A holiday job in Ireland

Discussion in 'Your Paranormal Experiences' started by TonyM, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. TonyM

    TonyM
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    Having finished my studies at university I was in no rush to find a job and decided to visit relatives in Donegal, Ireland. Packing a rucksack and guitar I hitch hiked from my home town near Glasgow, Scotland to the ferry terminal and on the other side of the Irish Sea managed to get to my aunt's house around tea time, around twelve hours to make that trip.

    I spent a week there catching up on the news and visiting other relatives some of whom I hadn't met since I was a child. It occurred to me that in all the years spent there during summer holidays I hadn't really seen much of the county so I said goodbyes and started out exploring Donegal with the vague notion of maybe finding work for the summer. Hitch hiking is a way of life in Ireland transport links being poor especially in that part of the country so sticking out my thumb I'd go wherever the driver was going.

    After a few days I was dropped off at a place called Portsalon situated on Lough Swilly with a stunning beach. There was also the Portsalon Hotel and I thought to have lunch and pint of Guinness before moving on. On a whim I asked the receptionist if there were any vacancies and by that evening I was serving drinks behind the bar.

    I don't know much about the history of the building and not much information on the internet but it was old and reputed to be haunted although this wasn't mentioned to me. Staff accommodation was in short supply so the management opened up the top tower room for me and another guy who had started work. It had never been used as a room for hotel guests and had nothing in it but two beds and a newly installed shower so rather Spartan but with the compensation of a beautiful view across the bay.

    I was there about a week when the manager asked me if I could switch from bar work to being the night porter as he'd just sacked the current porter for sleeping on the job, no problem, all I had to do was clean up the bar and tables after it closed and be on hand to let in guests who had been out after the door was locked. The main door to the hotel with walls on either side were glass so the view wasn't obscured and it brightened up the reception area.

    A couple of nights later all the cleaning done I'm sitting at the reception desk when the front door gets knocked, this is right in front of about twenty feet away. As I mentioned the whole front was glass but I couldn't see anyone outside, I checked anyway but nobody there. This was a regular occurrence happening almost every night sometimes two or three times. I was getting worried by this time but didn't mention it to anybody for fear of ridicule. The same week one of the kitchen staff ran screaming through the bar and when we could calm her down she told us that she had gone down to the kitchen cold room to get some chicken to make sandwiches when something pushed her further into the cold room and the door started to swing shut something that's not possible as the door is designed to swing open so that nobody could get accidentally trapped in what is a fridge with no handle on the inside. She was in the kitchen on her own with nobody else in that part of the building. She telephoned her father to come get her and left that night.

    The hotel had a basement that had one time been a nightclub but was no longer in use and kept locked. I'm sitting at reception reading to pass the time when I hear noises coming from beneath me like furniture or boxes being moved around. I knew the only access to the basement was down a staircase behind reception so there couldn't be anyone in there. I was getting worried thinking that maybe somebody was trying to break in and get to the spirit store, a daft notion but what else could be causing the noises? The manager wasn't best pleased being woken during the night but got a couple of other guys and armed with a torch (flashlight), and a couple of golf clubs we headed for the basement and of course it was completely empty not even any object that could have been moved. We searched inside and outside but no sign of anything unusual. Of course by now I'm getting the frosty stares and mumbled comments and feeling a bit stupid but we head back to reception and one of the guys volunteers to make tea before they head back to bed. As we're drinking tea and not saying much the noises started again and of course everybody heard it and definitely coming from the basement. Another search turned up nothing and dawn breaking we gave up and went to bed very puzzled.

    As the summer wore on the activity continued and got to the stage where nobody would go into the kitchen area on their own after it had closed down operation for the day and the bar staff would go there in two's to get buckets of ice for the bar. Very late one night myself and a couple of the catering girls went down to the kitchen to make tea and toast. There was a locked door on one wall and we were startled when the door handle started to rattle like someone was trying to get in. I thought a guest had arrived late at the locked hotel and was looking for another way in so I sprinted to reception to get the door open but nobody there so I had a look around the side of the building where a short flight of stairs led to where the outside door to the kitchen was. The door was bricked up completely so no way to access any door handle. That creeped me out more than anything else that had happened until then. I don't mind admitting that when I had the bar cleaned up I'd grab a six pack and head for the beach staying out until it got light and near the end of my shift.

    Sometime in August one of the barmen stepped on a kettle of boiling water and badly burned his foot, why the kettle was on the floor of the bar nobody knew. One of the staff phoned the local doctor and the conversation went something like 'Hello this is the Portsalon Hotel and there's been an accident', the doctor replied with a question 'Has one of the staff suffered a burn? Happens every August'.

    Too many incidents to recount here things like the firedoors at the end of the modern being opened regularly when there was nobody in that part of the building, locked doors being opened and opened doors wedged open being forcibly closed against the wedge I witnessed this along with another staff member.

    The summer and the job came to an end and despite the experiences it was a great time. Sadly the hotel suffered a fire (I have no idea if it happened during August), and was demolished to make way for holiday cottages. I lived in the top room of the tower on the right.
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Debi

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    Very interesting experience! And that was a beautiful hotel. So many of the buildings in Scotland appear to have activity. From what I have researched, Scotland may hold the title to most haunted area...of darn near everything. I often wonder what it is about the area that might cause that.
     
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  3. TonyM

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    I recently visited Mary King's Close and the underground vaults in Edinburgh all meant to be haunted. The only thing I experienced in the close as I was one of the first to enter a particular room waiting for the guide to get everyone assembled I got a strong smell of cattle like you'd experience in a cowshed (I spent my childhood summers at the grandparents farm in Ireland so was familiar). The thing was after a couple of centuries nothing would be left behind to smell of anything more than dust.

    As the guide started to tell us the history he mentioned that the room we were in was used as an abattoir.

    Look up Mary King's Close and the Edinburgh vaults, got to be on everyone's bucket list if you get to Scotland.
     
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  4. Debi

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    Scotland has always been on my bucket list...unfortunately the purse is empty so there it stays. (My other barrier is fear of flying...I may need to take a boat! lol)
     
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  5. TonyM

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    I've been to the US several times but only for work. Next year I hope to go back as a tourist.

    Myself and my sister in Mary King's Close taken in ultra violet.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Debi

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    That is a really cool picture! I'm going to have to look this place up. I'm not familiar with it.
     
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  7. TonyM

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    Please do it's a unique place
     
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  8. Charleh

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    'Has one of the staff suffered a burn? Happens every August'.
    I guess it's always the same doctor that takes care of those burn patients too?

    Awesome story
     
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  9. TonyM

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    Thank you, I wish that old building was still there
     
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  10. Lynne

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    No suprise a slaughter house would be haunted. Too much fear and negative energy. I enjoyed reading your expierence. It had to be fun to just pick up and go wherever life took ya.
     
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