Northern Ireland news

Ghost hunters proposal rejected by Antrim council

Sentry Hill in Carnmoney, Co Antrim, dates back to 1835 and now serves as a museum

A COUNCIL has rejected a proposal to allow ghost hunters to carry out investigations at two historic properties in Co Antrim.

Antrim and Newtownabbey borough council had received requests to search for paranormal activity at Sentry Hill in Carnmoney and Clotworthy House in Antrim.

The request by the County Antrim Paranormal Research Association (CAPRA) was approved initially earlier this month by members of the council’s Community Planning Committee.

The committee had heard that investigations by CAPRA would have involved members using equipment to detect changes in temperature and other signs they suggest may indicate ghostly goings-on.

However, at a full meeting of the council last night, Alliance councillor Billy Webb proposed an amendment that permission be refused.

"I think it is one thing to have a paranormal investigation in a public building, but it is quite another thing to have them in buildings that have previously been a private home which is the case with Sentry Hill and Clotworthy," he said.

"There may be relations to those who previously lived there still in our community.

"I think that should have been considered before granting permission.

"The council has been contacted with similar concerns. I propose an amendment that permission is refused."

His proposal was seconded by DUP councillor Matthew Magill.

Previously, Mr Webb had questioned the impact it would have in relation to usage of the buildings if "something is detected".

Sentry Hill, a Victorian farmhouse, built in 1835, and now a council property is associated with the McKinney family which first came from Scotland to Ireland in the 18th century.

It was occupied by Andrew McKinney in the 1780s. The property remained in the family until 1996.

Clotworthy House, a council arts centre and former stable block and coach house in Antrim Castle Gardens, was built in 1843 by the tenth Viscount Massereene.

In 2021, a paranormal group was given permission to carry out an investigation at Mossley Mill. The council granted permission to Ballyclare Paranormal Society to carry out a probe into any paranormal activity at Ballyclare Town Hall in 2017.

In 2011, Mossley Mill attracted the attention of North Belfast Paranormal Research Group which approached the council for night-time access to the building and grounds.

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