Back in 1968, a derelict building on the outskirts of Dublin was purchased by Margaret O’Brien and her husband, with the intent of renovating it, and opening it as arts center. Little did they know that it was already inhabited by a ghostly figment of a popular local legend. The couple was busy with other projects during the renovation, and allowed several of the workmen to take up residence there, so that they could complete the work at a good pace, as well as keep an eye on the property as security.
During their stay, they began to report hearing eerie sounds coming off all over the estate, mostly at night. After a while, they got used to hearing them, and wrote them off as wild animals roaming about. Mrs. O’Brien took their complaints in stride, writing them off as the usual foolishness of men left to their own devices. Her attitude lasted until the night she saw for herself what had her workmen so bothered and leery of being out and about at night there.
Here kitty, kitty
Up until this fateful night, the workmen had reported hearing growling late at night, as if something was prowling about just outside the walls of the building. Nothing certain was ever discovered or seen up to this point, until the night Mrs. O’Brien had visited to talk to the lead painter, Tom McAssey about the supposed wild animals. The talks ran late, to no avail, and she simply was not convinced that any animals were loose on the property, because she had not heard a peep the whole time. She decided to stay over, and made sure that every door was locked before retiring.
On her way to her room, she encountered what appeared to be a huge black cat, sitting in the middle of the flagstone hallway. Startled, she made a sound that attracted the creature’s attention, and she described it as one of the most foul and hateful glares she had ever seen on an animal’s face before. This was not a housecat, by no stretch of the imagination, but resembled a panther in form, and something totally alien and intelligent about its presence there. She backed off, and when she turned to look back, the beast was as suddenly gone as it had first appeared.
Shortly after that, the lead painter encountered it again, only he thought it was someone’s idea of a joke at first. He was working late one night, and a nearby door swung open to reveal swirling mists behind it in the outside air. He thought he could spy a figure within the mists, so he called out for whoever it was to come in as he could see them. What entered the room at that point could best be described as a huge and hideous black cat with blazing eyes, stalking into the room, growling the whole time. Losing his nerve, he ran.
After this latest event, Mrs. O’Brien decided to have a local priest come and do an exorcism on the place, just to be sure that there would be no repeats of this thing returning when guests would be arriving. She believed the exorcism had worked because there were no more sightings until after the center opened, and guest began staying there regularly. One night, a group of actors being drunk and silly, decided to hold a séance there, as they had heard in town about the cat and its haunting.
The cat was soon back, as well as the ghosts of two nuns that would pop up unexpectedly from time to time, confronting guests in the gallery. A medium visited soon after, and claimed that the spirits were those of women who had assisted in satanic rituals done by the notorious Hellfire Club. The building may have been part of the original property, but nothing has been proven of it other than some disturbing painting that were recently unearthed in other sites rumored to have belonged to the same Hellfire members, paintings depicting a huge black cat, bathed in flames…