My dear friend, Linda, just sent me a well-loved book by the father of all paranormal investigators, Hans Holzer. I’ve been enjoying the stories about his experiences in haunted houses and thought I might share one of those stories with you.
This story isn’t in the book but is featured on his Facebook Fan page, which also lists other investigations he did during his lifetime. The ghost he and a medium discovered in Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel became so well known that Irish Central did an entire article about her.
According to Irish Central, only the bravest of visitors opt to stay in one of the luxury rooms at the Shelbourne Hotel, which has a long association with poltergeist activity. This is from the article, “In an RTÉ documentary, management at the palatial hotel admitted that on a number of occasions terrified guests ran out of the eerie room screaming in panic. And the program-makers discovered that at one stage over a six-month period, between two and three hotel guests a week reported paranormal activity, including sink, bath taps, and showers turning on by themselves.
Hotel guests complained so much about sensing an other-worldly presence in the room that one staff member was ordered to sleep in the room to verify if claims that it was haunted were true.
After witnessing taps once again turning on by themselves, the shaken staff member who had been sent to stay in the room was described by a work colleague as emerging ‘as white as a sheet.’”
The ghost is believed to be Mary Masters, a seven-year-old girl who died of cholera in 1791.
Actress Lily Collins, the daughter of Phil Collins, actually had an encounter with Mary Masters. According to an article in the Independent.ie, Lily was staying at the Shelbourne Hotel while filming the movie “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.”
The article tells of her interview with Jimmy Fallon. “And she won’t forget her time there any time soon,” she said when she appeared on ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.’
She told host Jimmy Fallon that she felt a “presence” in her hotel room – or more specifically, a person.
“I open my eyes, and I hear a giggle,” she said.
“And then I felt a rush of air across my body, and I heard all these doors slamming, like fire doors – the ones you don’t hear opening, but then the air – it closes.
“Three of them – and there were three doors outside my room,” the 24-year-old actress said.
Lily spoke to staff the following morning about the incident.
She said that she was then told stories about a ghost named Mary Masters.
Mary is believed to be seven years of age and is said to haunt the hotel’s sixth floor, which is where Lily was staying.
Mary Masters is believed to have died from a cholera outbreak in 1846 and was believed to have lived in the buildings which now house the Shelbourne Hotel. Legend has it that she refuses to leave.
Over the years, Mary has reportedly been sighted in the basement of the hotel by staff stocking the wine cellar or doing the laundry.
Mary’s name has never appeared on any kind of register in relation to the Shelbourne – it’s believed a medium obtained her identity some years ago.”
And that medium, my friends, was Sybil Leek, the very medium who worked alongside Hans Holzer.