In EventsFamily

The Isle of Man is rich in history… and steeped in legend. Stories from the great beyond are abundant and, with Hop Tu Naa just around the corner, we couldn’t think of a better time of year to tell them!

We’d recommend reading this with the lights on…

Seat B14 at the Gaiety Theatre

Renowned architect, Frank Matcham designed the beautiful Gaiety Theatre which first opened its doors in the year 1900. Though renovated since, the ghosts of this theatre remain true to their roots.

Yes, ghosts… with an ‘s’!

There is the lady in black who lingers in the hallways, walking through walls (you know, like you do). Then there’s the man in grey who likes to sit in the boxes, smoking a big fat cigar during rehearsals.

Missed cue or a dropped prop? Not on the watch of the ‘helping hands’. These mysterious beings are never seen - but many performers and stagehands report being aided by a pair of apparitional hands ensuring the shows go on without a hitch.

Perhaps the most famous of the Gaiety ghosts is the lady in seat B14. Said to have lost her husband in the war, the lady in seat B14 looks more like a friendly grandma than an otherworldly being - until she disappears. She still comes to the Gaiety to take in her favourite shows and seat B14 is often left unoccupied in case she fancies an evening at the theatre.
© Lovely Greens

Castle Mona

Castle Mona was built for the fourth Duke of Athol and completed in 1804. The Castle was crafted into a hotel in 1831 and remained as such until 2006. That’s a lot of years for ghosts to take up residence!

There’s a lady in a green dress that used to roam about the Dickens Bar within the castle. There are many sightings of this woman, but most unsettling? No one knows who she is.

As with any hotel, you might have complaints about noisy guests - some of Castle Mona’s most troublesome guests are undead!

Room 17 is haunted by a grumpy old man. He is harmless, albeit a bit naughty! Room attendants and guests alike have been locked in this room when they’ve left their key in the door.

Then there’s Room 212 which brings us visions of ‘The Shining’. This room is haunted by two little girls. This pair of very active apparitions was seen by many guests - often at the foot of their bed in the middle of the night!

Castle Mona has sat empty since 2006, but has been recently purchased at auction. What will become of the Castle? And, what will become of its apparitional residents?

© iMusuem

The Witch Cries at Slieau Whallian Hill

What’s an article about hauntings without a few witches?

In centuries past, women charged with witchcraft were brought to Slieau Whallian Hill in St. John’s to decide their guilt. They were taken up to the top of the mountain and sealed inside a wooden barrel pierced with iron spikes. The barrels were then rolled to the foot of the hill. Women who died were proclaimed innocent. Women who survived were deemed witches and burned at the stake.

Some ‘Lesser witches’ were condemned to live out the rest of their days on the then desolate hillside. To this day, people report hearing ‘witch’s cries’ from all around Slieau Whallian.

Peel Castle's Moddey Dhoo

Soldiers and guards have long been aware of the Moddey Dhoo, a large black apparition in the shape of a dog who strolled the lands of Peel Castle. Soldiers who needed to lock up the castle would always travel in pairs to safeguard against this black dog.

One night, in 1666, a soldier emboldened by liquor made the trip on his lonesome. What should have been a task of no longer than three minutes took over an hour. Finally, the drunken soldier’s screams were heard at the door. The other soldiers sat in terror of the Moddey Dhoo - as they knew it was the fearsome ghost dog tormenting their colleague.

After a few minutes, the door burst open and the lone soldier fell in. His clothes were tattered and blood stained - much like the rest of his skin. He refused to say a single word. The bruised soldier sat in front of the fire, mesmerised by the crackling of its flame.

He sat in front of the fire, tormented, for three days. On the third day, he fell dead - right off the chair.

Some say, the Moddey Dhoo still patrols Peel and the grounds of the castle.

© Loneanimator

The Icy Hands of Castle Street

The oldest street in the island is ‘Castle Street’ located in Peel. Where there is history, there often follows stories from the great beyond.

People walking down the street have reported encountering ice-cold hands reaching out to them, fondling their way up to their necks.

These icy hands are said to belong to a pair of ill-behaved school children who still wander the streets and various apartments, chilling people to the bone (and scaring them to their core). 

© Manx Scenes Photography

Castle Rushen's Many Ladies

Castle Rushen, located in the ancient capital of Castletown is one of the best kept medieval castles in the British Isles, much to the delight of its other-worldly occupants.

Two women are said to roam its grounds. A woman in black likes to head out of the castle on wet, stormy nights - hoping to keep incognito, perhaps? She forgets to lock the door behind her when she returns, giving much evidence to her existence.  In the 1960s, three boys were so terrified of the sight of the woman in black that they signed a sworn affidavit to the museum’s curator testifying to her existence.

The Lady in White is also a figure at Castle Rushen. She is often seen in the dungeons and the battlements. She was executed at the Castle for the murder of her child. She has been seen searching the grounds for the child she lost.

The castle is a prime example of apparitional activity. Newly installed lighting sporadically goes on and off; heavy doors swing open without cause; chains rattle in empty rooms… the echoes of the past can still be felt at Castle Rushen.

The Isle of Man is a nation shrouded in mystery - enveloped by a deep history. Why not give yourself a good scare this Hop Tu Naa and take part one of the Isle of Man’s Ghost Tours! These guided tours will fill your desire for spine chilling stories and histories of the haunted past.

Happy Hop Tu Naa!

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