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The Most Haunted Mansion in Ireland

Loftus HallAtlasObscura reports there is a haunted mansion up for sale in Ireland.

Loftus Hall, goes back to the 12th century, and has seen several regime changes over the years. The most infamous chapter in its history comes from the 18th century. According to legend, a raging storm drove a passing traveler to seek a few nights’ refuge at the Hall, which the Loftus’s happily granted.

Naturally, with a storm keeping everyone indoors, the hosts sat down with their guest for a game of cards. During the guest’s stay, Anne Tottenham (a Loftus relative) dropped one of her cards on the floor. Ducking beneath the table to retrieve it, Anne—who had grown smitten with the visitor—spotted something that stopped her crush in its tracks: cloven hooves where his feet should have been. Sensing that he’d been outed as the devil himself, it’s said, the visitor disappeared through the ceiling in a burst of flame and puff of smoke, leaving his hosts—including lovelorn Anne—in a state of smoldering confusion.

A casual game night with Satan is only the first phase of its ghostly lore. For the next few years, before she died young, Anne’s family forcefully confined her to the house’s tapestry room, having determined that she was too shocked and vulnerable for the outside world. After her death, occupants of the house claimed to see her ghost wandering the grounds at night—a problem that even the local Catholic priest, Father Broaders, couldn’t solve. He was called in for an exorcism, but found himself unable to extend the rite to Anne’s tapestry room. However you feel about ghost stories, it’s hard to argue against firsthand experience. “There is always a feeling that you are not alone in Loftus Hall,” writes Aidan Quigley, one of the current owners, in an email.

For those uninterested in or skeptical of ghost stories, Loftus Hall has just as much to offer in interesting, more reliably historical tales. People have called the property home since at least 1170, when a Norman knight by the name of Raymond le Gros built a castle there. Hoping to assimilate into the Irish society he had helped conquer, le Gros changed his surname to Redmond, and the castle stayed in his family for generations. In 1350, during the Black Plague, the Redmonds replaced it with a more modern mansion, dubbed Redmond Hall.

The imperial conquests of Ireland were far from over, however, and the property changed hands during Oliver Cromwell’s bloody takeover of the island. It was then that the Hall was passed to an English family named Loftus.

The Loftuses were a well-connected bunch, and their ties to the English monarchy—however indirect—are responsible for much of the mansion’s current appearance. In the late 19th century, John Wellington Graham Loftus thought a visit from Queen Victoria seemed likely, as his mother, Jane Loftus, had been Lady of the Queen’s Bedchamber since 1851. John spent years renovating the Hall, modeling the expensive revisions off of the royal Osborne House. The Queen, however, never came, and John died in debt. The estate changed hands several more times throughout the 20th century before landing in the hands of Aidan and Shane Quigley, who bought the property in 2011 and are now interviewing potential buyers. For the Quigleys, it’s not just about meeting the asking price—it’s about demonstrating a comfort with what you’re getting yourself into. “I won’t pick the buyer …” writes Aidan Quigley, “the Hall will.”


Horoscope for the Week of August 31, 2020 - Outer Cardinal Planets

The Starry Eye
By Madam Lichtenstein

Mark zuckerbergWith seven plants hovering through cardinal signs now, expect fast and furious change. Some craziness will be unexpected and some we create ourselves. Sometimes you have to shake up the landscape to build anew.

(Mark Zuckerberg has Jupiter in Capricorn)

Never miss your horoscope again -- free sign up here. Here is my favorite book on astrology and a "must" for anyone interested in learning more: Secrets from a Stargazer's Notebook: Making Astrology Work for You and here's a guide to the best books available this month. This column is (c) 2020 MADAM LICHTENSTEIN, LLC., All Rights Reserved. For Entertainment Purposes Only. Madam Lichtenstein is the author of the best selling astrology book “HerScopes ” now in its 10th printing and available as an eBook.

ARIES (MARCH 21 - APRIL 20)
The epicenter of your struggle (and eventual success) will be in your long term career prospects. Aries with the gumption to take matters into their own hands can chart their own course forward. But if you decide to let the fates handle things for you, there will still be a needed positive change. But this can also be a stressful, unsettled time as you wait for the dust to settle. Try to chill.

TAURUS (APRIL 21 - MAY 21)
Taureans may be feeling especially hemmed in and penned in. Your yearning to break out if understandable but don’t be reckless. Your specific challenge now is to find refreshing ways to enliven up your life and get out of your routines which now seem terribly restrictive. But any action you take mush still be safe and healthy. Roam the fields if you must, but alone.

GEMINI (MAY 22 - JUNE 21)
Geminis have some deep and profound thoughts now as the pandemic has shifted focus to the basic essentials of your life. What is it that you want to get out of this world? Are you headed in the right direction? Balance what is vital and what is just gloss. Getting the right balance and form will not only give you greater optimism, it will also energize you.

