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16 October 2014
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Ballymena's "Headless Horseman"

I have chosen to write about the 'Headless Horseman' as he is an Irish ghost and is part of Ballymena's history.

Squire O'Hara - The headless Horseman

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Ballymena's "Headless Horseman"

by Sianeen Kelly (P6 St Mary's Primary School, Ballymena)

Headless Horseman
I have chosen to write about the 'Headless Horseman' as he is an Irish ghost and is part of Ballymena's history. The 'Headless Horseman' from Crebilly, near Ballymena is supposed to be an Irish legend, and it is said that one night he had an argument with his girlfriend and went for a ride on his horse. It is said that he lost his head when some jokers frightened his horse, he fell off his horse and its foot fell on his neck and cut it separating it from the rest of his body.

It is said that every Halloween and New Year's Eve at midnight when time freezes he rides by the White Gates, the place where he was killed, in the form of a ghost.

Legend has it that there were four teenagers in a car one night when suddenly they crashed. Only one of them lived and when he looked up he saw an image of the 'Headless Horseman'.

When he recovered from his injuries he told everyone what he had seen that night, nobody believed him. The same thing happened for the next couple of years and everyone thought these people were mental so they sent them to a mental hospital.

Then one night the people went to see if they were telling the truth and to their amazement they saw just what they had heard of - a headless man riding by on his horse.

Do you believe in the 'Headless Horseman' or do you think it's just a myth?

by Ciaran Esler (P6 St Mary's Primary School, Ballymena)

For the your place and mine I will write about the 'Headless Horseman'. I will tell you about his life and some facts about him.

I am going to write about Ballymena as you know the subject I chose is the 'Headless Horseman'. I chose it because I know a lot about him and so does my dad and it is interesting. I could have chose a lot of other things eg Fairhill, Slemish and World War 2.

Headless horseman

Squire O'Hara was coming home and the priest told him off and Squire hit him. Further along there was a black pig crossing the road! The horse reared up on his hind legs and the Squire's head fell off.

So then he was named the 'Headless Horseman'. My Granda said, "My Uncle is the 'Headless Horseman's' butler". So that means he is my great uncle, oh no!

I hoped you liked my story and I hope you did not get bored. I was talking about the pig and that is the devil. So do you believe in my story or is it a myth?

Do you believe Sianeen and Ciaran's story about the 'Headless Horseman' or is it just a tall tale? What other Ballymena myths and legends do you know? Has Ballymena a strong tradition of storytelling?


Read an Article by Dr Robert Simpson on The Ghost of Graigbilly

Jim Kelso believes that the column of the Squire's monument wasn't sheared off by a bolt of lightning in a storm, but was in fact made that way. Read More on Ballymena's Squire O'Hara

Click here to read Mark Telford's memories of the 'Legend of Squire O'Hara.'


You can share your comments and thoughts with others by either posting your remarks directly yourself at the bottom of this page.

St Mary's P6 pupils are obviously proud of where they live. Pick a tower and click on it to read more of their contributions....

Motte and Bailey
and Bailey
Headless Horseman
Ballymena today

Click to return to St Mary's Primary School page..

Your Responses

Christopher Greer - July '08
My Great Grandfather was delivering coal and was going across the tracks when hit by a train his body was found three quarters of a mile away but his head was never found - that's why I believe he is the headless horseman.

PrestburyGirl007 - Mar 07
The headlesss horseman is from prestbury and every year at the time of its death you hear it galloping up and down the road its not from ireland its prestbury in gloucestshire! Cheltenham Where the most popular racecourse is And there are races annually where the queen and other members of the royal family come.
The headless horseman is not from ireland ITS FROM PRESTBURY!

Neil Hanna - Mar '07
I heard that a hoofprint was found on the teenagers car the next day after claiming to have seen the horseman.i'm a past pupil of st mary's.from 1977to '84.inow live in connecticut usa.say hi to liam corey,tell him he taught me well.

Sally Feaver - Jan '07
Is he really your great uncle???? Cool story thought it was awesome! Wondered if you could help me? I am doing the legend of sleepy hollow at school for GCSE and i wondered if you know where I can get a photo of him! thank you so much. Sally

Jim E. Blakes - Dec '06
It was an intruiging story by Ciaran. This shows the side of Irish folklore.

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