CHRISTINE MILLER takes a look at Northern Ireland’s Greatest Haunt’s Cooneen House episode
Cooneen House in County Fermanagh is an abandoned cottage in the woods which it has been claimed is plagued by paranormal activity.
Now a ruin, it is still considered to be the location of one of Northern Ireland’s most infamous cases of paranormal activity.
The story goes that in 1913, widow Bridgit Murphy and her six children assumed residence in the cottage. One night the mother and daughters began to experience noises in the loft but could not find anything. This was their first brush with paranormal activity. Soon after however, items of furniture began to be thrown around the rooms and violent episodes began – a chest of drawers slammed shut of its own accord onto one the daughter’s fingers. Two priests became involved and tried their best to bring to family peace, but they were unsuccessful in taming the activity.
A few years ago, two documentary makers decided to spend the night Cooneen, and Andy gets the chance to talk to them about their experience. One of the men states that problems with equipment began to occur, batteries draining etc, began almost immediately. They suffered extreme temperature drops, and something sinisterly blowing on his face; they soon had the strong feeling that they had outstayed their welcome. They began to heard banging throughout the building, and one final threatening thud brought their vigil to an end. The pair had had enough.
Andy visit a local man who knows the history of the cottage well. The man proceeds to tell him a fortifying story – a sheet contorted itself into the shape of a human body lying on the bed in one of the rooms. The form began to breathe with difficulty, in such a manner the man referred to it as “hard death” breathing. The form soon stopped breathing and the figure began to unravel from the sheets and slowly disappeared, living the sheet crumpled in a pile.
Andy discovers in local records that Murphy and her daughters left for America in 1915, but chillingly, it is claimed that the ghost followed them, forcing them to move several times more. Mercifully, as the children grew up, the poltergeist began to leave them alone.
Next, Marion arrives at the cottage ruin and she senses a disagreeable presence. The energy she describes as “awful” but she has no idea why she feels so uneasy. Andy begins to feel exactly the same. She begins to sense a man who has taken umbridge to their presence at the cottage Marion believes his name is John, and she describes him as deeply unpleasant and someone who “likes to hurt and scare people”. Although he didn’t live in the cottage, he frequented the building frequently, Marion believes.
As the evening falls, the team attempt an experiment to see if any spirit present might tap to the music, as has been previously reported to have happened. Sadly, this experiment is not successful.
Next, they set up a smoke dispenser to uncover whether they can catch the figure of a spirit although they draw a blank here also.
Marion endeavours speaking aloud to ascertain whether she can acquire a response. Knowing that the energies within Cooneen House do not want her or the team here, she asks them to tell her to leave – by speaking or by ringing a bell. The response she gets is an icy cold sensation on her back, and even Andy can feel.
The next morning, the team attempt to check the audio but find very little EVPs either.
The team try one more time and after asking out loud, one of the camera’s batteries begins to drain. Suddenly all three of the cameras begin to drain without any explanation. They hear from outside what appears to be the sound of something being thrown and at this stage, they decide to leave.