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CULTURE: Loftus Hall - A Haunted House

Irish Country Houses  Post 247. Written by Ben Kesp
Sitting on Hook Head, a headland in County Wexford, Ireland, sits the large mansion of Loftus Hall. The house stands on the ground of two original Redmond Family castles, with the first dating from 1170. In 1650 it became the property of the Loftus family following Oliver Cromwell’s onslaught of the Irish countryside. 

Loftus Hall has a rich and vibrant history and today it is more known for its paranormal tours, attracting paranormal groups and television crews from all over the world including the hit US paranormal show, Ghost Adventures
What is it about Loftus that grabs the attention of the paranormal? The house is believed to have been visited by the devil himself! 
In 1666 while the Loftus family were away, the Tottenham family were caring for the house. Following a storm, a ship arrived at Hook Head and a young man came ashore to Loftus Hall. Charles Tottenham with his second wife and daughter Anne from his first marriage we…
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CULTURE: Borris House - Roots to the Kings of Leinster

Irish Country Houses  Post 246. Written by Ben Kesp

Borris House is a magnificent house situated in Co. Carlow, Ireland and is one of the few Irish estates that can trace its roots to the royal families of ancient Ireland. The current Borris House was built in 1731 replacing the original castle that once stood guard over the River Barrow. It is the ancestral home of the McMorrough Kavanaghs, High Kings of Leinster and the 16th generation of the family currently reside here. Today the house is open for accommodation, tours and weddings. 
The McMorrough Kavanaghs can certainly trace their roots to ancient Ireland and through the ages to modern Ireland. From the 11th century, the family became known as McMorrough, Kings of Leinster and it was Dermot McMorrough that invited the Normans to Ireland in 1167. 
A story of romance is linked to Borris House that at the time was a scandalous affair. In the 1700s Thomas Kavanagh of Borris House, married Lady Susan Butler, daughter of the 16th Earl…

CULTURE: The Single Coyote

Post 245. 
Guest Post by T. Ponder
There are several experiences, tales, and myths about the coyote. This article is an expansion of the Mythical Coyote. Coyotes are sometimes found in the wild alone or are sometimes in the wild in groups, but the differences of coyote interaction may force the coyote to be cunning. Gathering food or any other different behavior can bring the coyote out of the woodland. I've had an experience with a coyote that displayed The Single Coyote
During the late hours of the night, the single coyote came creeping through the empty parking lot. The cunning was stunning when I realized I was face to face with this animal. The distance appeared far; the coyote was too close. Its eyes glimmered from the light of the street-lamp. I quickly stood up from the bench. For a short while the coyote was motionless, it’s tail slightly stiff. I had no choice. I quickly searched my bag for a sharp object. I slightly turned my back and once I turned around again, the co…

HIST & MYTH: Hill of Uisneach - An Ancient and Mystical site

Post 244. Written by Ben Kesp
Long before the Hill of Tara had become the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, the Hill of Uisneach in Co. Westmeath, had been the centre of power. It is an ancient and mystical place that connected the ancient Irish kingdoms and where the king would ceremoniously marry the Goddess Éiru on his inauguration as the High King of Ireland. 
Ériu was one of the three Danann Queens who set forth to meet with the Milesians who sailed to Ireland from the dead lands (Spain). Each queen asked that the new invaders would name Ireland after them. Ériu was chosen and Ireland was named Erin. Following an inevitable conflict between the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Milesians, all three Danann kings and their queens were killed during the battle of Tailtiu (Co. Meath). The final resting place for the Goddess Ériu is under a colossal thirty tonne stone known as the “Catstone” due to its appearance of a cat watching a mouse. The stone is also referred to as the “Navel of Irelan…

CULTURE: Exploring Quin Abbey

Post 243. Written by Ben Kesp

Recently I visited what can only be described as a beautiful and excellently preserved 15th century structure of Quin Abbey in Co. Clare, Ireland

Quin Abbey in the village of Quin, is a ruined Franciscan abbey dating from 1402. The abbey or friary occupies an earlier site of the Anglo-Norman de Clare fortress built in 1278 and destroyed in 1318. Quin abbey continued functioning until 1820. 
Today it is a National Monument and one of the most intact medieval Franciscan friaries in Ireland.


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HIST & MYTH: Tlachtga and Samhain

Post 242 Written by Ben Kesp 
The end of another seasonal cycle is fast approaching and we are all getting ready to celebrate the ancient festival of Samhain. There is no other place in Ireland or the world more associated to the festival of Samhain than at Tlachtga or the “Hill of the Ward”, located near Athboy in Co. Meath, Ireland, twelve miles from the Hill of Tara. This is an ancient archaeological site which saw a big excavation dig in the summer of 2014 and like Tara the earthen works are most impressive by air. 
It was on this hill over two thousand years ago that saw the birth of Samhain which would later become better known as Halloween. In Irish Mythology, Tlachtga is the daughter of Mud Ruith a powerful druid and sun god. He is a figure of immense power and could grow to great sizes and his breath could turn people to stone! Not someone you would want to cross! According to myth and the tales that are retold, Tlachtga travelled with her father Mug Ruith to Italy to study un…

LITERATURE: Mondays Book Talk

Post 241.  Mondays Book Talk: Series 6 
Written by Ben Kesp The Golden Age Dawns by Gabriel Woods
I was given The Golden Age Dawns to read a few months ago and I was not sure what to expect from this paranormal adventure written by author Gabriel Woods. The Golden Age Dawns is book one of a trilogy exploring the societies across Europe that are crumbling under disease and destruction which has been spread to the continent by unseen and evil forces. Life on earth is not as people believe it to be. A fierce unseen cosmic battle is taking place between two great alien powers and the human race is caught in the middle. 

Woods has told an interesting and compelling story. It’s fast paced with plenty of action that pulls the reader in to see what will happen next. The story contains multiple characters and each has been selected to fulfil their destined path to help in saving or destroying the human race. Developing multiple characters can be difficult and can prevent connection to the emotion…