Friday, June 7, 2013

Dying to Go: Ballyboley Forest

I love Ireland. To me it is the most perfect country, steeped in mythology and folklore, with a wonderful climate (rain!) and beautiful music. I hope to live there one day, and if I ever do, I'll definitely do my fair share of ghost hunting! Among the numerous haunted sites of Ireland, I'm particularly fascinated by Ballyboley Forest. 

Located in Northern Ireland, legend has it that Ballyboley was once an important site for the Druids, and stone formations as well as circular trenches are scattered throughout the forest. It is part of an open space park in modern day, although many locals won't go near the trees, and those who do are very wary of leaving the path. This is probably because Ballyboley has a nasty history of apparitions and disappearances. During the 15th, 16th and 17th century, as many as thirty people went missing around the area. Shadowy figures have been reported wandering through the trees in both human and animal form, and strange noises are often heard from the forest after nightfall. 
In 1994, a couple was walking through the woods and they started hearing screaming nearby. A moment later they saw a large shadowy cloud materialize in front of them, and quickly left the forest. In 1997, two men were walking through the woods when they heard a loud flapping noise. Thinking nothing of it, they continued along the path only to hear moaning noises like a woman in distress. Convinced that someone was in trouble, the men headed off the path in the direction the noises were coming from to find no one. Suddenly, they realized that several trees around them were smeared with blood. Screaming and crying began around them as soon as they noticed the trees, and the two men fled in terror. As they were running, one glanced behind him to find four figures cloaked in tattered brown robes standing amidst the trees.
In addition to the trails and paths that the Park Service has constructed through Ballyboley Forest, there are supposedly natural footpaths through the trees that stay open and clear with no maintenance work from Park Rangers. They are wider than deer paths, and Park Rangers sometimes return to their construction of official paths to find fallen trees blocking the way and several natural footpaths leading off of the main road in all different directions. Ballyboley is largely believed to contain a doorway to the Celtic "Otherworld" and everyone who ventures into the trees reports a feeling of "restlessness" and "being watched." 
I love love LOVE Irish Mythology! The Megaliths fascinate me too, so much to the point that I watched this terrible British miniseries based around them:
Extremely cheesy, Extremely epic. :D

Song of the Day:

Only fitting. :D


  1. I love Ireland, too! I was in County Clare back in 2005, and I'd go back again in a heartbeat. SO beautiful, and I felt very much at home there. Thanks for reminding me... :-)

    1. Hi,
      I live near Ballyboley forest. Great atmosphere and can get kinda spooky. Well worth a visit.

  2. I live in the area and have never heard anything about this.... It seems like a fake story since this forest is of exotic conifers so it wouldnt have existed in the 15th and 16th centuries since the practice of planting exotic forests hadn't yet begun. Druids wouldnt have known these trees since they are not native, there would have been no mention of them in the brehon laws. Those big rocks you see there may be left over boulders that were used to create the damn that was build around 100 years ago.
    There is a small woodland down near the bottom of ballyboley and I heard my granny talking about it... It seems more likely as a place of druid activity as it contains native trees that would were sacred to the Irish. I'll ask my granny as her family are from ballyboley town land. Drop some more information off here.