Monday, 1 October 2012


This case is well documented having been examined by the Society of Paranormal Research in London. References to the `Enniscorthy Poltergeist` can be found by clicking the link: S.P.R Reports

In the year 1910, in a certain house in Court Street, Enniscorthy, there lived a labouring man named Redmond. His wife took in boarders to supplement her husband's wages, and at the time to which we refer there were three men boarding with her, who slept in one room above the kitchen. The house consisted of five rooms--two on the ground-floor, of which one was a shop and the other the kitchen. The two other rooms upstairs were occupied by the Redmonds and their servant respectively. The bedroom in which the boarders slept was large, and contained two beds, one at each end of the room, two men sleeping in one of them; John Randall and George Sinnott were the names of two, but the name of the third lodger is not known--he seems to have left the Redmonds very shortly after the disturbances commenced.

It was on July 4, 1910, that John Randall, who is a carpenter by trade, went to live at Enniscorthy, and took rooms with the Redmonds. In a signed statement, now in possession of Professor Barrett, he tells a graphic tale of what occurred each night during the three weeks he lodged in the house, and as a result of the poltergeist's attentions he lost three-quarters of a stone in weight.

It was on the night of Thursday, July 7, that the first incident occurred, when the bedclothes were gently pulled off his bed. Of course he naturally thought it was a joke, and shouted to his companions to stop. As no one could explain what was happening, a match was struck, and the bedclothes were found to be at the window, from which the other bed (a large piece of furniture which ordinarily took two people to move) had been rolled just when the clothes had been taken off Randall's bed. Things were put straight and the light blown out, "but," Randall's account goes on to say, "it wasn't long until we heard some hammering in the room--tap-tap-tap-like. This lasted for a few minutes, getting quicker and quicker. When it got very quick, their bed started to move out across the room....

We then struck a match and got the lamp. We searched the room thoroughly, and could find nobody. Nobody had come in the door. We called the man of the house (Redmond); he came into the room, saw the bed, and told us to push it back and get into bed (he thought all the time one of us was playing the trick on the other). I said I wouldn't stay in the other bed by myself, so I got in with the others; we put out the light again, and it had only been a couple of minutes out when the bed ran out on the floor with the three of us.

Richard struck a match again, and this time we all got up and put on our clothes; we had got a terrible fright and couldn't stick it any longer. We told the man of the house we would sit up in the room till daylight. During the time we were sitting in the room we could hear footsteps leaving the kitchen and coming up the stairs; it would stop on the landing outside the door, and wouldn't come into the room. The footsteps and noises continued through the house until daybreak."

The next night the footsteps and noises were continued, but the unfortunate men did not experience any other annoyance. On the following day the men went home, and it is to be hoped they were able to make up for all the sleep they had lost on the two previous nights. They returned on the Sunday, and from that night till they finally left the house the men were disturbed practically every night.

On Monday, 11th July the bed was continually running out from the wall with its three occupants. They kept the lamp alight, and a chair was seen to dance gaily out into the middle of the floor. On the following Thursday we read of the same happenings, with the addition that one of the boarders was lifted out of the bed, though he felt no hand near him. It seems strange that they should have gone through such a bad night exactly a week from the night the poltergeist started its operations. So the account goes on; every night that they slept in the room the hauntings continued, some nights being worse than others.

On Friday, 29th July, "the bed turned up on one side and threw us out on the floor, and before we were thrown out, the pillow was taken from under my head three times. When the bed rose up, it fell back without making any noise. This bed was so heavy, it took both the woman and the girl to pull it out from the wall without anybody in it, and there were only three castors on it." The poltergeist must have been an insistent fellow, for when the unfortunate men took refuge in the other bed, they had not been long in it before it began to rise, but could not get out of the recess it was in unless it was taken to pieces.

"It kept very bad," we read, "for the next few nights. So Mr. Murphy, from the _Guardian_ office, and another man named Devereux, came and stopped in the room one night."

The experiences of Murphy and Devereux on this night are contained in a further statement, signed by Murphy and corroborated by Devereux. They seem to have gone to work in a business-like manner, as before taking their positions for the night they made a complete investigation of the bedroom and house, so as to eliminate all chance of trickery or fraud.

By this time, it should be noted, one of Mrs. Redmond's lodgers had evidently suffered enough from the poltergeist, as only two men are mentioned in Murphy's statement, one sleeping in each bed. The two investigators took up their position against the wall midway between the two beds, so that they had a full view of the room and the occupants of the beds. "The night," says Murphy, "was a clear, starlight night. No blind obstructed the view from outside, and one could see the outlines of the beds and their occupants clearly. At about 11.30 a tapping was heard close at the foot of Randall's bed. My companion remarked that it appeared to be like the noise of a rat eating at timber.

"Sinnott replied, 'You'll soon see the rat it is.' The tapping went on slowly at first ... then the speed gradually increased to about a hundred or a hundred and twenty per minute, the noise growing louder. This continued for about five minutes, when it stopped suddenly. Randall then spoke. He said: 'The clothes are slipping off my bed: look at them sliding off. Good God, they are going off me.'

Mr. Devereux immediately struck a match, which he had ready in his hand. The bedclothes had partly left the boy's bed, having gone diagonally towards the foot, going out at the left corner, and not alone did they seem to be drawn off the bed, but they appeared to be actually going back under the bed, much in the same position one would expect bedclothes to be if a strong breeze were blowing through the room at the time. But then everything was perfectly calm."

A search was then made for wires or strings, but nothing of the sort could be found. The bedclothes were put back and the light extinguished. For ten minutes silence reigned, only to be broken by more rapping which was followed by shouts from Randall. He was told to hold on to the clothes, which were sliding off again. But this was of little use, for he was heard to cry, "I'm going, I'm going, I'm gone," and when a light was struck he was seen to slide from the bed and all the bedclothes with him.

Randall, who, with Sinnott, had shown considerable strength of mind by staying in the house under such trying circumstances, had evidently had enough of ghostly hauntings, for as he lay on the floor, trembling in every limb and bathed in perspiration, he exclaimed: "Oh, isn't this dreadful? I can't stand it; I can't stay here any longer." He was eventually persuaded to get back to bed. Later on more rapping occurred in a different part of the room, but it soon stopped, and the rest of the night passed away in peace.

Randall and Sinnott went to their homes the next day, and Mr. Murphy spent from eleven till long past midnight in their vacated room, but heard and saw nothing unusual. He states in conclusion that "Randall could not reach that part of the floor from which the rapping came on any occasion without attracting my attention and that of my comrade."

Story Source: True Irish Ghost Stories, by St. John D. Seymour and Harry L. Neligan, [1914].

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