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16 October 2014
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The Coonian Ghost

In 1913, Widow Murphy, her son and five daughters, lived in a mountain cottage near Brookborough, Co Fermanagh.

Article by Brian Willis.

Ghosts & Superstition

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Their lives were plagued by a poltergeist that appeared determined to evict them from the house. Many other people witnessed the amazing events that occurred. One such visitor was the MP, Cahir Healy, and another was Father Coyle from Maguiresbridge. Rapping was heard both during the night and day. One source says these rappings were sometimes to the rhythm of tunes. A couple of "its" favourites were "Boyne Water" and "The Soldiers Song".

Empty bed

Mysterious shapes appeared and disappeared and music would waft across the room. Father Coyle described seeing clothes rising and falling on an empty bed as if someone was underneath breathing. Pots and pans would suddenly fly across the kitchen.

Cartoon of moving bedclothes


Eventually the family were forced to flee not just because of the unsettling happenings in their home but also driven out and ostracised by superstitious neighbours. The family took the boat for America but even then, to their horror, the poltergeist continued its terrible deeds in their cabin on board and even followed them to their new home in the United States. Eventually, after many years, its manifestations subsided and the family was able to rest and get on with their lives. It is said that the "Coonian Ghost" is the best-recorded and authenticated ghost in Irish History.

Share a tale or two of your own by filling in the form at the bottom of the page.



Jojo - Aug '08
Hi Folks, I've been fascinated reading your tales of the Cooneen Ghost. I am a paranormal investigator with a team in Northern Ireland. If possible could some one email me the address or directions to the house? I'd appreciate it.


Pete - July '08
Anyone able to give me the exact location of the house. I'm a curious ghost hunter. I don't want to disrupt either the house or the local people. Would just love to visit it.

Enya - June '08
The Coonian Ghost is a prisionar buried under the floor boards. My great aunt was killed by the prisionar who is now the Coonian Ghost.
T he Coonian Ghost falled may people and drove people to move. the coonian ghost also killed the mother of the Morphy family.

Ciara - May '08
It's not scary at all!!!!!!!!!!

Mo - Feb '08
Visited the house last saturday... It's freaky!!! Would love ta go up again at night although I have been warned by ones not ta go near the place!! The way I look at it is - it's not the dead that harm you it's the living!!!

Donna Murray - Dec '07
How do you get to it, I'mm very courious. Has anyone any photos?

Linda - Apr '07
Theres no such thing as a ghost at cooneen iv grew up ther all me life n av been to da house fater dark on me own and wit friends nuffins eva happened us im afraid

Cathal - Apr '07


Jacquí - Apr '07
Not scary at all 2 be honest, we took the toaster 2 weeks ago..... havent seen any bad luck come from it.... but watch this space!!!!ha ha me and a few mates are going camping there 2nite!!! WOOHOO

Janice b - Apr '07
We went up during school during school hours to play a prank on our friend! 2 of our mates wer already up der 2 scare us but the prank was on them as wen we got up we saw the ghost...... oh my god freakkkkkkkkkky shit... WE FOUND THE TOASTER!! AND IT HAD TOAST INIT WITH R NAMES ON IT!!!!!!! N SAID AT TEH BOTTOM ALRYT BABES!!!!

Nial - Apr '07
A few years ago I brought a film crew to Fermanagh to make a short film about the ghost house of Cooneen. As we were about to enter the forest, an elderly man appeared by the roadside and told us no good would ever come from visiting the house. The director thanked him for his advice but we continued on regardless. After about forty minutes we turned back and as we were crossing the narrow ditch by the roadside, the director fell heavily into the ditch. We managed to pull him from the flooded ditch but his leg was badly broken. We called the emergency services but it took nearly an hour for an ambulance to arrive.

As the ambulance crew were dealing with the injured man, I spotted the elderly man watching the proceedings from further up the road. He simply told us that it was an evil place and we should have stayed away.

The director said later he had no recollection of falling and those behind him said it was as if he was pushed. We all had a few stiff drinks that night.

Nuala - Apr '07
I live right beside it..i have went to it plenty of times...i have seen the toaster and playing cards..theres real strange writing on the wall..i dont know wat it means...and you hear real FREAKY noises too...!!i went to it once and had 2 bring me wellies lol...but when you walk up it you feel like your sinking you have 2 walk on 2 banks and the trees like make an arch...i went into it too...i came out the other way and ther was a ole car outside that had been dumped there..well i think..!!FREAKKKYYYYYY..!!!

Jimmy Hughes - Mar '07
Went there on march 20 2007 definite negative energy. had hard time breatheing and pressure on my chest. temp much colder around the house. went into the kitchen took a picture . i just felt bad energy and wanted to leave right away. wouldnt dream of being there after dark .

