Haunted Templemichael: Knights Templar, an Ancient Curse and Ley Lines

2039

Once a Knights Templar stronghold, Templemichael in County Waterford now echoes with spectral hauntings and long past historical battles, writes HELENA B. SCOTT

Templemichael church and cemetery
Templemichael church and cemetery – photos by Helena B. Scott.

Templemichael in Glendine, County Waterford, has a rich history intertwined with the Knights Templar and spectral hauntings. Nestled along the Blackwater’s banks, this sacred site has been scarred by battles and bloodshed, immortalised in the haunting duel of Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. The fierce clash of 945 AD, known as the battle between “the Ravens of Munster” and “the Ravens of the West”, also marks its storied past.

When visiting historical sites, I always refrain from prior research, choosing instead to let the land’s energy reveal its secrets, an energy so profound that to date, it has been impossible to forget how this location made me feel.

The current Protestant church at Templemichael, built in 1823, rises from the foundations of a 1620 church, casting its shadow across a nearby 12th-century castle ruin. This sacred site, once part of lands granted to the Knights Templar by Raymond Fitz William Fitz Gerald—known as Le Gros (“the Large”), echoes with history.

Following the invasion, he bestowed these lands upon the Knights Templar, including Rin Crew, which he founded in 1193 to oversee the river crossing and establish a preceptory.

Le Gros’s final resting place lies at the nearby 6th century monastic site of Molana Abbey. Le Gros’ story is linked with the tale of Ireland’s most haunted, Loftus Hall, once known as Redmond Hall and now “Ladyville House”, linked through the Redmond lineage.

Visit to Templemichael, Waterford

I visited Templemichael together with Michael Benson, the founder of Wexford Paranormal, and a local historian who kindly took us there; Kieran Groeger.

It was impossible to ignore the land’s ancient energies, resonating with echoes of hauntings and ancient tales. This place, steeped in Templar history, fell into the hands of Sir Walter Raleigh after the Desmond Rebellion.

Known for his explorations and political involvements, Raleigh also delved into the occult and esoteric realms. In fact, he was linked to two “invisible colleges” considered occult or esoteric; the first, known as “The School of Night”, also dubbed the “School of Atheism” and “The Mermaid Club” or “The Friday Club” in Cheapside, London.

Eventually, Raleigh sold Templemichael along with his other Irish estates to Richard Boyle, the 1st Earl of Cork, whose son Robert Boyle, alchemist and pivotal figure in modern chemistry, also linked to an invisible college by the Rosicrucians, inherited the lands, later acquired by Grice Smyth.

Holroyd-Smyth Mausoleum and coat of arms with Templar symbolism
Holroyd-Smyth Mausoleum and coat of arms with Templar symbolism.

Just beyond the church and its graveyard lie the ruins of Templemichael Castle. Shrouded in mystery and topic of debate, research reveals it once served as a Preceptory for the Knights Templar – one of two local strongholds, alongside Rhincrew. In the 16th century, it was transformed into a Tower House and a FitzGerald stronghold. Today, it stands as a picturesque ruin beside the river, whispering tales of its storied past to those who wander its shadows.

Templemichael Graveyard, now a hallowed ground for countless souls, is steeped in tales of the paranormal and ancient folk curses. Legend tells of a famine-era peasant woman, spurned for aid at Ballynatray House, who cast a curse upon the Holroyd-Smyth family as she descended its thirteen steps backwards, one for each generation. The eerie synchronicity of family members meeting their demise on the 13th of the month, culminating in a fatal hunting accident on September 13th, 1969, bears witness to this chilling curse 1969 (see links to family graves).

The significance of the number 13, a Masonic master number and linked to the Knights Templar’s fateful arrest on Friday the 13th, October 1307, intertwines with the Smyth lineage – a distinguished Templar family which gave rise to the Templar Smyths of Cressing Temple and who trace its lineage to Sir Michael of Carrington.

This noble warrior, born of Norse and Celt lineage, etched his legend during the Third Crusade of 1187 A.D., under the King Richard the Lionheart, serving as his Standard Bearer. As he acted with such valour scaling the walls of Acre with four other men, opening the gates to the armies of the Crusades, he was then Knighted at the Siege of Acre by King Richard I in 1191 and given Aston Hall before dying in the Holy Land.

The ancestral Templar connections of the Smyth family can be seen in the medieval style of the Holroyd-Smyth Mausoleum and its coat of arms set on its gable with abundant Templar symbolism. Through small holes in the door, one can see the antique coffins inside.  

Reported sightings of ghostly monks, reminiscent of those at other Templar sites, are frequent here, alongside encounters with mysterious large black dogs and inexplicable appearances of ropes crossing the main road at Templemichael, sparking brief panic in drivers/cyclists before vanishing.

The castle ruins at Templemichael
The castle ruins at Templemichael.

Local lore whispers of horses halting at Ballynatray House’s threshold, hesitating before bolting away at alarming speeds. These phenomena, intertwined with abundant hauntings, are always linked to ley lines – invisible energy lines that run through sacred sites, as in most Knights Templar sites.

While I have yet to map the area, I found many Ley line markers including Saint Patrick’s Holy Well, the monastic site of Molana, Templemichael itself (which was an Island) and the nearby promontory of Rhincrew.

HELENA B. SCOTT is a writer, historian, mental/light trance medium, and psychic investigator, author of Amazon bestseller on Ireland’s most haunted house, “Loftus – The Hall of Dreams” Purchase the book and see more about Helena on her website: www.helenabscott.com. A member of the Ghost Club (est. 1862) and lecturer at the London College of Psychic Studies, Helena’s main area of interest is in uncovering secret history, specialising in the Knights Templar and haunted history. Follow her on Patreon, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.

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