I did this post on The Kildare Mansion a couple of years ago. It has become one of my most popular posts and some of the comments on the post are very interesting and written by those who have lived in the house and experienced it. I thought I would repost it with the comments so others could read the stories of those who know the house far better than I. The Kildare Mansion was first famous for it’s ghosts. It was built in 1886 by a wealthy Irishman named O’Shaughnessy. He built the castle as a reminder of his homeland, Ireland. He put a fortune into making it the most extravagent house in the area and he did a good job of it. This giant of a house overshadows everything around it. It has over 40 rooms and is over 17,000 square feet including the massive basement. In 1900, MR. O’Shaughnessy went blind and his wife Anna sold Kildare to the trust fund established for Mary McCormick who inherited a multi million dollar fortune from her father
Unfortunately, Mary McCormick was mentally ill and suffered greatly during certain periods. At the time, treatment options were limited so they kept her locked in the house and had several nurses and staff to take care of her. During her lucid periods, Mary a wonderful woman who was known for her kindness and generocity. For her entire life, she needed nurses to help her care for her mental illness. Finally she had to retire to a sanitarium, leaving her beautiful house behind.
From 1932- 1975, the Kildare Mansion fell into disrepair. It decayed slowly as slums and lesser buildings slowly surrounded it hiding it’s beauty in their sullen shadows. In 1975, the house was purchased by the Reeves, who lovingly restored the house to its original splendor It was during this time that the house was shown in the tour of historic homes and became a popular visit for haunt jaunters. The house’s basement was notoriously haunted by the ghost of Mary McCormick. Still tormented by her madness, she apparently made quite a ruckus at night.
In 2005 the house was bought by a family whose name I won’t mention. Since that time, the ghosts have become the least interesting part of this house. The house has always been a favorite site for anyone visiting Huntsville because of its historic significance, its beauty, and its haunted history. Many people drive by the house and photograph it. Since 2005, however, the new owners have spent a considerable amount of time watching out for anyone lingering near the house. If you drive by slowly or stop in front of the house, a woman will emerge screaming at you. Sometimes she’ll curse and sometimes she’ll use the garden hose to spray your car. Other times she’ll shine a spotlight on you and others she’ll take pictures of you with her cell phone. No matter what the new owner does, it is always hostile and she seems to always be watching. She sits day and night waiting for those that linger to long, which might make one wonder if Mary McCormick’s mental illness might not be spreading? Perhaps the house and its dark secrets have driven the new owner mad? Perhaps madness is part of the curse of the house?
No matter what the case. Sadly, the reason most drive by these days is to see the new owner run out and start screaming. Her wild antics have become a fun attraction for locals who stop by just to see her jump around and scream Few remember the ghost stories or the house’s beautiful history.