“Belvelly Castle sits prominently on the shore of Great Island in Cork Harbour. It is said that in the seventeenth century Margaret Hodnett lived there. Mirrors were a status symbol with the wealthy at that time and Margaret was known for her love of these to remind her of her renowned beauty. She had an on-off relationship with a local lord called Clon Rockenby who asked for her hand in marriage many times but was refused.
“Eventually, Rockenby decided that the humiliation was enough and raised a small army and went to the castle to take her by force. He thought the Hodnetts, used to a luxurious life, would not withstand a siege.
“However, they surprised him by holding out for a full year before surrendering. When he entered the castle Rockenby was shocked to see the state of Margaret, skeletal and starved, a shadow of her former self, her beauty gone. Out of rage, Rockenby smashed her favourite mirror to pieces, as he did so one of the Hodnetts killed him with a sword.
“After these events Margaret descended into insanity, she was said to have sought out mirrors constantly to check if her beauty had returned. It never did. She died in old age at the castle. Her troubled ghost appears as a lady in white, sometimes with a veiled face and sometimes with no face at all. Those who have seen her say that she looks at a spot on the wall, then rubs it as if looking at her reflection.
“Apparently, one stone on the castle’s wall has been rubbed smooth over the years, perhaps the spot where her mirror used to hang. Belvelly has largely been unoccupied since the nineteenth century but is currently being renovated.”
I recently returned from a trip to my favourite city, San Francisco. I particularly love the hippy neighborhood the Haight. I like to spend time there with the spirits of Janis Joplin, Jerry Garcia and Jimi Hendrix. I was interested to then see this video about hotels haunted by celebrity ghosts, among them the hotel in Los Angeles where Joplin lost her life to a drug overdose.
Peggy Cove in Nova Scotia, Canada, is home to a grieving ghost:
“The site of the famous Peggy’s Point Lighthouse in Nova Scotia is said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman who took her own life in 1800. According to legend, the woman—whose name was Margaret—was the survivor of a shipwreck that killed her children, and, in her grief, would often wander the rocks at the edge of the sea.
“One day her husband, in an attempt to cheer her up, was dancing on the rocks, slipped, and suffered a fatal head wound. Shortly after his death, she took her own life by jumping into the sea at the spot where he died. Today, there are reports of a mysterious lady in blue who looks poised to jump into the sea. When someone tries to help, she disappears.”
“It might seem odd that Buddhist temples in Japan house the occasional stray mummified demon (oni), but then again it probably makes sense to keep them off the streets and under the watchful eye of a priest.
[A] mysterious demon mummy can be found at Daijōin temple in the town of Usa (Oita prefecture).
The mummy is said to have once been the treasured heirloom of a noble family. But after suffering some sort of misfortune, the family was forced to get rid of it.
The demon mummy changed owners several times before ending up in the hands of a Daijōin temple parishioner in 1925. After the parishioner fell extremely ill, the mummy was suspected of being cursed.
The parishioner quickly recovered from his illness after the mummy was placed in the care of the temple. It has remained there ever since. Today the enshrined demon mummy of Daijōin temple is revered as a sacred object.
A much smaller mummy — said to be that of a baby demon — was once in the possession of Rakanji Temple at Yabakei (Oita prefecture).
Unfortunately, it was destroyed in a fire in 1943.”