Sheila New Jersey USA - Mar '07
I heard about the Coonen Ghost as a child in Ireland. My mother said the the family eventually left and went to America and the ghost followed them there, even on the ship it kept them awake at night rapping and banging. allthe other passengers complained of the noise and they were put off at Ellis Island. I remember her saying that the boys were so sleepy during the days that one of them was run down in the streets of New York or Boston.

James Hughes - Mar '07
Visiting from the states visited the hose at 9 am march 20. immeditely felt a pressure on my chest and difficulty breatheing. definite neg energy about the house. took several pictures which are now in for developing. friend that took me there told mehe took his disbelieving brother there at x mas and the brother took a stonefrom the house and has been in the hospital ever since with an ailment they cant find . even the trees around it grow in an unnatural way . i was in it in the morning briefly i would never dream of being in there after dark. i believe it should not be disrespected because whatever is there is negative.

Ash - Feb '07
Was at the ghost house!me and friends scared 4 life!realilygood fun scary though!

Paul - Feb '07

Me and a group of my friends went up to the Cooneen ghost house on Friday the 2nd of February 2007. We went up 2 the the house and walked inside. A few of us signed our names on the wall.. it was real eerie. What was with the toaster on the ground? The cross made of stone added to the fear. The room onthe right I noticed was colder than any other room in the house. I was video recording the house and we were just standing inside the house and we heard a high pitched scream in the forrest. We ran down the forest and I noticed a flickering light. Then as if from nowhere a fire started at the gap. We had to get out as it was blocking us from getting out. We were scared. At first we thought it was some one playing a trick but then we went back up two nights later to see if it was real. When we got to the house we saw a flickering light inside. Three of us walked to the door and we saw a candle burning in the room. Then a fire started in the same pla e as the first night. We ran down the forest and another fire staretd. We got out on the road and there was nobody around anywhere and the fire was blocking the gap and one across the road. Nobody knew we were going up so nobody could of played a trick. Ithink this proves there is still something in the house.

Jean Skitt - Feb '07
Does anyone know of the "Headless Monk" which is supposed to haunt the village of Bawnboy Co Cavan - my Grandfather often told me the story as he was born in Bawnboy and had seen it but as a little girl living in inner Manchester - it frightened me to listen to it - I would give anything to hear him tell it to me now he is dead and gone, God Bless him.

J. McCaffery - Feb '07
I know the story of the house. The boy that had lived there had found the book " the legion of doom". And discoverd how to raise some sort of demon. The book had been taken of him by the local priest, and is still held by the church, or has been destroyed. There is alot more to the house than people know. It should not be visited.

Local - Nov '06
first time i have seen this site, but i was the boyfriend that brought karen to the house (see below at bottom). i first went to the house years ago, and spent ages looking for it, until an old man working in a field asked me what i was doing, i lied and said i was doing a school project on local history and was doing an essay on the cooneen ghost house. He brought me up the road on his tractor and took me into the forest to the house. Despite all the stories here about the house, this is the real story. The family Murphy lived here for a few generations, the son found a book ( dont know where ) but the old farmer said it was found in the forest somewhere, the book was called " The legions of doom " and was supposed to give instructions on how to practice devil worship and other satanic rites, how to contact demons etc. The son started to develop an unhealthy intreast in the above, and was supposed to have tried to raise a demonic spirt in the house, which was when things s!
tarted to go wrong in the house. chairs flung down the small stairs, beds shakeing, and the supposed poccession of the son. the local people know all about what was going on and alot actually seen these things happening. the local priest tried to "clean" the house without success, finally the family went to America with the Million or so other irish at the time, and according to the farmer, the book was taken from the son by the local church/chapel and was locked away in the church vaults and is still there to this day! Fermanagh district Council tried to make the house part of a kind of tourist trail in the area, but the church would not allow this, and supposedly this came from high up in the church. saying that the house is not something that people should be exposed to, and should not be focused on. So thats the story, belive it or not! I have went back, never seen anything, but like everyone else says, it does have an atmosphere .

Charlene - Nov '06
Friends of mine went up early saturday morning at 5am, they said they seen her and it was really freaky, she wouldn't let them up the lane. They are taken me up on tuesday night, i'd love to see what all the fuss is about.

Patrick Garey - Nov '06
My mother related a story handed down by her mother who was a native of County Fermanagh. It was of the Coonien Ghost and a deceased man on the day he was to be interred. She told of the horse drawn hearse and how after the remains were placed in it, the horses could not be made to move on. Those in attendance went back into the deceased house to deliberate the problem and they found the image of the dead man sitting at the dining table. A priest was called and the spirit was confined to a circle and commanded to release the corpse. After this the funeral proceeded as normal. She related that the coonian ghost was commanded to a dog kennel and this was boarded up, and there after maintained by the local people to ensure the spirit could not escape.

Kevin May (Maguiresbridge) - Nov '06
I have been to the house and have seen the ghost on a number of occasions and it looks like someone wearing a big sheet! and it chased me around the forest until I lifted a stick to it one night and chased it off, it wont mess with me again!

