Leap Castle has been shrouded in mystery and intrigue for hundreds of years, and the exact nature of the occurrences highly suspect. However, an Elemental force as the ‘prime suspect,’ seems to be the most widely accepted possibility, although numerous other theories also been circulated over the years. It is purported as the most likely source for the Elemental’s presence today is Mildred Dill Darby. Mildred had married Jonathon Charles Darby, who had inherited Leap Castle after his grandfather William Henry Darby died in 1880 and he was the only surviving heir. Mildred was thought to have been drawn Wicca (a  nature-oriented practice derived from pre-Christian religions), and as a novice had started dabbling with ancient Wiccan spells, designed to summon the earth spirits, through activities focused on séances and automatic writing. It is thought that her inexperience with the occult, she may have inadvertently awakened, or summoned, an Elemental force. And since the horrific discovery of the Oubliette had not yet occurred. As the oubliette within the castle’s walls was not known to exist until the early 1900s, when stumbled across by a group of workmen restoring a section of the internal castle walls. Carting out several cartloads of human remains (bones that had piled at the bottom of the shaft). It then suddenly became obvious that Mary Darby may had been responsible by the release of emotional energy, possibly linked to spirits trapped in the Oubliette by the Elemental Entity, enough to wake up the dormant spirit. This excerpt is believed to be taken from Mildred Darby’s journal, of her terrifying encounter with the Elemental. “Suddenly, two hands were laid on my shoulders. I turned round sharply and saw, as clearly as I see you now–a gray 'Thing', standing a couple of feet from me, with it's bent arms raised as if it were cursing me. I cannot describe in words how utterly awful the 'Thing' was, it's very indefinableness rendering the horrible shadow more gruesome. Human in shape, a little shorter than I am, I could just make out the shape of big black holes like great eyes and sharp features, but the whole figure-head, face, hands and all was gray–unclean, blueish gray, something of the color and appearance of common cotton wool. But, oh! so sinister, repulsive and devilish. My friends who are clever about occult things say it is what they call an ‘Elemental.’ The thing was about the size of a sheep, thin, gaunt and shadowy in parts. It's face was human, or to be more accurate, inhuman, in it's vileness, with large holes of blackness for eyes, loose slobbery lips, and a thick saliva-dripping jaw, sloping back suddenly into its neck! Nose it had none, only spreading, cancerous cavities, the whole face being a uniform tint of gray. This too, was the color of the dark coarse hair covering its head, neck and body. It's forearms were thickly coated with the same hair, so were its paws, large, loose and hand-shaped; and it sat on it's hind legs, one hand or paw was raised, and a claw-like finger was extended ready to scratch the paint.  It's lusterless eyes, which seemed half decomposed, and looked incredibly foul, stared into mine, and the horrible smell which had before offended my nostrils, only a hundred times intensified, came up to my face, filling me with a deadly nausea. I noticed the lower half of the creature was indefinite and seemed semi-transparent-at least, I could see the framework of the door that led into the gallery through its body.” Click the rose to read an excerpt sent by Mildred Darby to her friend Sydney Carroll (as across reference to her diary.) Click the rose to read the account of a television cameraman, describing his encounter with the Elemental after the unfortunate experience to have been attacked during the TV investigation. 18th June 2002. The content of this website is the copyright of World Nexus Publications © 2008-2011
The O’Bannon’s were subject to the ruling O’Carroll clan. It is recorded in the Annals of the Four Masters that in the early sixteenth century the Earl of Kildare, Gerald Fitzgerald attempted to seize the castle but was beaten back by the O’Carroll’s. Around the same time a fierce and bitter battle for succession ensued amongst the O’Carroll’s which turned them against one another. One brother murdered another, who was a priest, in what has since become known as the ‘Bloody Chapel’ while he was conducting a ceremony. Another source of evil which may have contributed to the present existence of spirits was discovered in the late nineteenth century. It was an oubliette, a dungeon that is only accessible from a high one square meter hatch in the ceiling, that had spikes placed at the bottom of the shaft from which prisoners were flung onto. If they were not killed instantly they were left gored upon the spikes, until dead from their wounds, but not before suffering from dehydration. It took several workers several days, over three cartloads to carry out all the human bones still at the bottom of the shaft. Many other bones had been neatly stacked against the outer walls of the dungeon. It is because of this bloody history, that the castle had gained the reputation of being one of the most haunted locations in Ireland, as well as Europe. The castle was eventually gutted by a fire of unknown origin and boarded up by the locals living in the vicinity, who then completely avoided going anywhere near the castle. In 1659, the castle passed into the ownership of the Darby family, of which many bearing the Darby name, became the High Sheriff’s of King’s County (present day, County Offaly). In the late 1800s, Mildred Darby had become involved with the occult and believed responsible for releasing one of the most vile, evil and disturbing of spirits, thought to be an elemental. It has been reported that trespassers have been kept at bay at the castle, by an apparition of a small hunched figure seen lurking about the chapel and dungeon. Often accompanied by the stench of rotten flesh and of sulphur, it has sent many running from the premises. The castle was sold in the 1970s to an Australian, Sean Ryan, who attempted to have it exorcised, with no success. Although the exorcist insists the spirit is no longer be malevolent. As Sean has since had several suspicious incidents occur since then, and long after he the castle restoration work had begun, and is not entirely convinced.