ANN MASSEY tells us of the deathly curse of haunted Moore Hall in County Mayo, Ireland
Perhaps one of the most iconic images of haunted Ireland, Moore Hall in County Mayo has a past as dark and foreboding as its ruined facade.
The once glorious mansion was home to the notable Moore family and yet now is nothing more than a husk on the landscape overshadowing Lough Carra. The chequered history of Moore Hall and the tragedy within all lay credence to the continued belief it was constructed on the site of an ancient cursed land,
The Moore family were of notable standing in cultural circles, military advancement and of course, politics. George Henry Moore was an 18th century politician who saw opportunity in Spain when penal laws changed in Ireland.
Moore became a merchant trading Spanish brandy and wines across Europe, making enough money to fund the building of his own estate in County Mayo.
Despite the sharp warnings of the local community regarding his choice of building site, nothing would stop George from building his grand manor on Muckloon Hill overlooking the Lough – not even a curse would stop him.
The Curse of Moore Hall, County Mayo
Brian Orbesen was the King of Connacht and was cut down by enemy forces in 400 A.D. While loyal to his King, Druid Drithliu was scared and ran away from the bloodshed,
The terrified Druid hid on Muckoon Hill, however his relentless pursuers found him and he was slain on the shores of Lough Carra, his crimson life force diluting the waters where he lay.
Moore employed the architect of Waterford Cathedral, to create his dream home, but after taking up residency, the curse claimed its first victim in centuries as George Henry Moore was left blinded by a stroke.
John Moore, son of George became President of the then Republic of Connacht. The appointment was fleeting however, as the the new Commander In Chief of Ireland was put in place to quash the Irish Rebellion of 1798.
John was arrested under orders of the Lord Lieutenant and was condemned to death. Terrified of losing his son while his own health was failing, George Moore paid what he could to get the death penalty off the table. John Moore was instead sentenced to deportation but never left his cell – well not living anyway, as he was beaten to a pulp while in custody.The curse was reaching out its deathly talons, as soon after, George Moore was also dead.
Moore Hall passed to the founder’s namesake, George Henry Moore whose wealth came from horse racing. In August of 1845, his brother Augustus rode one of the Moore horses in the Grand National in England, only to be thrown from the racehorse and killed, It now seemed the curse was able to cross seas to touch the Moore family with death,
Despite this, George went on to win the Gold Cup and selflessly used the winnings to ensure his famine struck had sufficient grain and livestock to survive. It appears that the curse was directed only at the Moore family, as it is believed not one of those under Moore protection died during the famine.
The great grandson of the founder of Moore Hall was George Augustus, was the last landlord of the County Mayo estate.
Favouring literature over horses and politics, George was an esteemed author and founded the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. His friends were Oscar Wilde, Lady Gregory and W.B. Yeats and they all spent time in Moore Hall.
George Moore lived in England during the Irish Civil War which began in 1922. Unfortunately, George had a cousin, Maurice, who made his political position loudly and aggressively. This made Moore Hall a target and the IRA set explosives around the base of the manor, blasting it to a shell.
Time and nature have commandeered the lonely ruins, windowless openings now soulless pits of sorrow, draining the energy from the Lough instead of reflecting its essence.
Shadows Haunt Moore Hall
The basement of Moore Hall does stand, abused by the elements, reached by a tunnel leading from life to death, Those who have visited Moore Hall claim they are watched from the shadows. The chilling sound of ethereal infant laughter echoes through the ruins as shadow figures play hide and seek through the fallen stone and brambles. The eerie ambience stretches outwards, penetrating the surrounding woodland.
The Moore family vault stands within its reach, John Moore not joining his departed kin until his body was found some time after his death. Not even the waters of Lough Carra are safe, as a supernatural péist, a serpent of the Unseelie realm lies within the lake, ready to take you,
As the curse of Muckloon Hill was uttered by a dying Druid, we do not know if the curse has an expiry date or are those who try to dwell on the Hill are doomed forever. Could it be that Drithliu remains, watching? Are the Moore family themselves condemned to stand beside him for eternity, or do they stay tied to Moore Hall, trying to warn others of the curse?
Murder, tragedy, ill health and misfortune dating back thousands of years, a family condemned and a pagan of power slain. By all means if you get the chance, explore the majestic ruins of Moore Hall, but that curse may just be looking for a new victim. Maybe check your family history to be sure you do not descend from the Moores of Moore Hall…
Have you seen anything strange at Moore Hall – tell us about it in the comments section below!