Purchased in 1917 by well known Irish doctor, poet, and wit, Oliver St. John Gogarty, he continued its function as a country house hotel. Unbeknown to Gogarty, the house came with several ghosts. However, the hotel was burnt to the ground by the IRA, and was rebuilt and reopened in 1930, with the ghosts remaining there steadfast, refusing to leave to this day.
During one particular night in the West Wing, Gogarty was awoken by the sound of thudding footsteps coming towards him in the corridor. He immediately went to investigate with candle in hand, but as soon as he left his room the flame was put out by a sudden breeze. He was alone completely in the dark when his arms and legs became very heavy, “as if I were exercising with rubber ropes”, he later explained. To his relief, nothing else of note happened that night.
There was a bedroom upstairs that had windows which were heavily barred, where servants refused to sleep due to the constant presence of something else in the room with them that felt menacing. On one occasion, a heavy storage chest was dragged across the room to barricade the door from the inside. It was only when workmen took away the bars on the windows that the family was able to access the room again.
Gogarty was good friends with the poet W. B. Yeats, whose wife was a well known medium of the time. Every time they came to stay, the paranormal activity in the house seemed to rise. One night Gogarty was entertaining his two friends in the library, when all of a sudden the door creaked open. Yeats put up his hand and shouted, “Leave it alone, it will go away as it came”, and as quickly as the door opened, it slammed shut in obligatory fashion.
W. B. Yeats further intrigued by the activity, decided to hold a seance in attempt to find out what the ghost wanted. Using automatic writing, the spirit communicated, stating it didn’t like strangers in the house. It then said that it would make itself visible to his wife.
Georgia Yeats, his wife, then entered the haunted room alone. She watched as what she described as a “vapoury” mist appear by the fireplace. Mrs Yeats then witnessed a young boy (around 14) with red hair and pale face appear before her. She later told her husband, “He had the solemn pallor of a tragedy beyond the endurance of a child.” She later learnt that the boy was in fact a member of the Blake family who once owned the home.
Upon hearing of the haunted room in the house, another friend of Gogarty, Evan Morgan, attempted to exorcise the room. However, after only recently embracing Roman Cathlocism, his control of the spirits wasn’t as strong as Mrs Yeats’. No sooner had he started his prayers, a thick mist filled the room and he was thrown to the ground. After being dragged out of the room by his friends, Evan recalled seeing a pale boy with red hair clutching his throat as if he was strangling himself. Evan concluded that the boy must have committed suicide in that room.
After Being Rebuilt
Even after the house was rebuilt, ghosts seemed to remain behind, with many reports of spirits walking the corridors and appearing in guest’s rooms. One common occurrence is the sighting of a man, who is known to appear in the mirror when ladies are fixing their make-up.
People often often report the feeling of someone else in their room with them, as well as sheets being pulled, and on occasion people have reported being thrown out of bed.
It has survived throughout the years during harsh times, such is Ireland’s own history. It’s been built, pulled down, rebuilt, burned down, and rebuilt once again. It’s seen its fair share of suffering including the famine, the Land League, and a Civil War.
It was home to one of the most powerful Gaelic clans in all of Connacht. The Blake family were the first to open up its doors as a country house hotel back in 1883. Famous people such as Winston Churchill, Augustus John, Lady Gregory, and W.B. Yeats have stayed here in that time.
About the Hotel
Renvyle House Hotel is a historic country house, perched overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on the scenic Connemara coast. The hotel is built on over 200 acres of land that includes its own private lake, golf course, beach, woodlands, and gardens. It’s an award winning luxury hotel, and is renowned for its beautiful surroundings, its hospitality, delicious food, and comfortable bedrooms.
Renvyle House is considered a building of historical value, and as such the owners over the years have taken great care and pride in its décor and furnishings throughout, using only Irish furniture, as well as Arts & Crafts in keeping with the way the house looked in the 1920’s.
- 68 comfortable rooms
- Outdoor pool
- Leisure facilities
- Private lake
- 9-hole golf course
- Clay pigeon shooting
Things to Do
Built on 200 acres of land, the hotel has its own private lake for water activities, its own beach, and 9-hole golf course. Other activities on-site include: swimming, fishing, snooker, clay pigeon shooting, walking, hill climbing, and scuba diving. For those relaxing days, the hotel has massage, jacuzzi, sauna, and its own beach for sunbathing.
Within the local vicinity you also have guided walks, guided cycling, guided treks, horseriding, salmon fishing, sea fishing, island hopping, sailing, and windsurfing.
There are 68 rooms in total consisting of:
- Standard rooms (single, double, and triple)
- Family rooms
- Family Suites
- Superior Suites
- Family apartments (Island suites)
Rates for a single room start from as little £45.00, with standard double rooms from £80.00 per room. However, rates depend entirely on availability.
To get the latest rates please click here.