CANCER (JUNE 22 - JULY 23)
Connections will not only become more important over the next few weeks, they will be the foundation of your future path. Cancers may be feeling more emotionally vulnerable but even fragile thoughts can be strengthened with help from others. So reach out and fortify your most important relationships. Leave yourself open to the positive possibilities.

LEO (JULY 24 - AUGUST 23)
It has been so easy to put things off whether they are household projects or work-related tasks. But don’t let these obligations pile up too long or too high, Leo. They could become too much to handle. As we move through the end of the summer, the fates will find a way to make you step up and clean, fix, file and build. At least you won’t be bored! .

VIRGO (AUGUST 24 - SEPTEMBER 23)
Your mind may be especially active and creative now, Virgo. Ideas keep popping into your head, coming fast and furious. Write them all down so you don’t forget. Then prioritize them and go for it. This will become a fertile fun period of your life where you can achieve beautiful results. Who knows where it can all lead? Follow your muse and see.

LIBRA (SEPTEMBER 24 - OCTOBER 23)
Changes at home may require you to shift your focus to more domestic projects, Libra. Whether that means changes to the physical structure of your living space or a shift in family relationships (or both) are all possibilities. Change in this case will be beneficial in the long term even if it causes a bit of extra stress now. Take a deep breath and go forward.

SCORPIO (OCTOBER 24 - NOVEMBER 22)
Scorpios have a way with words. You are usually very compelling but now your communication is even more focused, diplomatic and strategic. So why wait? Express your opinions, hopes and ideals, see who listens and where it all leads. Today it goes through the internet while you are wearing pajamas. Tomorrow it’s the world stage in a power suit.

SAGITTARIUS (NOVEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 22)
The pandemic might have brought restriction in your income and overall finances but there can be more opportunities in the future to earn and regain your financial footing. Sagittarians have learned to be practical and thrifty over the past few weeks. But I suspect you will find more ways to treat yourself and loved ones to special splurges now.

CAPRICORN (DECEMBER 23 - JANUARY 20)
It’s all about you, Capricorn. You feel you are the center of the universe and there will be others who agree with you. What will you do to harness all of this attention and power? Find ways to solidify your future plans and projects by reaching out to influential people who can help you along. Our path to success is sometimes foggy but it is clear skies for you now.

AQUARIUS (JANUARY 21 - FEBRUARY 19)
Aquarians are full of mystery and secrets now. And that may not be a bad thing. Keeping certain things under wraps will not only give you greater leverage in any negotiation, it will also enable you to get a clearer idea of the landscape in any important matter. So keep your eyes open and observe all of the dynamics. Then make your big impressive move.

PISCES (FEBRUARY 20 - MARCH 20)
Pisces will want to gravitate to large social groups and gatherings now. But I suggest that any social interaction take place either virtually or from a very safe and masked distance. Don’t take any undue risks but do find ways to reach out and connect with friends. It will lift your spirits and prepare you for the time when it will be very safe to mingle again.

(c) 2020 MADAM LICHTENSTEIN, LIL., All Rights Reserved. For Entertainment Purposes Only. @thestarryeye
Best sun sign astrology book is HerScopes


Lucky Numbers for the Week of August 28, 2020

Lottery ads tell us you only need a dollar and a dream. But it is also helpful to have a list of lucky numbers to help spur the good fortune ... or fortunes. So with that in mind, here are some lucky numbers that can be used in any helpful way. I gazed into a pool of water, Nostradamus-like, and contemplated the cosmos. Then I mixed the tarot cards and allowed the spirits to guide me to the cards that represent the lucky numbers for this week. Nothing is guaranteed but who knows ....?

I choose eight numbers because 8 is the number of of wealth.

Here are the lucky numbers for the week of August 28-September 3, 2020:

1, 8, 13, 28, 30, 35, 44, 73

There are many ways to delve into your own consciousness to find luck and intuition. Try reading Dream Power/Improve Your Luck (Super Strength Series) and see if your dreams give you any clues and premonitions. Here's a guide to the best books available this month


The Power of Circles

CirclesCircles are a very mystical form. They are considered the perfect shape and for that reason, they hold great meaning in folklore and superstition.From King Arthur's round table to chanting circles to drumming circles, even to bagels which are eaten to promote good luck on certain holidays, the circle is a perfect form to represent the full completion of the life cycle.

Circling is said to form a protective shell around the person circled. That is one explanation for the bride circling the groom at Jewish weddings.

More recently Circling has taken on a more psychological adaptation incorporating meditation, conversation and perhaps a bit of performance art.


