Moneymore is a village of some 1900 people, situated in County Londonderry. The plantation village was built by the Drapers’ Company of London, who also had land in nearby Draperstown (hence the name ‘Draperstown’).
The word Moneymore comes from the Irish ‘Muine Mór’ and means a large thicket or large hill. A century ago, four to five hundred people lived there.
My maternal grandmother lived about a mile outside Moneymore, at Carrydarragh. My earliest memories involve my parents and myself going up to granny’s house every Sunday, for lunch. She was a lovely lady. These regular weekly visits went on until my maternal grandfather’s passing, in September 1974.
It’s a beautiful village. It was a lovely moment in time. After 1974, I was rarely ever again in Moneymore.
Before Christmas, I came across an old scary newspaper story about strange goings-on, in Moneymore, in early 1893. There were several other local ghostly stories around this same time.
The Tyrone Courier, from Saturday 11th February 1893, tells the Moneymore story best.
On Saturday night last (4th February 1893), about 8.15pm, Mr. Lapping, an Army pensioner, reported to Sergeant Bell at his barrack, that some persons were knocking at the door giving great annoyance.
The sergeant, at the time, was proceeding to the country, called by the place, and saw nothing wrong, but left word with the guard to inform the men on duty in the village of the occurrence, with instructions to look after the affair.
The two men on town duty, on being informed, hid themselves in front of Mr. Lapping’s, having a full view of the house.
After some 20 minutes, waiting in ambush, the door was opened and Mrs Lapping came out. The police asked, “was there any noise since?”
Mrs Lapping, said “the door was just knocked now,” and the police said, “that cannot be, we have been here for the last 20 minutes and no-one went to the door.”
They left, and after a little while, the two policemen positioned themselves again, this time a little nearer the house, to watch the door. Nobody would be able to approach the house, without the police seeing them.
They were not long there, when Constable Burns heard the door getting three knocks, Constable Orange then came up, and both went towards the house. Mrs Lapping opened the door. The police stepped forward, and she begged of them, to come inside. They did so, chatted for a short time, when the front window got three knocks, the police rushed to the door and no person was to be seen.
They came in again and held talk, after a little while, the back window got three more knocks. All rushed out (much frightened), and no person could be found in the yard, which is well enclosed in such a way that no person could come and go without being observed.
Cops Claim Locals are Reading Bad Books
The police say some persons are reading bad books, like what was done in Cookstown, some ten or twelve years ago, when a man from Ballymena had to come to Cookstown to settle the ghost, which event should be fresh in the minds of the people about Oldtown Hill.
Nothing more has been heard since Saturday night, and it is hoped the police have scared the ghost.
The Bogie Man
the following is a poem specially composed, by the local media that week, on the “Bogie” Man.
The inhabitants of Moneymore have had a terrible fright,
Because, of a dreadful Bogie man who walks about at night.
I’m told he’s like a skeleton, his face is pale and wan,
I shudder when I think upon this dreadful Bogie man.
He appears in different aspects, sometimes he’s dressed in white,
And he walks the Desertmartin road at seven o’clock at night.
Come gather round ye citizens, and think upon a plan,
To put to flight without delay this dreadful Bogie man.
Some wise folk took it in their head to make the Bogie speak,
And walked the Desertmartin road this curious sight to seek,
One night they found him on his rounds, so with a stick they ran,
He vanished in a wreath of smoke, this dreadful Bogie man.
The next account we heard of him he wandered up and down,
Along the Cookstown road at night about one mile from town,
He there appeared without a head, and wings spread like a fan,
And screamed like a might owl, this dreadful Bogie man.
This is the last time he was seen, he vanished from our ken.
To lie and wait in ghostly state within his darksome den,
Then gather round ye citizens, and every one who can,
Return thanks fur the hasty flight of the dreadful Bogie man.