Ballinagarde House in County Limerick was built by John Croker in 1774. His son (also named John) inherited the property in 1795 and was well regarded as a fair landlord and commended in his attempts to assist the local community during the Great Famine. Unfortunately, when John passed away in 1858, the house and associated lands passed to his son Edward and he was described as a ‘worthless spendthrift who brought up an arrogant race of blockheads of both sexes’. Despite mismanagement of the estate by Edward and his descendants, the property somehow remained in the Croker family until the 1930s, at which point the remaining lands were acquired and the house was left to fall into ruin.
According to folklore, Edward Croker once encountered a mysterious man on horseback while traveling and invited him to dinner at the great house – an offer which was accepted. As with similar tales at Castletown House, Loftus Hall, and the Hellfire Club, the stranger enjoyed the hospitality but when he became exhausted and a servant removed the sleeping man’s boots, he was found to have cloven hooves. This story is said to explain the sightings of a sinister man on horseback that has been spotted approaching the now ruined property on occasion down the years.
Just like the account of the alleged haunting is a little sketchy, so too is information on whether this property is publicly accessible. If you are in the area and thinking of visiting this location, perhaps ask some of the locals first.
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