The Zone

There is a zone in Co. Leitrim where weird events in space and time are known to happen from ancient times up to today. It is an oval shaped area

Start of road into the zone

covering roughly 8 miles square which is split at its centre by a narrow road which runs between The Mountain Tavern public house (Est. 1829) and the townland of Cornaleck (near Drumcong) at a distance of just under 2 miles. Over the years the road itself has jokingly become known locally as the road least travelled in Leitrim but paradoxically a road everyone finds themselves on at least once in their lifetime and can expect to promptly get lost on. Getting lost of course is also a good way of finding yourself and many people who have found their way out of it have emerged utterly changed as people. From quantum physics we know that the observer effect’s the outcome

Mountain Taven road into the zone

of the experiment and the zone appears to obey the same principle. That is why it is mostly strangers or first-time visitors who wander into it unawares that experience its most profound and life-altering effects while those who live there can become almost immune to it with nothing unusual happening to them. Time slips are common in the zone and seeing the ghosts of people from its past is usual and can manifest most commonly by passing people on the road wearing outdated clothes or seeing smoke come from chimneys of houses with well tended gardens that have long been abandoned. Other things known about the zone is that there is always a peculiar wind constantly blowing through it and in 1739 a minor gold rush was experienced there when a local farmer chanced upon a large nugget of gold in a stream. After much panning and shallow mining by others no other trace of the metal was found and it is now believed that the gold simply materialized into the zone like much else. For example, a large percentage of the counties new age travelers profess to have materialized there in the early 90s while attending a rave in Cornwall. No figures exist for how many people and exotic animals that continue to emerge from the zone as local authorities are known to turn a blind eye to it. It has become widely suspected that

Water powered anti-matter generator

one of the reasons for granting planning permission for so many houses, which now lie empty, may have been that it was a decision based on over optimistic figures for those materializing out of the zone that would stay. One effort to stabilize the effects of the zone was made in the 1840s when a primitive water powered generator (what today might be known as an anti-matter machine) was built at its centre. Its remains can still be seen today, where surprisingly its cog wheels wooden teeth are still perfectly intact.

Wooden teeth cog wheels

How it functioned has been forgotten but once in operation it is believed to have only served to cause more disturbance and could even have been what caused the townland of Georgia to go missing from the zone. No trace of it or its people were seen again but today its ruins are said to have appeared once more and can be found deep in local forestry.

Unwound pictured in the zone

More recently the American rock group Unwound heard about the zone from a Leitrim fan in the mid 90’s when they played in Dublin and were intrigued enough to enter it in 2000 to record the final pieces for their Leaves Turn Inside You album. They rented Liscarbin community centre for the purpose while living in rooms above The Mountain Tavern nearby. Not much more is known of their experience except that they abandoned the session soon after arriving, left and finished the album at home. They would break up within a year and to date none of the band members has ever discussed the episode and any recordings made there remain unreleased. The portraits of the band members found in the artwork of the album are thought to have been taken while they were in the zone however and their stay may have inspired the track ‘Look a Ghost’. (Stephen Rennicks)


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