World Amazing Stuff: Dark Hedges in Ireland

Dark Hedges in Ireland

The Dark Hedges is one of Northern Ireland's most popular tourist attractions. A scene is almost ethereal. For the past three centuries, a stretch of Beech trees have been guarding either side along Bregagh Road, near the village of Armoy. They have reached up and intertwined with each other, creating an ethereal tunnel of trees with shadow and light playing through the entwined branches.

Up until fifteen years ago, only locals knew about the Dark Hedges. In 1998, Northern Ireland’s national tourist board began to use the setting to promote tourism. Visitors have been pouring in ever since. It is one of the most photographed places in the world, and has become a desktop wallpaper cliché.

Several scenes of the hit series ‘Game of Thrones’ have been filmed here and it is also a popular location for wedding photography.

Of course, such an ancient stretch of road is bound to have horror stories linked to it. The Dark Hedges is no different. If you ever happen to visit, you better watch out for the ‘Grey Lady’.

Local legend has it that she haunts the thin ribbon of road that winds beneath the ancient beech trees. She is said to glide silently along the roadside, and vanish as she reaches the last tree.

Some people believe that the Grey Lady is the ghost of a young maid who died at the mansion under mysterious circumstances. Others say that she is a lost spirit from an abandoned graveyard, thought to be hidden in the fields nearby. On Halloween night, the forgotten graves open and all the tormented souls join the Grey Lady in her walk. Naturally, not everybody believes these legends, but there is no denying the supernatural energy that the place seems to carry. 

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