Coffin Lock-In winner Jessica Weldon with Loftus Hall owner Aidan Quigley and Beat 102-103’s Trishauna Archer and Lauren Cardiff
For many of us Halloween conjures up images of trick or treating, dressing in ghoulish costume, pumpkin carving or bobbing for apples, while for others it conjures up images of lying in a coffin in Ireland’s most haunted house, Loftus Hall, in County Wexford.
That’s how Waterford native Jessica Weldon spent her Halloween morning and was rewarded €1,000 for her efforts. Jessica was the overall winner of the Coffin Lock-In at Loftus Hall, in association with Beat 102-103.
The promotion sought 20 brave souls to spend an hour in a coffin at one of the eeriest locations in the country. The two finalists, who recorded the best times during the week of closest to and not exceeding one hour, went head-to-head for the final on Halloween morning.
Niall Walsh recorded a very respectable time of 58 minutes and 8 seconds, but Jessica persevered to hold out an extra 58 seconds to emerge from her coffin in the Devil’s Bedroom at 59 minutes and 6 seconds.
Coffin Lock-In winner Jessica Weldon
Aidan Quigley, owner of Loftus Hall, was delighted with the event. “Nothing says Halloween more than Loftus Hall. To have the Coffin Lock-In in the most haunted house in Ireland really adds a frisson of apprehension and unease to the proceedings. I know that the competitors and the team working in the house during the week felt like they had some spectral company,” he said.
Nestled on the Hook Peninsula in County Wexford in barren and austere surroundings, Loftus Hall’s heritage dates back to 1350. It is now a magnet for tourists, historians and paranormal enthusiasts who continue to document evidence of frequent paranormal activity in the house.
“Loftus Hall is a very special but unpredictable place to be during Halloween. There are strange phenomena in the house throughout the year, but at Halloween the house comes into its own.
“Loftus Hall has a very twisted and tortured history, and so naturally speaks for itself. We have had reports from many ghost hunting groups and spectre seekers who recount rather unsettling results, such as significant temperature drops, particularly in the Chapel and Tapestry Room, and spikes in electromagnetic fields, indicating an unseen energy source. Visitors to Loftus Hall continually experience and qualify these findings, and many encounter things that they can’t quite explain,” Aidan added.
Coffin Lock-In winner Jessica Weldon with Loftus Hall owner Aidan Quigley
Loftus Hall reopens to the public with its Bealtaine Festival of Fire and the International Redmond Clan Gathering on the May bank holiday weekend. However, for the curious who wish to have their own private experience, the Loftus Hall three floors tour runs all year round. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.