Spike Island is an award-winning tourist attraction based off the coast of Cork and accessible by boat from Cobh. The 103-acre site was originally a monastery and then a fort before opening as a prison in 1847. Conditions at the prison were harsh, with overcrowded cells, and inmates subjected to extreme hard labour.
The island has seen violence, murder, despair, and isolation, and is also the site of a mass grave where over a thousand inmates were buried in unmarked graves. Little wonder that many tried to escape the island referred to as “hell”, either by attempting to get out or by taking their own life, but one wonders whether their souls have been allowed to leave.
Multiple hauntings are said to afflict Spike Island, including the gruesome spectre of a man with black holes for eyes who has terrified many people over the years. Soldiers have even shot at the ominous figure, obviously to no avail. Other visitors have encountered a white mist which is attributed to former prisoner, John Mitchel, while a man in uniform has been spotted near a fireplace, a lady in white seen roaming the grounds. In the 1980s, naval cadets stationed here reported disturbances, while prisoners in the jail complained to guards of a “black entity” that visited their cells during the night. Photographic evidence captured in 2016, appears to support the experience of the prisoners.
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