Haunted trails and tales from Ballyboley Forest

Haunted trails and tales from Ballyboley Forest
29 March 2024 J.W.H

When the Gaelic Celts first set foot on the emerald isle, they brought with them their ancient rituals and magic. In Ballyboley Forest in Antrim, Northern Ireland, it is claimed that something from that point still stays within the forest.

On the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Ballyboley Forest opens a scenic trail winding through meadows and woodland to the tranquil Kilylane Reservoir.

While the trail provides a wide ranging journey through the gorgeous Antrim landscape, it also carries spooky legends and spooky tales which might be woven into the material of this Northern Irish landscape, with the story of Ballyboley Haunted Forest topping various lists of most haunted places. Places.

The current forest was planted in 1957, but ghost stories and native legends return much further, with woodland areas akin to Ballyboley Forest dating back to 300 BC, to the time of the traditional Druids and Celts. But how a lot of these legends can we imagine?

Source: Albert Bridge / Ballyboley Forest near Larne (8) / CC BY-SA 2.0

An ancient meeting place for druids

Ballyboley Forest is claimed to carry ancient energy because it served as an ancient meeting place for druids. Artifacts discovered over time indicate rituals and gatherings that when took place under the leafy cover.

It is claimed that within the northeastern a part of the forest you’ll find circular ditches and rock formations which might be now overgrown but can still be seen. These megalithic structures, nonetheless, are only claimed based on rumors and no archaeological survey shows some particular monuments from Gaelic times contained in the forest.

It is unclear whether druids actually lived in the realm, although the coastal area nearby, like Larne, is assumed to have been certainly one of the earliest inhabited areas of Ireland, when people arrived here from Scotland. But did they really enterprise into the forest that became Ballyboley Forest, or did these stories first appear after the present forest was planted?

Haunted Stories from Ballyboley Forest

Let's take a take a look at the haunting stories coming from the forest. Local legends are said to inform of haunting happenings in its depths – plumes of black smoke rising from the trees and echoes of ghostly screams that linger within the twilight.

In the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, there have been reportedly many strange disappearances of local individuals who went to this area. Some sources say that there are as many as thirty different cases of disappearance.

According to local tradition, strange paths lead through the gate to the Underworld in Celtic mythology.

Story sources

These stories of smoke in Ballyboley Forest and screaming come from several sources. The first is a story allegedly told by a young couple who were walking in the realm and were frightened by the screams and black cloud-like smoke that appeared. When this happened, they quickly left the forest and we don't know what really happened then. And who this couple was, there's really no trace of either of them.

In a 1997 news report in an unnamed newspaper, there have been two men in Ballyboley Forest who heard the sound of something flapping. After some time, they heard the voice of a girl who appeared to be in pain and tried to search out the source of the sound, as she might need assistance.

Instead, they left the trail and got here across an area where the trees were smeared with what looked eerily like blood. They turned to depart the place, but behind them stood 4 human-shaped figures. They were all wearing brown rags and had their heads covered.

However, most accounts of strange things people have experienced within the forest appear to be reprints from online forums with anonymous posters with none clear sources. There are also no newspaper clippings through which these stories were allegedly told.

This is the case with the poster's alleged experiences Reddit and from 2005, who also claimed to have seen 4 rag-clad figures holding torches and hearing the sounds of unknown animals squeaking.

Although it was alleged to occur in 2005 and I read the post next on the poster Shadowlandsseemingly the earliest entries about these hauntings on the Internet, information has appeared on the Internet for the reason that late Nineties on the positioning.

Ending in regards to the haunting of the forest

Ballyboley Forest, with its picturesque trails and hidden secrets, invites adventure seekers to delve right into a land where beauty and the supernatural intertwine. But whether local legends truly local, or are they simply a product of the web's quick copy-and-paste culture?

As the wind rustles through the traditional trees, it brings with it tales of plumes of black smoke, blood-stained trees, and ethereal screams which have turn into a part of the forest's haunted heritage. The trail, although seemingly peaceful, reveals a tapestry of legends that add a dark layer to the landscape of Northern Ireland.


Ballyboley Forest and Kilylane Reservoir Circular, Antrim and Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland – 138 reviews, Map | All trails

Shadowlands Haunted Places Index – Ireland


Image Source: Pixabay.com

  • J.W.H

    About John:

    John Williams is a Reincarnationist paranormal Intuitive freelance writer...he is living proof of reincarnation existence, through his personal exploration, he has confirmed its authenticity through visits to the very lands where these events transpired.

    Through guided meditation/s using hemi-sync technology he has managed to recollect 3 previous lives to his own, that go back to the Mid to Late 19th century.

    JWH - "You are the GODS! - Inclusion of the Eternal Light of Love and you shall never die”.

    “Death is Just the Beginning of Life”