Cooneen (Coonian) Farmhouse

Cooneen (Coonian) Farmhouse
Enniskillen, Fermanagh, Ireland.

In the early twentieth century, this long abandoned cottage was home to Mr and Mrs Murphy and their young family – a son and five daughters. Mr Murphy was tragically killed in what was described as “freak” accident, the details of which are unknown. As his widow, Bridget, began to adjust to life without him and to fulfil her duty of care to their children, the family began to experience strange occurrences in and around their home.

The activity began with sporadic knocks at the door, but there would be nobody there when someone went to answer it. This soon intensified with raps on the other doors and also the windows, but each time, no trace of any visitor could be found. They would later hear footsteps emanating from an upstairs store room, but again – there would be nobody there when checked. Bridget confided in a few of her friends and asked them to call in to see whether they could shed any light on what was happening, but instead – visitors would sit with the family in their kitchen and would also be dumbfounded by the knocking sounds and the heavy footsteps.

But this was just the beginning. Soon after, the anxious mother watched helplessly as plates were aggressively thrown across the kitchen by unseen hands. Bedclothes were tugged off beds by the entity, and a bed was lifted off the ground before being put down again. The family witnessed mysterious shadows moving around the house and passing through walls, and there was an intense cold feeling that chilled them to the bone.

Knowing that she could not fight this battle alone, Bridget turned to the local church and asked them for help. The parish priest, Father Eugene Coyle, called to the house, and he witnessed some of the activity for himself. He watched pots and pans being thrown by the unseen force and saw the shadowy figures just as the desperate family had described to him. A local MP also called in and he was able to verify that something very wrong was happening in the family’s home.

The church granted special permission for Father Coyle to perform, not one – but two exorcisms at the stricken house. Such permission was rarely given so the church clearly had conceded that strong action was required. But the entity was stronger. Both attempts to cast it out failed. During the exorcisms, it was said that unearthly sounds were heard throughout the property, sheets would rise and fall on beds as if someone were laying under the covers, and crockery was thrown around. Unfortunately for the Murphys, they would be forced to stay at the property for now, knowing that whatever it was they were dealing with, was even angrier than before.

Soon after the failed exorcisms, questions began to arise in the local community as to why the family were experiencing this horrific assault. There didn’t seem to be any doubt that it was happening, but friends and neighbours began to speculate that they themselves had invited something in. One story alludes to how Bridget’s son found an old book – something akin to a grimoire, containing details of Satanic rites and rituals. It was thought that the curious young man may have attempted to perform a ritual and opened a portal in the house, but this is of course conjecture. Another story I have seen suggests that the land on which the house was built may have been the site of ancient rituals and that other factors may have awaked something on the property.

Tired of her family home being besieged by a relentless, malevolent force and the suspicious looks of her neighbours, in 1913, Bridget bravely packed up her family and set off to build a new life in America. But their ordeal was not yet concluded. In those days, travel to America was of course a journey by sea that took several days to complete. Passengers on board the ship complained to the captain that there were loud noises coming from the Murphy’s cabin, and he himself heard the sounds that people were talking about. He confronted the family about it, and even threatened disembarkation if the noises did not cease, but this did not make a difference.

On arrival on American soil, the family continued to experience noises and witness apparitions in their new home, but overtime these began to fade away. While the family sought to pursue a new life – and perhaps they succeeded, it has been referenced in some quarters that one of the daughters was later committed as a result of the trauma that she and her family had endured at a pivotal and vulnerable time in their lives. Again, whether this is true or not, we do not know.

Today, the Murphy’s former farmhouse still stands. It is abandoned – and with good reason. Visitors to the old house have reported feeling uneasy in and around the house, while others have seen mysterious lights and even full bodied apparitions. Sightings of an “angry man” have been reported, and several explorers described a sense of being distinctly unwelcome. Noted too, that some accounts reference discarded cans and other debris which suggests that the house may be used as a den by local youths who are clearly unphased by the property’s infamous haunted history.

Definitely best to keep your wits about you if visiting, or perhaps avoid this one altogether!

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Further Information

Venue Name
Classification(s)
Private Residential  | Outdoor / Street Hauntings
Address
Mullaghfad Road, Enniskillen, Fermanagh, Ireland

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