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Halloween, Horses and Ghosts in Ireland

Forget Six Feet Under, starting October 30th, Cross Country International offers riders a chance to get close to 50 ghosts. This unique four-day package offers riders a combination of riding through ancient forests, and the River Shannon and reveling at Leap Castle, Ireland's most haunted castle full of active ghosts.

"The ride to Leap Castle, said to be the most haunted castle in Ireland with fifty ghosts, is a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Karen Lancaster, President of Cross Country International Equestrian Vacations. At Leap Castle, guests will have a Halloween banquet and will be entertained by Sean Ryan, Ireland's famous Tin Whistle player," said Lancaster.

Leap Castle is home to many secrets of a dark and mysterious past. Over 400 years ago in what is now known as the "Bloody Chapel" a shocking murder occurred between one brother and his priest brother during high mass. Another source of evil at Leap Castle is a hidden ubliet (a dungeon) located off the bloody chapel. Here, their Irish employers murdered over 50 Scottish mercenaries to avoid payment.

Around 1900, workmen who where hired to clean out the ubliet made a hideous discovery, human skeletons laid piled on top of each other. Because of its extremely bloody history Leap Castle has always had a reputation of being haunted, a reputation so strong local people avoided it at night. Completely gutted by fire, Leap Castle was boarded up and it's gates were pad locked for over 70 years. Locals have described seeing the windows at the top of the castle "light up for a few seconds as if many candles were brought into the room" late at night. The castle laid in ruin for years.

Today Leap castle is open for very special occasions - like the Halloween season. "The best way to get to Leap castle is on the back of a horse, " said Lancaster, " I just hope we don't see any headless horseman!"

The Package

Riders and their friends will get to spend four nights in the luxurious Kinnitty Castle an authentic and completely restored Eleventh Century castle, and ride to Irelands most haunted castle. The trip also includes three days of riding through ancient forests and along the River Shannon, breakfast and lunch (trail days) each day and a grand dinner at the famous Leap castle for just $995 per person. This price is $300 less then the normal 4-day price and there is no single supplement. Departure dates are Oct 30, November 2, and November 5th.

Kinnitty Castle is magnificent and boasts luxurious and stately bedrooms and reception rooms filled with antique furnishings. Gourmet dining is combined with fine hospitality. Kinnitty Castle was one of the three fortresses guarding the lands of the powerful O'Carroll family. This castle is most famous for it's long and turbulent history. The castle was destroyed in 1209 and was later rebuilt by the Norman's in 1213. It has all the luxuries of modern life within a mansion of historical and architectural importance. Each bedroom is large with its own bathroom and views of either the great lawn or Kinnitty Forest. There is a modern health club and tennis courts on the premises, along with a beautiful dining.

Cross Country International is the world's largest provider of equestrian vacations with offices in Millbrook, New York. For more information call 800 828-8768 or go to their website at --click on the flying black bat!!!


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