You have to love research, it inspires you to create such wonderful things you never considered! Thanks to recent research, my mind is on Gothic tales… so who knows what will evolve in the coming months. I thought I’d share one that really caught my attention:
The castles of Ireland have some really awesome stories attached to them, and one of my favourites is also connected to the Irish Banshee myth. I’ve never set a story in Ireland, and only recently did I create my first Irish hero, so I’ve been reading a lot about the myths and legends of the Emerald Isle. I found one about a grand, brooding fortress called Dunluce Castle. It stands on a breath-taking, beautiful rocky crag on the northeast coast, in County Antrim. History dates back to the 14th century, and it’s had various owners/occupiers over the years. However, the outcrop on which it stands has a history of human involvement that goes back many centuries to ancient times. The site has been seen as significant both spiritually and strategically and has often been fought over.
|Kevin Murphy Photography|
|Wail of the Banshee|
It was a dark and stormy night when Reginald O’Cahan did eventually come to the castle to rescue his love. With the wind whistling through the battlements and beating against the thick stone walls the couple secretly fled the fortress. Into the cold night air they descended to a large cave that opened in the rocks below Dunluce. Their spirits high the two lovers set out in a small boat to cross the turbulent seas towards the seaside settlement of Portrush. Fighting against the white topped waves the small boat was tossed mercilessly by the cruel sea. Pushed in all directions, this way and then that, the little vessel eventually succumbed and was thrown against the rocks. Maeve Roe and Reginald O’Cahan clung together as they sank down into the cold salty depths.
It is said that the body of Maeve was never recovered from her watery grave. Although her earthly remains have gone forever the story of the love of Maeve Roe can never be forgotten. For her spirit haunts the dark wind swept ruins of Dunluce Castle. On dark stormy nights visitors to the castle come back with strange stories of disturbing heart rending wails and screams coming from the Northeast Tower also known as MacQuillan’s Tower. Those that know the history of the castle will be able to tell them exactly the source of these frighteningly sad cries. Lamenting her lost life and love it is the Banshee of Dunluce Castle; Maeve’s sad and troubled soul forever looking out across the sea from her prison tower, searching for a rescue that will never come.
Famed musical group The Irish Rovers have a wonderful ballad about the place: