Prehen House is a large private home near the town of Prehen in Northern Ireland, reportedly haunted by the 'Half-Hung' man John MacNaghten.
Background[edit | edit source]
Built in 1740, the House typically served as the home for the Knox family. The head of the house, Andrew Knox, was once the M.P for the county of Donegal. The Knox family owned the house for 170 years. The ownership was interrupted during the first world war when the government seized the house for its own protection. Recently however, it has been declared a historic building by the Northern Irish tourist board and the European Heritage board.
John MacNaghten[edit | edit source]
In 1761, John MacNaghten was a soldier who was in Prehen. He fell in love with Mary Ann Knox, who was the daughter of Andrew Knox, the two both lived in Prehen House. MacNaghten met Mary Ann and the two fell in love with each other. They began meeting up in secret and eventually decided to get married. However, when Mary Ann told her father that she wanted to marry John MacNaghten, Andrew Knox denied his daughter the permission to marry him, and banished Mary Ann from seeing John MacNaghten. Both MacNaghten and Mary Ann were devastated at first, but eventually, Mary Ann forgot about MacNaghten. MacNaghten on the other hand did not forget and started making plans to see Mary Ann again.
A few months later, MacNaghten discovered that the Knox's were going on a trip to Strabane and so thought up a plan to abduct Mary Ann from the carriage transporting her. He also bought some followers and a Gun in case he had to fight off Mary Ann's father. MacNaghten and his group managed to block the road and so the Carriage had to stop, MacNaghten then entered the carriage to kidnap Mary Ann but her father rose to stop him. MacNaghten went to shoot Andrew Knox but Mary Ann threw herself in front of her father and was shot instead. Mary Ann died on the carriage and John MacNaghten was sentenced to death.
John MacNaghten was taken to the gallows to be hanged. On the first attempt of hanging MacNaghten, the rope snapped. In the 1700's it was believed that if the rope of a gallows snapped then it meant that God did not want the person to die, and so he would have been let free. However, John MacNaghten exclaimed that he did not want to be known as 'Half-Hung MacNaghten' and then hung himself.
Hauntings[edit | edit source]
Since MacNaghten's death, it is said that John MacNaghten's ghost haunts Prehen House. Andrew Knox had been haunted for many years and even to this day people say that you can hear footsteps throughout the house. It is also said that the ghost will try and get into bed with you if you sleep in the house.