Love Haunted Carlow

Sequel to the prequel

I arrived at the grounds as it grew dark, I could see the rays of the setting sun creeping up through the clouds. It was utterly spooky, almost as though Duckett’s Grove was setting the scene for the evening that was.
As I walked up the driveway I was greeted by two enormous cast iron gates. I had to use my phone as torch (as
standard I forgot to bring the required ‘tool’) I confidently pushed the gate’ “creeeeeeeek’…
I was greeted by colourful lights strung atop the walls and buildings, dimly lighting the way to the reception desk. There was a sense of romance despite the looming notion that I was knowingly going on a ghost hunt.
Once signed in and given my lanyard I totted off to find the rest of my group. There were 3 groups of about 8. I was in group B.

It begins

Josie led us by flashlight through the archway of the walled gardens to where our first experiment would take place. Through squinted eyes I could make out a table placed in the middle of the lawn, it had a glass on it.
This technique for communicating with the spirit world is called ‘glass tipping’.
Four of us stood around the table, and placed one finger each lightly on the glass. We established a person for the answer ‘yes’ and another for ‘no’. We then began moving the glass in a soft circular motion around the table to create an energy flow. Josie encouraged us to introduce ourselves and to invite any spirits that were present, to let us know they were there.
Once I’d had a go at asking some questions, I stood back to let someone else in on the action.  I thought ‘I’ll take some pictures’, maybe even if I’m ‘lucky’, catch a spirit on camera!
Lo and behold, I couldn’t get the camera to work! My negligence perhaps? Or some serious, straight up paranormal activity!?
Once the session had finished, we all headed over to the tea rooms to discuss our experiences and warm up. The tea and biscuits were spot on, thanks Madeleine!

 Experiment Two

The second experiment took us to the basement of the house.
We were separated into two groups of four, investigating two different rooms.
The first room I went into had two chairs, back to back, facing the walls. Two of us sat in the chairs, whilst the other two observed us by torch light.
We were to record on paper what we were experiencing. Taking note of how we felt physically, mentally, emotionally and any strange thoughts we might be having.
The results were quite uncanny! Our team leaders seemed really pleased, as the information we were providing corresponded with other teams that had experimented in these places before us.

Experiment Three

The third experiment, took us to another room in the basement.
Four of us stood in a ’square circle’ around two recording devices. An AVP (Audible Voice Phenomena) which records sounds/voices as the natural ear hears. And an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) which records sounds that the natural ear may not hear but will be recognised when playing the recording back.
It was a small room, with a very large opening that may have been a window of some description. There was a slither of light coming from the night sky, it was essentially pitch black. I still couldn’t take pictures.
This was when things got weird for me!
As we were standing in position, asking anyone present to make contact, I became very uncomfortable. We were certain that something ominous was in that room with us.
Not long into the session I started to feel ill to my stomach and needed to sit down! I was spooked.
Once we’d wrapped up the basement, we headed back to the tea rooms for toasties and tea.


After some excited and shaken discussion with the groups, and from my own experiences, I came to the conclusion that Duckett’s Grove is shrouded in mystery and the paranormal, it was my time to high tail it out of there!
The event staff of truth seekers paranormal were truly great. They were knowledgable, enthusiastic and they weren’t afraid of no ghosts! In fact everyone that got involved in the event were brave, cooperative and respectful which led to a smoothly run, really enjoyable event.
I’d definitely meet up with them again for another hunt.
A special thanks to Madeleine and her girls in the tea rooms for keeping our energy and spirits high, providing delicious food and warming bevy’s, much needed on a the long cold night that it was!
Well thats my story… Go check it out yourselves if you’re brave enough!
Editors note:
Huge thanks to Josie Ronan for sharing her pictures with us.
Truth seekers Paranormal raised €1,070 for Ducketts Grove from this event!! sponsored the bloggers attendance at this event.

We’re going on a ghost hunt…….

We asked Katerina Dillon to take part in the Ducketts Grove Ghost hunt, Saturday the 30th of September. She is currently writing about her experience but here is what she had to say before she went in.

Before the hunt.