Horoscope for the Week of August 24, 2020 - Sun Enters Virgo

The Starry Eye
By Madam Lichtenstein

Cameron-diaz-picture-001The Sun moves from Leo to Virgo, giving us more grounding and practicality in many areas of our lives. What needs to be done? Whatever it is, now is the time to do it.

(Cameron Diaz has Sun in Virgo)

Never miss your horoscope again -- free sign up here. Here is my favorite book on astrology and a "must" for anyone interested in learning more: Secrets from a Stargazer's Notebook: Making Astrology Work for You and here's a guide to the best books available this month. This column is (c) 2020 MADAM LICHTENSTEIN, LLC., All Rights Reserved. For Entertainment Purposes Only. Madam Lichtenstein is the author of the best selling astrology book “HerScopes ” now in its 10th printing and available as an eBook.

ARIES (MARCH 21 - APRIL 20)
Concentrate on your health and well being, Aries. Obviously continue to take extra precautions during the pandemic but also check your diet and exercise regimes for any opportunity to improve. You will find that you have even more energy and tenacity than usual and are especially productive. Before you know it your efforts will be prize winning.

TAURUS (APRIL 21 - MAY 21)
Romance is on the agenda now as your flirtatious talents come to the fore. Who do you have your sights on, Taurus? How festive can you make the safe encounter? You have extra charisma now. Make it count in a range of places with a range of people. You might also try your luck on some low risk endeavor. Do it as long as it is within range and fun.

GEMINI (MAY 22 - JUNE 21)
If you have been feeling vulnerable, the cosmos will infuse you with courage this week, Gemini. Focus on your personal security and the goal of getting yourself into a position of strength and resilience. While you sometime prefer to avoid confrontation and just go with the flow, try not to do that now. Forge your own direction - one that feels right and steady.

CANCER (JUNE 22 - JULY 23)
Your opinion counts more than ever now, Cancer. Not only are you coming from a thoughtful and carefully culled perspective, you seem to embody more authority. So call it as you see it and see how others react. You may not get a full consensus but I bet you will change a few minds. The question will then become, what will you so with all of this power?

LEO (JULY 24 - AUGUST 23)
If finances have been a concern for you, this may be the week that you reach some new conclusions and maybe even a solution. Leos are happy spenders in the good times and emotional spenders in tight times. Management is key. But also look deep into your psyche and see if there is something in your value system that can use a tweak. It could be profitable.

VIRGO (AUGUST 24 - SEPTEMBER 23)
You shine this week, Virgo. Nothing that you do can take away from the amazing opportunities that can come your way should you take notice of them. The secret is to be aware of all of your surroundings, the people moving in and out of your orbit and the points in time where action is paramount to put it all together. Things that you do now have long lasting impact.

LIBRA (SEPTEMBER 24 - OCTOBER 23)
Libras with a keen sense of destiny will find that they have a certain intuitive power that will carry them into new spheres of influence. Find the right balance between achieving your personal needs and giving back to the world in the form of charity and good deeds. You may find that one influences the other and both can be achieved. Ah nirvana!

SCORPIO (OCTOBER 24 - NOVEMBER 22)
There is a time to forge your own path and a time to find fellow travelers to move along with you. Find out which direction works best for you at this particular time, Scorpio. It may be that what you want to accomplish will take a few extra hands to help make it a reality. Anyway, there is always more fun to be had in a great group effort....

SAGITTARIUS (NOVEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 22)
Long term plans should be formed and decided upon now, Sagittarius, while you have a clear vision of how to make dreams into reality. Not only are you beginning to think more about the future after weeks of self introspection, you are coming up with some good ideas. Test a few with close advisors and see their reaction. Then make a decision and go forth!

CAPRICORN (DECEMBER 23 - JANUARY 20)
Capricorns are aching to do more outreach and learn more about the world around them. Even if you are still sheltering in place, expansion is very possible and can make you feel more in tune with life. Do some research to see what works best for you and get going. Sometimes just taking a neighborhood walk can get you out of your doldrums and into something fabulous.

AQUARIUS (JANUARY 21 - FEBRUARY 19)
Get deep into yourself now, Aquarius and see if you can figure out what might be holding you back from total enlightenment. Challenges can be discovered and overcome. Then there will be nothing in your way to divert you from your ultimate life goal. The timing is pivotal for a big, dramatic move. The direction to up to you. But head towards universal harmony.

PISCES (FEBRUARY 20 - MARCH 20)
Pisces should continue to seek connections from others in any safe way they can. This remains a great time to strengthen ties to others and create new relationships where you can. This can be achieved virtually or safely in person but the decision of how is totally up to you. Make your boundaries known but also be flexible to expand your reach where you can.

(c) 2020 MADAM LICHTENSTEIN, LLC., All Rights Reserved. For Entertainment Purposes Only. Best astrology book ever - HerScopes