The Ghost Below
Irish and Celtic myths and legends, Irish folklore and Irish fairy tales and Irish Ghost Stories
Who knows what hides in the darkness - The Ghost Below
They do say Irish people are fond of a good chat, the gift of the gab as it's called, but it seems even Irish ghosts are likewise inclined, as the strange tale of Corney the phantom reveals!
Many years ago in Dublin city, a young family moved into a fine residence in the heart of Dublin city. Well-to-do and respectable, they made their new home into a warm and welcoming place, and looked forward to raising their family beneath its solid old rafters.
Then one day the father of the house sprained his leg when he was at work, and had to use a cane to get around for a while, making a solid thumping noise on the wooden floor as he walked. After they retired for the night he left the cane at the foot of the bed, but their sleep wasn't to last long, for they were awoken in the dark of the small hours by that very same thump-thump noise!
His wife made to light a match, by whose light she spotted that the cane had gone missing, so they went out to find it at the top of the stairs. The servants of the house denied all knowledge of the incident, peering startled and pale-faced from their rooms.
Disturbed but tired nonetheless, everyone went to bed, and the next morning when they sat down to breakfast what should happen but a great booming voice echoed from the cellar off the kitchen, as though from an empty barrel!
“A fine morning to you!” it spoke, “Close the door above for it is cold where I am.”
Well terror and bedlam ensued, and after some discussion one of the servants went to investigate the cellar, but found nothing unusual. Nonetheless, after that the ghost, who made himself known as Corney but often denied that to be his name, made a fair nuisance of himself.
Crockery was hidden and cutlery went missing, the household complained of being pinched as they went about their daily business. The family's relatives from the countryside who had small farms used to bring presents of vegetables, and these were often hung up by Corney like Christmas decorations round the kitchen. There was one particular cupboard in the kitchen he would not allow anything into, and anything put in was promptly thrown out again, such as a pot with pickled meat weighted down for fear of his interference.
Corney it seemed had a deep dislike for being locked up anywhere, and would bend locks and keys around the house. He would interrupt any conversation he pleased as long as it took place in the kitchen, save only that of people who didn't fear him – one uncle of the family, who he mocked as “four eyes” in his absence, took a poker and hammered at the cellar door, demanding Corney come out and talk, but only silence followed. The next day though, the poker was found snapped in two on the kitchen floor.
He'd also remain silent in the presence of priests; as the notoriety of the house spread a clergyman dropped by for a visit, but no sight nor sound of Corney was to be had. After he left, the servants, very daring, shouted down into the cellar:
"Corney, why did you not speak?" and he replied, "I could not speak while that good man was in the house." The servants sometimes used to ask him where he was. He would reply, "The Great God would not permit me to tell you. I was a bad man, and I died the death." He even named the room in the house in which he died.
As the presence in the house grew stronger and bolder, it became more difficult for the lady of the house to keep servants at all, between the constant muttering and interruptions and the malicious practical jokes that were played on them. They would sleep in the kitchen on fold-out beds, but to escape from Corney they asked that it be moved to the attic.
The very first night they went to sleep up there, the door to the clothes press was flung wide and Corney's voice shouted out, “Hahaha, you blaggards, this is my house and no place in it is denied to me!”
Later one of the servants was preparing fish for dinner, but having turned away from the table for a moment, she looked back to find the fish gone missing! She began to weep for fear she'd be accused of thievery, whereupon the fish flew straight out of the cellar and onto the floor, accompanied by Corney's voice saying “There you whiner, there's your fish for you!”
Things began to take a more sinister tone after that, Corney claimed he'd be having visitors on All Hallows eve and that very night five or six distinct voices were heard. Next morning the water in the house was as black as ink, and not alone that, but the bread and butter in the pantry were streaked with the marks of sooty fingers.
Guests complained that the sheets had been pulled from them, and the young man of the house ran screaming to his parents, claiming he'd seen a naked old man “with a curl on his forehead, and skin like a clothes-horse!”
At their wits end the family decided to move, but they found it very hard to sell the lease to anyone, for Corney would speak up as soon as any prospective buyers made it as far as the kitchen. They asked him if they changed house would he trouble them, and he replied, "No! but if they throw down this house, I will trouble the stones."
Eventually the lady of the house prevailed upon the entity to settle down, and as it appeared to have a soft spot for her it agreed, so they sold up and moved on. As he said to her, “I see a lady in black coming up the street to this house, and she will buy it." Within half an hour a widow called and purchased the house.
Whether or not Corney still resides at the old place is not known, for even its exact address has been lost, save only that it was somewhere near St Stephens Green. So should you come across a fine property at a suspiciously low price in that vicinity, be sure to check the coal cellar before you sign anything!
