Netflix’s A Murder In West Cork includes a ghost tale about Three Castle Head, so is the Irish location really haunted? Here’s the spooky backstory.

Sophie: a murder in West Cork includes a supernatural legend about Three Castle Head, so is the Irish location really haunted? John Dower’s three-part Netflix docuseries explains the historical lore while documenting the death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in 1996, but does not fully explain the urban legend behind it. Up to that point, audiences may be disappointed by the paranormal activity subplot in Sophie: a murder in West Cork, which was released on Netflix.

In December 1996, the Irish authorities discovered the body of Toscan du Plantier in Schull, Ireland. The 39-year-old French television producer had been on vacation in a country house in West Cork and was killed within hours of returning from a trip to Three Castle Head, near the Atlantic Ocean. Sophie: a murder in West Cork examines the evidence against journalist Ian Bailey, who admitted to killing Toscan du Plantier in private, and was eventually sentenced to 25 years in 2019 after being tried in absentia by a French court.

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But there is a supernatural element in the murder case. Three Castle Head’s uneasiness is referenced during the first episode of Dower’s 2021 Netflix show, and according to a July 2021 report (via Newsweek), the Three Heads Castle mythology is indeed true, or at least based on actual local folklore about Dunlough Castle. During an on-camera interview, Bailey recalls investigating Toscan du Plantier’s death and learned that he had visited Three Castle Head from a local named Yvonne Ungerer. It claims that the victim had a “strange experience” during their excursion along the coast, while the victim’s relatives claim that Sophie had seen a ghoulish figure near one of the towers of the ruined castle. Interviewees briefly explain the Irish legend of the “White Lady” and how people who see the figure will die in the hours that follow. Sadly, this is exactly what happened to Toscan du Plantier, whether by supernatural means or not.

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Sophie Toscan du Plantier in Sophie: A Murder in West Cork on Netflix

The history of the castle is violent. The last family to live at Dunlough Castle on the head reportedly died in a mass suicide or mass murder, and legend has it that a drop of blood can be found daily in a local lake tower. Before the Three Castle Head sequence in Sophie: a murder in West Cork, interviewees briefly talk about the local mythology involving Mount Gabriel, and how the “last wolf in Ireland” apparently lived nearby, presumably in the 18th century, as the last reported wolf sighting took place in 1786 near Mount Leinster (via the Department of Geography, National University of Ireland, Galway).

Toscan du Plantier’s alleged ghost sighting adds an additional mystery to Sophie: a murder in West CorkHowever, it’s worth noting that the Netflix series largely implies that Bailey created a fake timeline to cover up her guilt. It is revealed that he informed locals about the murder before the authorities actually knew about it and that he also threatened a witness who could place him next to a bridge on the night in question. If Bailey really did attempt to produce a false narrative, there is reason to believe that he might have tried to sensationalize the story by incorporating an element of paranormal activity. Based on the various testimonials in Sophie: a murder in West Cork, the victim’s relatives seem to believe the Three Castle Head ghost story, either because Sophie shared her experiences with them prior to her death or because Ungerer’s account seems credible.

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