The eerie experiences of one local man are clearly and cogently conveyed in his own
words in the following story. They occurred while he was living and working in his fam-ily’s pub, Mickey Lynch’s, a well-known hos-telry which once graced lower Bishop Street.
“This story starts for me years ago, in 1966. I had just moved from one bedroom in the house to another as my older brother had gone to London to work. There was nothing unusual about this nor were there any tales or stories about this particular bed-room, everything was just normal in a nor-mal household – as I thought. Shortly after moving into the bedroom a very strange and, at the time, very frightening thing hap-pened. One morning I awoke to find a figure standing at my bedroom door, a female figure. At first I thought it was my sister but after rubbing the sleep from my eyes I could clearly see there was no resemblance at all. It was a young woman, I guessed in her early twenties. She wore a long dress and colourful silk head scarf. She stood absolutely still, her face gaunt and expressionless. My initial reaction was that of fear and utter disbelief in what I was seeing. I began to think I had not wakened and rubbed my eyes again, but she was still there. Then, to my horror, she began to move towards the bed, not walking, but with an effortless motion as if she
was floating. I jolted upright in the bed still thinking, hoping, it was all a dream, but she continued her slow and seemingly menacing approach. She stopped at arm’s length and looked directly at me – I saw a faint smile on an otherwise sad face. I seemed to lose my fear at that stage, wondering instead why she was sad; had something terrible happened to her? What did she want? In fact, I was quite content about the whole situation. Then she started to fade before my eyes, gradually becoming transparent until she simply disappeared.”
Three similar manifestations occurred at approximately three yearly intervals then, as inexplicably as they
had begun, they ceased – the questions remained unanswered. A de-cade of ‘normality’ followed. Redevelopment plans for the area were sanctioned and the pub was duly demolished.
However, one harrowing episode was to precede its final demise. The story continues . . .“I had since got married and moved out.
My mother had also bought a house so the prem-ises were no longer lived in. I of-ten worked late in the pub and because I didn’t drive I re-lied on taxis to get home.
Normally a friend would call before the last cus-tomers left and we would sit and have a few drinks
until my taxi arrived. On this particular night, how-ever, I was on my own.
“As usual, I locked all the doors with the excep-tion of the front door. I sat down by the window
and waited for my taxi. Directly opposite me was the last door I had locked. It led to the bedrooms at the
top of the house, and there’s no question about it, I had definitely locked it.
“It was about three o’clock in the morning and very quiet. I heard the sound of a car approaching
and, assuming it was the taxi, I stood up on the seat, parted the curtains and looked out. I was sur-prised there was no car anywhere to be seen. That part of the street was long and straight and I had a
good clear view in either direction. I know I heard a car. I checked again and at that precise moment the
locked door leading to the bedrooms burst violently open.
“Instantly, before I could even turn round, I felt a hand grasp me forcibly on the shoulder. The grip was
vice-like, excruciating, every hair on my body stood up. I was abruptly released and the door slammed
shut with a thunderous echo. I gasped in relief but remained frozen to the spot for what seemed like an
eternity. Eventually I was able to move and literally bolted out into the street, pulling the front door shut behind me. I can tell you I was glad to get out. Some distance up the road, a few women I knew were standing chat-ting – it wasn’t unusual even at that time of the morning. I made my way
up and was greeted with the words: ‘What’s wrong with you? You look terrible!’ I told them the story.
“The next morning I went back to the bar. The door leading to the bedrooms was indeed locked. I
went up to my old room and just stood there for a few minutes. I didn’t feel afraid.
“I told the story to a few old-timers who had come into the bar. One of them informed me that curiously
enough my mother had been upstairs the day before and took an old picture from one of the bedrooms
up to her new house. The picture in question was an icon-style portrait, hand woven in gold thread, possibly quite valuable. It had been there when my parents bought the house fifty years previously. I can’t
logically explain it but I knew there was a connection with its removal and the incident the night before. I
phoned my mother and told her the story. She was more than happy to bring back the picture. It was bulldozed along with the bar. Thankfully I’ve had no similar experiences since that night.”