We now have an amazing Patreon page as well, where you can listen to the many myths and legends on the Emerald Isle! Exclusive to our Patreon, you can now hear stories of ancient Ireland, folklore and fairy tales and more, all professionally narrated. It's at times like these that it's most important to support artists and creative people whose income might be reduced, so if you'd like to support the work that goes into Emerald Isle, the Patreon can be found here: https://www.patreon.com/emeraldisle
More Irish Ghost Stories
There once was a woman called Máire Rua, or Red Mary, since she was one of the McMahons and had hair like a fiery sunset with a temper to match! Many legends have grown up around this seventeenth century force of nature, some true, some maybe less so, and some she spread herself! She made her seat in Leamanagh Castle, in the Burren in Cou ... [more]
If Dublin is the capital city of Ireland, County Clare is its dark reflection on the other side of the country, a place where many of the shadowy tales and unsolved mysteries of bygone years eventually seem to flow. Layer upon layer of centuries burden its rocky hills, left behind by the passage of numberless and nameless peoples, each hiding their ... [more]
Little remains now of once-proud Dunluce castle, whose halls had echoed with the sounds of laughter and music, and whose vaulted arches had defied the most ferocious storms. Only echoes and shadows are left behind, and some say, the tormented ghost of a young lady waiting for her love to return! The castle had originally been built by Richard &O ... [more]
The tale of Kilmagoura in County Cork is, for the most part, a peaceful and quiet one, as it lay under the power of the Fitzgeralds for many years, and they were, for the most part, just and fair rulers. So good were they that nobody had anything bad to say about them, and tales were told of their heroism and generosity. But as they say, it is t ... [more]
The long shadow of Leap Castle in County Offaly stretches across many centuries, and from its dark depths echo tales of terror, murder and the dread hand of the supernatural reaching from beyond the grave! The land upon which the O'Bannon clan built Leap Castle in the thirteenth century was not unoccupied – in fact, it had been used by ... [more]
Once upon a time in Tyrone there were two little children, the son and daughter of parents who had died when they were little. They missed their parents very much, but they were raised by a guardian who was a fanatical atheist, and was determined to convert the children to his beliefs. But they would have none of it, and so they made a childhood ... [more]
Every year around Halloween, people carve pumpkins or turnips into faces and put candles inside them, but not many know that this custom came from Ireland originally, or the story behind it! They say there was a blacksmith many years gone who was fond of his drink, and a mean drunk he was too, and tight with it. Not many friends did stingy Jack ... [more]
There was a famous beauty who lived in Belvelly castle overlooking Cork Harbour in the seventeenth century, and word of her ethereal comeliness spread far and wide. It reached the ears of a local lord by the name of Clon Rockenby, and he declared he must have her for his wife. Her name was Lady Margaret Hodnett, and although she was quite fond o ... [more]
The Redmonds were a comfortably well off family living in Court street in Enniscorthy back in 1910, and they supplemented their income by renting out rooms in their house to lodgers. However, their quiet life was soon to be interrupted by a sinister guest they hadn't invited in! In July of that year they had rented out the room above the kit ... [more]
It was the year 1280 in Kyteler's House in Kilkenny that Dame Alice Kyteler was born to a family of good prospects, a family of Flemish merchants who had settled in Kilkenny. When she grew up, Alice married William Outlawe, a wealthy merchant and moneylender, by whom she had a son. Then she married to her second husband, Adam le Blund of Callan ... [more]
One of the oldest legends in Ireland is that of the Fetch, the ghost of the living, which some say comes down from the ancient Irish word for seer or prophet, fáith. It is a double-spirit, one which takes on the identical appearance of someone as an omen of their impending death, if seen in the evening, or as a promise of good fortune if see ... [more]
They do say Irish people are fond of a good chat, the gift of the gab as it's called, but it seems even Irish ghosts are likewise inclined, as the strange tale of Corney the phantom reveals! Many years ago in Dublin city, a young family moved into a fine residence in the heart of Dublin city. Well-to-do and respectable, they made their new h ... [more]
In the south of the country, from Cork to Waterford, parents often scold wilful children with the warning – behave or Petticoat Loose will get you! And a wise child will do as they are told, for there are few more chilling tales than those of Petticoat Loose. Patrick Flynn's wife was in her labour pains near Ballingeary on a cold night ... [more]
High on a windswept slope in the Wicklow mountains near the summit of Mount Pelier, with a commanding view overlooking Dublin city, lies the burnt and blackened shell of a sinister old hunting lodge, now called the Hellfire Club, and well named it was too! For it was home to the Irish branch of that selfsame society, notorious for drunken debaucher ... [more]
William Phibbs was a well-to-do landlord of the English nobility who decided to develop his considerable estates in Ireland, building a house for himself overlooking the beautiful Ballisodare Bay in Sligo back in 1798. It would be a fine place to enjoy the sunset over Atlantic waters, he decided, and his son used it so. His grandson, also named Wil ... [more]
The old house in Coonen is much spoken of even today, its dark legend stretching back into the mists of time. Some say it is a ghost living there, others say a devil, but rumours go back further into the darkness of elder years, to the old gods of Ireland and the dark rites that were celebrated in their name. The house in Cooneen first entered t ... [more]
The headless horseman is a very ancient tale of Ireland, stretching back to the days before Christ came with St Patrick, when a dark king used to sacrifice people to old black one-eye, Crom Cruach, by decapitation. That very same Crom Dubh, the worm god, who consumed the Druid Prince Cesard in green bubbling acid at the battle of Moy Tura after his ... [more]