotted the ghost say it looks like an old woman with a sad expression. However, none have so far been able to describe the features of her face in any detail.

The spot where the ghost was spotted could perhaps best be described as a 'ghost's paradise'. The damp crumbling walls on the ruined house where the ghost was spotted still bear the scorch marks from a fire. Broken doors now creak in the wind and tree branches scratch against the collapsed roof. The birds in the trees are strangely silent.

Ryan Bell, the son of the local landlord Raymond, claims he has seen the ghost more than 20 times.
'I was freaked out the first time I saw her, but now I'm getting used to it,' he said. 'It looks like an old small woman with a shining white cape. 'When you drive by the run-down house, the figure emerges from the trees and crosses the road in front of you before coming to a halt in the same place each time. 'It's definitely a creepy experience. You can only see the profile of her face but she appears sad.'

Paranormal experts are now heading to the area with thermal imaging cameras and high frequency voice recorders in the hope of verifying the sightings.
Warren Coates, of the Northern Ireland Paranormal Research Association, said he was aware of previous paranormal activity in the area.

'It's related to a phantom female hitchhiker, who caused a stir five years ago,' he said. 'Drivers would see her on the side of the road with her thumb out. When they pulled up to offer her a lift, she would vanish. 'Sometimes she would walk across the road in front of cars. But when drivers swerved to avoid her, she disappeared. These sightings were about a mile away from the latest sightings.'

Mr Coates, who set up his paranormal organisation in 1991, believes the ghost might be a woman who has died in a car crash in the area.

Others, however, are more sceptical and believe the apparition is a hoax.

Desmond Donnelly, a Sinn Féin councillor, said: 'At one point, there was a line of up to 60 cars on the road with people trying to spot it. 'It wasn't just one night, it was going on for a week or so over the holidays. I'm not sure how it all started - I wouldn't be one for ghosts, but you know how this type of thing spreads. 'If you ask me, it's more likely to be a reflection of the moon on the river that flows through the area. Although the talk is that what was seen was in the shape of a person.'

Ireland is increasingly becoming the 'ghost capital of Europe', as holidaymakers from around the world visit in the hope of a supernatural experience. The most memorable ghost of recent times was a cloaked figure photographed standing in a doorway at Hampton Court Palace in 2003. Some believed it to be the restless spirit of the King Henry VIII's fifth wife Catherine Howard who was executed. Before the photograph emerged, she had reportedly been seen by several visitors - sometimes uttering terrible cries.

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