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The Green Lady

  • 14-10-2013 5:47pm
    Registered Users Posts: 792 Ziegfeldgirl27

    I have been incredibly inspired and intrigued over the last number of days to research the story of the Green Lady. Unfortunately, there isn't too much information out there. I was hoping perhaps a few members here could contribute.

    As a child, I was very much aware of a ghost known as the Green Lady. At school we always told each other ghost stories of the Green Lady, usually involving the Green Lady kidnapping and killing innocent children (usually by boiling them!).

    It wasn't until I was much older that I became aware that the ghost "resided" in Vicar's Hill, an area I am totally unfamiliar with.

    Just over the weekend, a family member told me the "true" story of the Green Lady, and what struck me is how sad it is.

    Here is an excellent article describing the events..

    I have really been unable to find any additional information online. I found this short piece of information which is from the Dublin Irish Times -

    There are so many unanswered questions which I would really like to know the answers to. There must be some newspaper articles or records from Bellina Prior's admittance to the lunatic asylums in Armagh and Dublin. Where would I even begin to find such information? Anne Slavin died in 1888, surely there must be something out there to do with her killing as I have seen prints of newspaper articles from the train disaster the following year?

    Bellina Prior and her mother died in Dublin. Where were they buried?

    It seems very likely to me that as Bellina died in Dublin that there is no such spirit in Vicar's Hill. I don't really believe in ghosts in the first instance but should Bellina have died in Vicars Hill I think I might be persuaded.

    How did the name "Green Lady" come about? Does it refer to Bellina or her mother?

    Which house in Vicars Hill did the Prior family live in? And has there ever been any evidence of the spirit in the bottle in the house?

    If anyone could help me I would be much obliged.


  • Registered Users Posts: 792 Ziegfeldgirl27

    Also I was trying to check the census records for evidence of the Prior family. Unfortunately Armagh census records have been destroyed! Was hoping to look at the 1881 census, apparently only the 1901 census remains.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7 ✭✭✭ WeeBit

    How did the name "Green Lady" come about? Does it refer to Bellina or her mother?

    It refers to Bellina, her soul was trapped in a green bottle, it's said if you break the bottle you release the Green Lady to kill children once more.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2 Karloneill

    'The Green Lady' is a common name for local ghosts, you find Green Ladies all over the place in various countries! The house where Bellina Prior lived in Armagh was occupied in both 1901 and 1911 according to the census of each year, so I wonder when the house acquired its reputation for being 'haunted'.

    I've been doing a little bit of detective work on Bellina, for a radio play I'm writing, and I have found the house where she and her mother were living in Dublin, together with the spot where they are buried (unfortunately no headstone or anything there). They were at 2 Charleville Road in Rathmines, and their bodies were discovered by police - alerted by neighbours hearing their dogs barking for some time - on 24th November 1909, both poisoned with carbolic acid, the mother leaving a suicide note saying she had administered the poison to her daughter before taking it herself. They are buried in Mount Jerome cemetery in Harold's Cross.
    It appears they were living in Rathmines for several years, an eccentric couple of ladies, with Bellina calling herself 'Mrs Beresford' to shopkeepers, and known locally as 'The Pink Lady' for dressing usually in that colour.

    What I haven't been able to find out is where the family went after the court case in Armagh in 1888. No sign of them in the census of 1901 that I can find anyway. I gather two of Bellina's siblings (the 2 brothers probably) were living in South Africa and Australia by 1909, where Adele was, Bellina's only sister, I have no idea. Bellina was put into Dundrum asylum in 1888, possibly released from there around 10-12 years later, perhaps into her mother's care, although I can't find them in the 1901 census.

    Did the mother and Adele (21) and Harvey (14) leave Armagh after the trial? Go abroad? Is the father, Lieutenant-Colonel Prior, buried in Armagh (he died in 1876)? He was of the 12th Lancers, any more information on him? Presumably he and his wife were English, and one person in the papers said Nina (his wife) was from a military family, her mother possibly Greek.

    I grew up in Abbey Street in Armagh, just down the street from Vicars Hill (No. 6 was the Prior House I believe), hence my interest. I am an actor and writer based in Dublin.

  • Registered Users Posts: 792 Ziegfeldgirl27

    Hi Karl. After I made my original post here, I began researching Bellina's story and learned a lot more about her and her family's life.

    Their father is buried in the grounds of the old cathedral, at the side just opposite Vicars Hill.

    I found Nina Prior, Harvey Prior and Adele Prior in the 1891 England census, living at an address in Shipley.

    I was also able to locate Anne Slavin's grave in Sandy Hill graveyard. It was very sad to me, to actually stand at her grave. I cannot imagine what her family went through. Her grave is marked with a headstone however it is in incredibly bad repair and the inscription on it has long since faded away.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2 Karloneill

    I have managed to get a good bit of info on what happened Bellina post-1888. She spent 4 years in Dundrum Asylum in Dublin, was released into her mother's care in 1892 (on condition they not return to Armagh), and lived for a while in London, sometimes travelling abroad with her mother or sister Adele (India and New York at least). She and her mother subsequently settled in Warrenpoint, Co Down, around 1894-99, with occasional stays in London and elsewhere. They moved to Dublin after that, various locations, then around 1904/5 into what would be their final abode in Rathmines, where they were found dead in November 1909.
    The older brother John Felix probably went to Australia (rarely kept in touch, I think), Adele probably ended up staying in the States, and Harvey spent his life (between fighting in the Boer War and WW1) in what is now Zimbabwe.
    I've visited the graves of the father (C of I Armagh), Annie Slavin (old RC graveyard, Armagh), and indeed Bellina and her mother in Dublin (unmarked, in Mt Jerome cemetery).

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