Recently I came across a reference to Castlebar, a town in County Mayo, Ireland and was reminded of a week I spent there on a business trip. We stayed in a heritage property, a converted nineteenth century castle that was not very far from the main road and yet had an isolated air that was further accentuated by an eerie silence that pervaded the place. Even the three pretty farmhouses beyond the open fields that made up up my room’s view appeared to be deserted, with thick woods closing over them from the other side.

The fairly large banquet halls looked humongous as we seemed to be the only guests. The staff who managed the buffet were polite and kind, even though some of them looked as though they had just walked out from the sets of the Addam’s Family. One evening when the lift was out of order, we took the steps to our rooms on the third floor and lost our way into another wing of the castle that was done up in shades of deep red, where the temperature suddenly dropped and shadows seemed to lurk in the corners, despite the bright lights of the many chandeliers. The unearthly vibes of the place were neither warm nor evil, but they were there, and though I was not affected by them, I was still glad to leave that hauntingly beautiful place.

I got similar vibes from a small village in Nottinghamshire. On a client visit, we had got into the wrong train by mistake and found we could not open the train doors from inside.
‘Had it been India, someone would have helped us,’ my Indian collegue B said as our Italian PM banged on the door and tried to attract the attention of someone who could open the doors and let us out. But the train had already started to move and we got down at the nearest station and found ourselves walking through a road in a tiny village to get a taxi. It might have been called a pleasant street, tree-lined with pretty houses some of which had small gardens in the front, but it was eerily quiet and there was no sign of people anywhere. It was around nine in the morning, but the place gave off strong vibes of something I did not want to think about, and I was relieved to get into the taxi. The empty mountain paths in Landour, a little Himalayan town had similar vibes, a dense energy that grew more and more overwhelming with time that I was glad to get away from the place. I wrote about this here:

I was talking to an empath friend on the above, and how certain places exude certain kinds of energy. She had an interesting question. We go to mountains and beaches to replenish energy drained from the stress of everyday life, but what if these places were to drain energies? Perhaps we should check out the energies of the place from the photographs and Google maps, I suggested, only half-joking. Before I took a workcation in the Himalayas last year, I had checked out the places of interest and I remember seeing writeups on a certain place where the world’s most famous popstars had stayed, and deciding never to visit that campus, because the energy of those photos were really weird. I love everything that old band wrote together, including their experiments with acid rock and classical Indian music, but I refrained from visiting that famous haunt of theirs, because of the vibes that came through from photos of the place.