“I’ve always been the adventurous type, I’ve always enjoyed a scaring the crap out of myself and others! A favourite past time of mine being, jumping out and yelling ‘BOO’ at people (no one in particular) when they’re exiting toilets and the likes!
Take me to a carnival and I’m heading straight to the ‘house of horrors’ or the terribly predictable ‘ghost train’, but never by myself lol.
I remember as a child, seeing a ghost for the first time. It was a young girl. I saw her sitting on end of the couch in the old flat I grew up in in London. Conveniently it was halloween, but much to my delight, there were other witnesses, so I knew, even as a 6 year old child that I wasn’t going mad!
I’ve had many other experiences, similar to my first, so I guess I have some sort of susceptibility or sixth sense to these energies, or whatever it is you want to call them. To be honest I’m not entirely sure of what my opinion is on what ghosts are or how a poltergeist moves physical objects, but I do know my curiosity is always firing to experience more of the paranormal and the unknown!
In saying that, when Jacinta at asked me to go and partake in ‘The worlds largest ghost hunt’ at Duckett’s Grove (on her behalf because she’s a scaredy cat) I jumped at the chance!
I’ve done some research on the place and its history, I’m sure there’s plenty of scares to be had between the banshee and the farmers daughter alone!
The closest I’ve come to an organised ghost hunt is reenacting ghost busters or a taking a tour around Loftus Hall, so it’s pretty safe to say I’m kinda bricking it lol!
Lets hope that curiosity doesn’t actually kill the Kat!!”

SEPTEMBER – & the Winner is…lets celebrate our successes.

Hi Everyone and welcome back to this weeks column. What a week it’s been for Carlow, I have rarely seen anything like the hysteria surrounding the win by the Carlow Camogie players in Croke Park, talk about making an entire county beam with pride! It is so rare that we get to Croke Park so to take home an All Ireland title was just super special for everyone. A massive well done to everyone involved with the Carlow team, I am sure you are all still on cloud nine and deservedly so, thanks for giving us all something to smile about.

In the meantime pictures have been flying in for our #LoveCarlow competition with our first winner being a very topical picture. It was very difficult to choose which picture was most deserving of the title as there were so many fantastic snaps. In the end we simply had to award the prize to the image of  the Carlow Camogie team selfie, taken in the dressing room  after their Croke Park win. It was just a fantastic picture which captured the pure elation of our newly crowned All Ireland champions.


It has been a busy week around the town and county not to mention for us in the County Carlow Chamber where we have been gripped by award fever. The Carlow Chamber Business Awards is an annual awards ceremony designed to celebrate & promote Carlow Businesses.  It is so important to recognise positivity in every aspect of our county not least the local businesses who contribute to our towns in so many ways including employment, sponsorship of local clubs and charities, rates to provide services for everyone in the county and this is why our annual Chamber Business Awards are such a highlight in our calendar. This year sees the introduction of a new category for Carlow’s Best Presented Shopfronts/Premises. Local business owners have a key role to play in helping to ensure that our towns look attractive by keeping their premises well maintained and painted. Throughout our county many business owners put huge effort into how their shopfronts & business premises look and this award category is designed to acknowledge all of that hard work and effort.

There will be a separate award for three areas across the county including

(1) Carlow Town, (2) Muine Bheag/South Carlow and (3) Tullow/North Carlow. Another key award this year is the Spirit of Carlow Award in association with the Nationalist. This award is designed to recognise a person or organisation who are making a positive difference within our community and deserve to be recognised for their contribution. Nominations are now in, with judging underway & we wish the best of luck to everyone who has been shortlisted and we look forward to a very uplifting and positive evening an the end of the month when winners will be announced in the Visual theatre.






AUGUST 2016 – What is Love Carlow & what’s the Loving Local blog about?

Love Carlow is an initiative which has been spearheaded by County Carlow Chamber of Commerce in an effort to regenerate Carlow town and get it back on its feet following what has been a difficult time in the country’s economic history. We believe that fundamentally we have a fantastic town and county and we have a lot to be proud of. We also believe that we are sometimes not so good at shouting about all the wonderful things we do have on offer so the Love Carlow initiative and this Loving Local blog is about changing the conversation about our town and county.  Our social media platforms are ready to rock and to celebrate all that there is to Love about Carlow.

You can now find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Each month this column will aim to shine a light on some of the wonderful things that we have sitting on our doorstep. Highlighting businesses, initiatives, groups or anything else that focuses on what makes Carlow a great place to live, work & play.

Our Hidden Gems section, focuses on businesses & Carlow products and/or services that we want all of Carlow and the rest of the world to know about.

Little Locals will give a shout out to things that may be of interest to our younger generations because let’s face it, if the kids are happy so are us parents!!

The 3rd section is our Local Business piece & this celebrates a different business each month, whether it’s new or existing & takes a look at how its playing its part in building Carlow.  We encourage everyone to show our love for local but supporting these businesses we focus on in this blog.

To finish off this blog, I want to give a mention to Hannon’s Centra on the O’Brien Road.  Those of us traveling along this rood will have noticed the new & exciting changes taking place here.   Hannon’s are recently unveiled their fabulous new Centra store concept.   This will be a welcome addition to the many who commute, live & work in the area & we wish them every success with their new venture.

Until next week….keep showing your love for local