Looking like the archetypal haunted castle, Kilkea is located in County Kildare, Ireland, a medieval stronghold of the Fitzgeralds, Earls of Kildare.
The castle is particularly associated with Gerald, the 11th Earl of Kildare known as the “Wizard Earl”, who became the eldest male of the Geraldines when only 12 years of age after his half brother “Silken Thomas” the 10th Earl and five uncles were hung, drawn and quartered at Tyburn in 1537.The castle is particularly associated with Gerald, the 11th Earl of Kildare known as the “Wizard Earl”, who became the eldest male of the Geraldines when only 12 years of age after his half brother “Silken Thomas” the 10th Earl and five uncles were executed at Tyburn in 1537.
The “Wizard Earl” escaped Ireland being sent to the continent to be educated, and following his return to Kildare and restoration to his titles his interest in alchemy caused much interest among his neighbours around Kilkea Castle. Gerald was said to possess magic powers, but disappeared in 1585 after demonstrating his magic powers to his wife, who should show no fear or he would be dammed for eternity.
First, he made the waters of the river rise up to her mouth, then caused a dead man to walk and shake her hand, before conjuring up a large snake which coiled its body around her. The Wizard Earl then became a bird, flew on to her shoulder and started to sing a beautiful song.
The magic went smoothly until a black cat pounced; the Countess fainted in shock and Gerard disappeared, never to return in mortal form. His ghost, however, returns to Kilkea Castle every seven years on a white steed with silver horseshoes!
The last Earl of Kilkea Castle sold the property in 1963, and moved to Australia, since when the upgrade building has operated as a hotel.