This film is part of Free

The Black Nun

Are you a keen historian or a ghost enthusiast? Travel to Bonamargy Friary to enjoy a tale of the mysterious Black Nun and her uncanny last wish.

News 1962 4 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Northern Ireland Screen


These Ulster Television news rushes tell tales of Julia McQuillan, a mysterious prophet and a recluse who chose to live alone among the ruins of Bonamargy after the Friary fell out of use in the 17th century. Some believe that Julia was murdered on the steps leading to the upper floor of the Friary, others say she fell off the thirteenth step and bad luck will befall anyone who sets one’s foot there.

Franciscan Bonamargy Friary was founded by Rory McQuillan about 1500 and is believed to be haunted by the ghost of the Black Nun. According to the legend, if you walk around the black nun’s grave seven times clockwise, seven times counter-clockwise and then place a hand through the hole you can summon her. She is supposedly buried under a stone slab marked with this unusual hole stone cross. This material is courtesy of the UTV Archive.