There are ambitious new plans afoot to restore the Cooneen Ghost House, transform it into a visitor attraction and to record any paranormal activity at the site.

The iconic stone building which lies in the the townland of Cornarusland since the early 1900s is reportedly home to a poltergeist which forced a family to flee to America to escape its clutches.

The cottage which belonged to Bridget Murphy has lay derelict for years but Peter McKinley is hoping that his plan to bring the place back to life will bring tourists and paranormal enthusiasts flocking to the area.

Famous for a terrifying poltergeist that plagued Bridget Murphy and her seven children by creating loud noises and footsteps in the loft; banging and rapping on the walls - sometimes to the tune of “The Soldiers Song” and “The Boyne Water”; throwing plates across the room and lifting the beds off the floor as the children slept, the Cooneen Ghost House is believed to be the only house in Ireland in which an exorcism was carried out.

Peter, who recently moved to Fivemiletown from Bangor, has always been fascinated with the house, having spent many Christmases in the area and now he wants to turn his interest into restoring the house to its original setting.

He has met with the Forestry Service who own the land and is now in the process of getting a business plan drawn up to bring back to them and he has also set up Cooneen/Coonian Ghost House Community Interest Company (CIC).

Peter has said initial feedback he has received on the project has been positive.

“Everyone I have spoken to kind of sees the merit of it.

“There are varying degrees of enthusiasm but I haven’t encountered any negative feedback or any opposition coming from anybody,” explained Peter.

“Essentially what I am looking to do is restore it to how it was in 1913 when Bridget Murphy lived there with her children. It’s a big big project.

“It would be interesting in its own right to find out what happened to family. It’s really a museum to the ghost house legend. I’m looking to create a museum to the legend of the Cooneen ghost for people to come visit but also to piece together the whole story.”

Ever since an article was published in The Impartial Reporter in 2016 in which the Forestry Service said they would look at any expressions of interests in the house, Peter has been toying with a number of ideas but it is only recently since moving to the area that he is trying to put his ideas into something more solid.

“What I’m looking to do is restore the house. The house will be the focal point. This is going to be a fairly substantial project. This is going to be a significant thing in the community.

“It will be the focal point, almost like a museum, like the Ulster American Folk Park except in its original setting. Then there would be a caretakers cottage at the back of it.

“My original idea was to restore it to habitable condition and people could come and stay in it but I’ve since decided that’s a very bad idea for logistical and security reasons.

“The idea now it will be to open during the day so its going to be like a functioning, almost like a living museum with kitchen producing traditional Irish country food.

“Instead of people being able to stay in the house what they can do instead there will be a small number of camping pods up there custom made to look like one room cottages.

“Where it is, its beautiful, it’s very remote, it’s very atmospheric because of the house and the setting it is in is quite stunning.”

And as well as turning the house into a visitor attraction during the day, Peter has a more supernatural purpose when the doors are locked and the people go home.

“The house as well as being restored to as it was in 1913 it will actually be bristling with technology. This is actually part of an experiment that if something was to occur there I want to capture that.

“I’m looking to put 360 degrees high definition cameras in every room that will just be recording 24 hours a day and there will be a livestream feed that people can tap into anywhere in the world and they are going to be my eyes and ears.

With the tourist attraction during the day and paranormal investigation at night, Peter is confident the ghost house can turn the place into a “significant tourist attraction”.

“These are hidden gems in east Fermanagh but very few tourist attractions in east Fermanagh. I want to develop as a meeting place or starting of point of what east Fermanagh offers.

“There is an opportunity to harness that interest and the interest in the afterlife in general as an experiment. And as a visitor attraction it ticks a lot of quite different boxes.

“I’m confident it can be a fairly successful tourist attraction,” added Peter.

For now Peter is working on his business plan to put forward to the Forestry Service and if that is successful and they grant a lease then the work raising money starts with Peter expecting to raise £250,000 through various funding.

And he is also looking for anybody who has an interest in the ghost house to get in touch and help him bring his plan to life.

Anybody interested in helping Peter can contact him on