Eva - Oct '06
I live near the house...Its lost its fear factor!

James - Sep '06
I almost knocked a woman down with my motorcycle 20 years ago on a narrow road above Brookeborough. She was dressed in 1950's style clothes and just walked across in front of me and into a field with an open gate. I stopped and turned the bike, intending to challenge the woman about her dangerous behaviour but on reaching the gate was confronted with an empty field . The ground rose steeply for perhaps a hundred yards bordered by a thick hedge but of the woman there was no sign. Although it was broad daylight I could feel the chill spread up my back and the hair on the back of my neck rise. I must admit I made a hasty retreat.

Claire - Sep '06
I live really close to the ghost house and have been up there several times. Unfortunately some people disrespect it terribly and my cousin and I have on occasion filled a plastic bag with beer tins and crisp packets. I often walk down the forestry lane beside the house and last night on a walk I heard really strange noises. It was very nearly dark and unbelievably scary. An uncle of mine once spent a night in the house and my grandfather saw the ghost several times.

Jake McManus - Aug '06
I have been in the house with friends and saw a man covered in blue.

Dean - July '06
I went the Cooneen ghost house last night with 2 of my mates...scariest place ever! The cross made of stone on the ground! But what is with the toaster? I know how it got there and why...
Honest to God this is the truth! A friend of my uncles has been there about 10 times and after his last trip there his TV, microwave, kettle and toaster in his house began to break and make noises even when turned off. His mother came to him and said "bring that ghost back to cooneen as it is disturbing the electrics". So he went back to find a toaster and kettle lying on the ground!!! How scared would you be?

Dane - June '06
Hey Jim Creeden,
I was fascinated by your post ( comment ) here on this comment sheet and i was wondering where abouts are you from? and are you saying this about your own home, or is it the cooneen ghost house? I would love to hear more about this type of phenomenon goin on with you, does it reply to you ( Interact with you or anyone else?) what kind of house do you live in etc.. I dont know if you would be reading this again.. But if anyone is, who knows Jim, could you ask him to please contact me on Email - Mhlegacy_manager1 at i am fascinated by his story, and as i am studying for my BITC ( Basic investigators training course in anomalous phenomenon) with MAPID, i would like to hear more from you.

Hope to hear from you soon

Gemma - June '06
I'm beginning to think that these accounts of faeries are just another way to explain poltergeist and general demonic activity in an area. As long as one is strong spiritually and not doing things to draw them into one's abode (e.g. ouija boards), or going into their territories, one is safe. One can claim authority over them through God and send them back to their origins. I know because I've confronted them and have done so.

Pat - May '06
I found it very unsettling and creepy the nearer one got to the house the trees & the algae got worse it looks like something out of a horror film.

Karen Armstrong - Mar 06
Me and my Boyfriend where driving past on Sunday 05th March 06 he wanted to show me this house that he had spoken about before, it was so creepy I couldn't wait to leave! The small walk up to the house through the dark forest set the scene but what I found spooky is the surrounding area of the house, is it all dewy, a strange shade of green and the trees around are dripping of algae, I didn't really look at the house as I didn’t want to go too close after the stories I’d heard nor I didn’t need to after noticing the tree's where so strange looking all spirally and bendy surrounding the house, it looked very out of place considering the landscape surrounding it. A very spooky atmosphere indeed.

Jim Creeden - Jan '06
I have been plagued by 'rappings' for the last few years now! At first I thought kids were banging on the outside of the place we had just bought at that time so I would go out in the middle of night and look to see who did it. As time went on I found it was not kids but ... something else! I thought all was well because I had not heard them in over 1 year, but 2 nights ago it happened again and then again the following night only that time I heard the 'rapping' on the window by the side of my bed. I thought I had almost got used to this sound until the last time when I heard 'it' bang on my window. As soon as the banging stopped I felt pulled into the low sitting window and in fact my hand hit the window while my head tapped into the window sill below.

Cool Boy - Dec '05
I live in Roslea and I am very freaked out

Ned Burke - November '05
I made a video - inside & outside - about ten years ago. We were able to walk up the lane that time, it is all over grown now, I think the forestry workers were using it as a shelter when they were planting the trees. My wife's uncle was married to one of the Murphy's, he went to Boston later on.

Dane - May 05
I f any one knows any ghost stories or really haunted places in fermanagh - cavan - monaghan, that I could investiagte, could you please tell me. Send me an email to:
( note: two underslashes between ghost and boy ) - thanks, Dane

Christine - April '05
Does anyone know where you can get a book on the Cooneen/Coonian ghost. My dad says he had one but lent it to some one and never got it back. We went up on Sunday, its still creepy!!

Lisa - January '05
I have lived in a haunted house but not one thing like this has happened, it was different and it did not follow us.

Sean - November '04
I live just beside it.... it's FREEKY....

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