Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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CARRICKAPHOUKA CASTLE

(Carric-POO-ka Cas-el)
Variations: Mc Carthy Castle
Today, Carrickaphouka Castle ("the rock ofthe pooka") in Ireland stands in ruins, but its reputation of being haunted remains. Back in 1601, it was widely believed that a pooka (a type of fairy creature) haunted the grounds. It lived within one of the large boulders that were on the land that was then used to build Mc Carthy Castle. Like many of the fay, pooka can shape-shift, and this one preferred the forms of an eagle, a large horse, and a wild goat.
After the Battle of Kinsale in 1601, Cormac M?r Mac Dermot Tadhg Mc Carthy, Lord of Muskerry, was made High Sheriff of Cork County. The new ruling English were having trouble bringing the defeated Irish lords under control and Mc Carthy was tasked with the duty of rounding up those who opposed English rule. One of these "rebel lords" was a popular man by the name of James Fitzgerald. He had a very large following, most of whom were displaced nobility themselves. Under the pretense of making peace, the High Sheriff invited Fitzgerald to Mc Carthy Castle.
The meal that was served to Fitzgerald waspoisoned, but death of a rebel was not enough for the High Sheriff, who sought to impress the English. Mc Carthy had the body drained of blood and then cooked. Much to the horror of his English masters, he then set about the act of cannibalism in front of them, eating the flesh and drinking the blood.
All of Ireland was shocked and outraged at hisbehavior. His clansmen tried to say that the High Sheriff had been possessed by the pooka. The High Sheriff apparently left for France shortly after the incident and disappeared into obscurity. However, after his death, his spirit returned to his ancestral home, now a demonic and vampiric spirit. The sounds of painful wails and screams of terror are heard at night coming from the ruins. Anyone who walks by the ruins at night will be viciously attacked by unseen, spectral claws that will cut deep enough to draw blood, which is then lapped up. Fresh blood is also often seen on the remnants of the castle's gate.
Source: Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, Journal, 135, 145; Curran, Vampires, 58­59
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