Ireland’s nature is so beautiful that it sometimes seems to be out of this world. Perhaps that is why the Emerald Isle is said to be a particularly attractive place for aliens. According to Carl Nally, UFO expert and founder of UFO and Paranormal Research Ireland, the country is such a hot spot for alien activity that Irish pilots are in constant danger of colliding with the alien crafts zipping around the skies.
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He says he has met many pilots who have almost crashed with a strange cloud that had solid objects hiding inside them, some of whose encounters have been caught on tape. Nally even believes that the 1968 Tuskar Rock air tragedy, a mysterious accident where the crash of an Aer Lingus plane which killed 61 people, was caused by a collision with a UFO. According to him, the most dangerous areas for pilots are Cork, Roscommon. and Wicklow.
The Vanishing Island Of Ballycotton
In 1878, the people of the small seaside town of Ballycotton received the surprise of a lifetime when a brand new island had suddenly appeared in the ocean. It was apparent that this was neither a whale nor a sea monster, as the people could plainly see the newborn island’s coastline, complete with very real forests and fields. After staring at the mysterious island for a while, a few fishermen took their boats to sea to check out their newest neighbor.
However, before they managed to get too close, the entire large island suddenly vanished in thin air. Strange as this event may seem, these mysterious phantom islands have actually been reported in several coastal areas of Ireland. Ballyheigue Strand, Carrigaholt, and Ballyinalearne Bay have all experienced a similar event, along with certain areas of the neighboring Scotland. Although generally written off as detailed mirages and other optical illusions, there is another intriguing theory.
Old Irish legends tell of a fantastical island of plenty known as Hy Brasil. This legendary island is supposed to be shrouded from the human eyes, only becoming visible once every seven years. The island is supposed to be located somewhere off the western coast of Ireland and several people have reported either visiting the place or witnessing its appearance and disappearance.
John Kavanagh’s pub, commonly known as The Gravediggers, was established in 1833 and is the oldest family pub in Dublin, currently operated by the sixth generation of the Kavanagh family. The pub is located near the large Glasnevin cemetery, and as such, many of its patrons have been gravediggers, body snatchers, and other people who work with the dead for a living.
The pub received its nickname because these grim men had a habit of shoveling dirt against the pub’s wall before entering. This gave the landlord time to pour them a pint as they leaned their shovels on the wall and entered. With traditions like this, one would assume that the pub has a history of violence and the kinds of ghosts that might haunt it are frightening apparitions. This could not be further from the truth. Although the pub does have a resident ghost, it is actually one of the most harmless spirits around.
The specter is a neatly dressed elderly man with a white beard and all it wants is a quiet pint of Guinness in the corner before disappearing. The ghost, thought to be an ancient relative of the Kavanagh family, is apparently a regular at the pub and has been spotted by many a patron. The pub owners encourage offering the ghost a pint if you ever see him.
Corney the Ghost
Most ghosts have great difficulty communicating with the living. In the rare instances where they can do so, they are usually confined to poltergeist activity and speaking through mediums and Ouija boards. Corney, a poltergeist that haunted a household in Dublin in the early 20th century, had no such problems.
He manifested himself by imitating the thumps caused by a crutch that the family’s head was using at the time. After he had announced his presence in this way, he spoke to the family and servants in a booming voice that sounded like it came from inside a barrel. “Corney” was the family’s nickname for him—the ghost accepted it, but pointed out that it was not his true name. Corney soon proved to be a complete nuisance. He continually played practical jokes on the servants, who were deathly afraid of him.
Thinking that he was confined to the coal cellar of the kitchen, they requested new quarters in the highest floor of the house. The second they moved there and were about to go to sleep, the doors were slammed open and they were taunted by Corney, who gleefully informed them he was not confined in any part of the house and could go as he pleased. These tricks would go on and on, and eventually signs of Corney’s true nature started to emerge. He stated that he had been a bad man that had died a bad death and could not tell where he was, metaphysically speaking, because God would get angry.
He was unable to speak when priests visited the house and sometimes had mysterious ghostly visitors who left soot marks behind them. Despite all these hints toward his hellish nature, Corney was eventually accepted as a part of the household, although only temporarily—his cruel pranks and slightly malicious nature were eventually too much for the family and they started to consider moving.
At first, Corney sabotaged their attempts to sell the house by speaking to potential purchasers and driving them away, but the lady of the house—the only person Corney seemed to genuinely respect—convinced him to let them move away. Within half an hour, the house was sold to a wealthy widow and the family was finally free to find a ghost-free home.The story doesn’t tell what happened to the widow, but presumably she wasn’t a big fan of Corney—the house was soon listed as “vacant” again.
Most countries have at least one mythical monster lurking in their waters or forests, and Ireland is no exception. In fact, the whole island is littered with legendary beasts and cryptids, but possibly the most impressive of them all is Dobhar Chu. It’s often thought to be a sort of Irish version of the Loch Ness Monster, but Dobhar Chu is actually almost the polar opposite of Nessie.
Where the latter is a more or less peaceful theoretical Scottish plesiosaur, the former is a bloodthirsty, crocodile-sized beast with an appetite for human flesh. Dobhar Chu is said to look like a combination of a wolfhound and a fish, and in fact, its name translates to “water hound.” It is extremely fast and agile both in and out of water, always ready to attack the unwary.
Dobhar Chu live in small populations and may be migratory, so their hypothetical numbers are unknown. Equally mysterious is their “true” appearance. Although they’re generally reported as ugly, dark, and dangerous fish-monsters, some sources present them as aquatic mammals that look a bit like massive otters. The latter version is supported by the Dobhar Chu’s reputation as “the father of all otters.
”Although Dobhar Chu is clearly a cryptid and its existence is debatable, it is worth noting that attacks and sightings have consistently been reported for centuries, from the earliest written documents dating all the way back to the early 18th century to the most recent ones in 2000. What’s more, some have pointed out that its possible migratory nature could link it to similar lake monsters, such as the one that attacked swimmers in Canada’s Port Dover in 2001 and the famous “Bessie” of Lake Erie in the US.