The filming locations used in the HBO series Game of Thrones are perfect for the medieval magical fantasy world in which the show is set. Those locations are not only striking, but they come with a lot of history and legends of their own. For example, these trees are from the Dark Hedges of Armoy in Northern Ireland, which is used for the Kingsroad of Westeros.
In the real world, its beech trees were originally planted in 1750 by the Stuart family in the grounds of Gracehill House, creating the haunting effect which features prominently in the show. John Stuart, who named the property after his wife, Grace, wanted to create an epic approach to his home. And the result is spectacular, especially considering the avenue of twisted trees stands amid Northern Ireland’s unpredictable weather.
And, of course, there are tales attached to the eerily beautiful stretch of road, and given how the trees seem to have a reaching, grasping sort of life of their own, it can be rather chilling, even if you don’t believe in ghosts. Paranormal stories aside, it’s one of those places that simply has an unmistakable aura of age about it.
Photographers, locals and tourists alike tell stories about a Grey Lady. It’s thought that she walks along the strip of road at night, either the ghost of a maid from the Stuart mansion, or, in other versions, the restless spirit of a young girl buried in the nearby graveyard. On Halloween, those who are buried beside her are said to walk with her. Others guess that she’s the daughter of John Stuart, who was always referred to in family history and genealogy not by her given name Margaret, but instead, as “Cross Peggy”. No one is sure why.
The article at Urban Ghosts also looks at the history and legends of the castles of Northern Ireland, the fortress in Morocco, and the gorgeous town in Croatia that became King’s Landing, among other places. The pictures are something else!
(Image credit: Flickr user horslips5)