Monday, 26 December 2016

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE OWNER OF LOFTUS HALL, AIDAN QUIGLEY!!!

For the past three months one of the questions I get asked constantly is 'What is with your obsession with Loftus Hall' everyday ..and I'm not kidding I'm guaranteed to be asked about Loftus at least once and to be fair with the amount of times I mention it there's no shock I'm asked that much and hey! there are worse things to talk about ey ;)
 Believe it or not last week I spent yet another night locked inside Ireland's most haunted house for my second paranormal investigation (you can read about my first one here) and was asked by one of my readers to write about the second one and of course being the obliging soul that I am decided that of course I would but this one would be very different as I got to sit down with the owner of Loftus Hall, Aidan Quigley and find out the real story behind this incredible place just for you.
If you don't know the story behind Loftus Hall it's something I've spoken about before but if you want to find out in depth you can do so here  but basically in my simple terms the legend of Loftus is that one night a storm stuck on the hook and a boat carrying one man crashed onto the shore. The man on board the ship made his way to the only place where he could find lights which was of course Loftus Hall. The dark stranger was allowed to stay when he got very familiar with the family in particular the daughter Anne Tottenham, one night the family and the stranger played a game of cards and when Anne bent down to pick up a card she realised the stranger had hooved feet and with the anger that he'd been discovered he shot up through the roof in a ball of fire ... The hole still remains in the roof to this day.
The story itself is enough to make you second think even stepping into the house but when you're in there it's unbelievable. I've had a weird admiration with Lady Anne since I first heard about her so one thing I always love is going into the house she once lived in..it's surreal!!
I fist came across the owner Aidan Quigley during my first lock down in October and was amazed by how passionate and genuine he was. I don't know why but I always imagined the owner of Loftus Hall to be very up himself and just there to make money but mark my words that is most certainly not the case. Before you start a lock down you get a tour of the house run by Aidan himself and the knowledge he has of not only the house but the area in general is amazing especially if you're someone like me who loves history. Any question you have Aidan can answer it and I couldn't believe my luck when I realised I had the chance to chat to someone as inspirational as Aidan and it was an experience in itself believe you and me.

The house was purchased in 2011 after being neglected for many years but it wasn't always going to be open the way you and me know it today as Aidan and his brother didn't actually know themselves what was going to happen,
''There was no original plan to open up, the idea was to mothball the house until there was a proper plan but from the minute we took possession of the house we realised that the roof needed a lot of work and that kick started the whole process a lot earlier than I would have anticipated, which did end up being a good thing.''

 If you were to go on and own Ireland's most haunted house would you be a believer or a septic? Me personally? the more I get into paranormal I'm becoming more sceptical but for aidan it's been that way since the beginning, but there are things he just can't explain and being a local man he understands the importance for the house..
''I grew up only a short distance from here, and where I'm originally from you can see the lighthouse from my house, so Loftus Hall was a huge part of my culture growing up. 
I was a big time sceptic when I was taking over the house I didn't really have any belief. It wasn't something that ever came across my radar but it's then you see how much fear and respect locals have for the house'' 

For a young person living on the Hook I can only imagine the fear of God when you heard the legend behind the house, imaging living within walking distance from a place the Devil once slept. Now that being said I do
live near a person who I would consider to have devil like tendencies but all jokes aside it must have been freaky as feck..
''I was eight the first time I was in Loftus Hall and I remember going into the loo and thinking that the devil could be in there you were always conscious of it, almost too young to understand it but were always afraid of it. Then I moved away and lived in Carlow and Dublin so you sort of remove yourself away from it but I know people who stayed around here all their lives and they've still retained their fear and would not step foot in this house, or even up the drive.'' 

I feel like everyone who goes into Loftus Hall has their own experience and mine are generally good ones expect on this specific lockdown on the middle floor, I can't really explain it but it's as if a man was leaning on me and trying to push me out of the way, the freakiest part?? I could see this shadow and in the pitch black room. It scared me so much I literally had to close my eyes for the rest of the investigation and from chatting to other visitors and even Anne who works in Loftus Hall everyone has their own little experiences that has scared them,
'' I personally haven't had an experience that's terrified me, but when I lived here for six months there has been some unsettling, weird things happening and not things that you can ask people 'do you know what this is like' because it's not like anything you know. It's not like you can see anything it's more the feeling. 
 That's what we say to people when they go into the house, be aware of what can be around you but I wouldn't have a fear of it now I don't think there's anything to be afraid of I just have more a curiosity for it'' 

The room that freaks me out but at the same time brings me peace is weirdly the Tapestry room which would have been the room in which Lady Anne was locked away and her dead infants body buried in the wall and I don't know if it's because I feel close to Lady Anne anyway but this room always stops me in my tracks. It's my favourite room but for Aidan it's not exactly a room that gets him, and with a background in farming and building it's no shock. ''The place I love the most is the roof I remember sitting up on that roof in the first summer and it was all just sinking in, I was used to working in big cities but I was sitting up here 50 feet above everything just letting it all sink in''  

I grew up watching the likes of 'Most Haunted' which I hated with a passion, no joke growing up ghosts and paranormal scared the life out of me but if you watch shows like that then you're guaranteed to have seen or at least know of the American show Ghost Adventurers and they were actually the first team ever allowed into the house,
 ''I had no clue what a paranormal investigation was until three years ago and it was one of the first things that I was approached about, it was only then we realised what we were dealing with in terms of the house, the legends and the history and when the approach was made and we looked into them we decided to go ahead. 
I t was great, the last night they were here Zac got an awful land altogether and had to be taken there. 
It was like Hollywood on the hook!! 
 This year was huge for Loftus with it being the 666th anniversary but with the Halloween events, a music festival, lock downs, daily tours, restoring the gardens  and even a million and a half euro movie after been shot in the house what's left you might ask??!!  
''In 2017 we're going to take a rest, we crammed so much into last year that this year that we're going to sit back and smell the roses.
 What's Loftus Hall going to be in five years times, or ten years time. It's got a cult status and you can't go tempering with that now, what it has is that moment in time, it's got that feeling that you wont get in many places.''

The older I get the more I realise I know nothing, you'd be a gobshite to come in there and stand on them stairs and tell people you know everything and that's how you know people are spoofers, when they claim to know everything. You meet lovely people and of course some pain in the arses. 
Its an old building on the peninsula i believe it's full of stories and f you come in here with a good imagination you can go to any era. 
-Aidan Quigley

And there you have it, the most interesting night of my life in Loftus Hall. This is a post I could have continued to write about for pages and pages but I decided to wind it up, as much as I'd love to talk you through every second I had in Loftus I want you to go out and have your own experiences and not have mine in the back of your head. It's your own story and like Aidan said once you go in with an open mind you're going to come out with a story to tell.
 Huge thanks again to Anne and Aidan for inviting me back and giving me your time. I've had the time of my life in Loftus and roll on Janurary when I'm back again!! 
Of course if you want to find out more on Loftus Hall you can check out their Facebook page. 

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