The escape of the beauteous Alice Le Kyteler

In 1324, Alice Le Kyteler — original owner of this Kilkenny inn — was accused with various accomplices of witchcraft. Beauteous and clever, the daughter of a Norman banker, Alice had survived four husbands and amassed no small fortune. All this excited the jealousy of powerful contemporaries. Alice was tried, found guilty, and condemned to be whipped through the streets and then burnt alive at the stake. She escaped this fate through the intervention of “certain of the nobilitie” who conveyed her to England, where she disappeared. Her maid, Petronella, enjoyed no such happy flight. Condemned as one of the accomplices, she suffered the horrific fate intended originally for her mistress. Medieval times. That Alice’s house had been a place of “merrymaking and good cheer” is the only charge that has stood the test of time. Kyteler’s Inn has reverted to its old ways, as you can read on a sign within. It offers those of “the most jaded of appetites” music, home-made food, and a selection of quality wines and beers. True, those who work at the inn have frequently reported ghostly goings-on. Paranormal investigators have felt a presence, and not long ago, four women-friends from Wexford accidentally captured photos of a black shadow heading up the stairs behind them. Was it Alice? Petronella? In Kilkenny, that mystery awaits resolution.

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