Haunted by a friendly spirit who loves children

Springhill, County Londonderry, is haunted by a friendly ghost

Springhill is home to a friendly spirit. The benign presence has been seen standing quietly on the stairs, often during the day. Described as a sad, tormented soul, seemingly unable to rest, the spirit has appeared many times to staff and visitors at Springhill - particularly children.

The story of the Springhill ghost

In 1816 a seriously depressed George Lenox-Conyngham committed suicide leaving his second wife Olivia to bring up their children. She also had to live with the guilt and grief of being unable to save her husband from his demons.

Her ghost is said to roam the house to this day. But most consider Olivia a benign presence who is particularly fond of children, often choosing to appear to the youngest in the house.

Unusually, most sightings seem to take place during the day, and she has been seen walking through the house, or standing quietly on the stairs.

Almost all aspects of her haunting seem to be peaceful. And there is only one slightly unsettling story relating to a wooden cot that Olivia used for her children.

During the Second World War, US soldiers billeted at Springhill complained of a strange knocking noise coming from the night nursery. They asked for the cot to be removed. It was loaned to the Armagh Museum and the knocking stopped.

But after the end of the war – and the return of the cot – the phantom knocking was heard once again.