Main Street, Ballymoney

Main Street, Ballymoney
Ballymoney, Antrim, Ireland.

Ballymoney was seen as a rebel strong hold during the United Irishmen Rebellion of 1798. An order was given to burn the village to the ground and villagers – men, women and children – died in their homes as flaming torches came through their windows.

George Hutchinson was one of the magistrates tasked with punishing those involved in the rebellion. It is said that Alexander Gamble was given the option of saving his own life in return for giving information on his fellow United Irishmen. When he declined to give their names, he was tried and then hanged at the clock tower on Ballymoney’s main street (now the Masonic Hall). Legend has it that Hutchinson’s ghost is now paying the price for the rough “justice” he handed out to Gamble and others. His spectre, with a large metal ball chained to his ankle, is said to walk the street towards the clock tower at midnight each Friday the 13th, before turning and walking back down the street.

Some say that the local graveyard is also haunted, and that the magistrate’s grave is particularly active.

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