• Cindy Zampa

PORTAL 52 Week 39: Puck's Portal

Our recent trip to Ireland allowed us a chance to explore a few of the many castles of Ireland. Malahide Castle and Gardens, in north County Dublin, is said to be one of the oldest, and most haunted castles. While most castles, whether they are in a state of ruins or fully refurbished, are said to have one, possibly two or three ghosts roaming around, Malahide has at least five! I guess it stands to reason there would be so many since Malahide has served as both a fortress and a private home for over 800 years, until as recently as 1976. As we toured through the elegant drawing rooms, Gothic-styled turrets, spiral staircases and banquet halls, I experienced a 'presence' several times.

One of the spirits at Malahide had been a jester back in the 16th century, named Puck. Apparently, Puck fell in love with a kinswoman, who had been detained in the castle by Henry VIII, due to her rebel tendencies. Puck was found, stabbed through the heart, near the castle wall, but before dying, swore an oath to haunt the castle until a master reigned who would choose a bride from the common folk. As that never happened, Puck's presence is still at Malahide.

We toured the castle and grounds on a beautiful sunny and breezeless day. Rounding one corner of the castle grounds, I suddenly felt a chill come over me. I distinctly heard repetitive scraping noises, like the sound of feet shuffling across paving stones. As I stood there, on the grass, trying to match the sound with anything in my environment, I glimpsed a shadow moving up this staircase. In the split second it took for me to turn my head toward the steps, the shadow was no longer on the steps, but now appeared to be inside the castle, moving quickly across the windows.

Perhaps this is one of the portals that Puck uses to enter and leave the castle?

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