Revisiting the Coonian Ghost house


WITH tomorrow being the scariest day of the year, it is only fair to take a look back on one of the best known ghost stories and a part of the folklore of Fermanagh, The Coonian Poltergeist.
Many local people believe that the tale is true, while others are not sure, but we will let you decide for yourself.
In the early 20th Century, in 1913, a widow called Bridget Murphy and her seven children lived in a mountain farmhouse near Brookeborough.
Shortly after Mrs Murphy’s Husband died in a freak accident things started to happen at the house.
The family reported hearing knocking at the door and heavy foot steps in the loft with no explanation. Rapping around the house could be heard to the rhythm of music with The Soldiers’ Song and The Boyne Water said to be in the poltergeist’s repertoire!
The story goes that things gradually began to get worse as plates were thrown across the kitchen and clothes was thrown around the bedrooms and beds lifted from the floor as the children slept.
At this time, the alleged poltergeist activity had got increasingly worse and a form of exorcism was performed in the house by Canon Eugene Coyle.
In the end, the Murphy family had no choice but to abandon their home in Fermanagh for the New World, in 1913.
Travelling to America that same year, it is said that the poltergeist continued to haunt the family, before its activities eventually tailed off some years later.
The house itself – located in isolated mountainland a few miles to the east of Brookeborough – is derelict but still very much intact.
Visitors still call to see for themselves the home of the Coonian Ghost and, all by accounts, it’s a creepy spot – especially in the dead of night.
Although the events occurred many years ago, the story of the Coonian Ghost is told in houses all over the county – and no better time for a good ghost story than Halloween.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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