Cahill Family Living in the O’Reilly House

As told to Anita O’Keefe, Cultural Assistant, Town of Placentia by Hildred (Cahill) MacDonald and her cousin Michael Cashin.

The Cahill family lived in the O’Reilly house, once known as Magistrate O’Reilly’s house and presently known as the O’Reilly House Museum in Placentia. 

After arriving from St. John’s, the Cahill’s moved in with their Grandmother Fitzpatrick for a few years.  Having six children running around wasn’t easy on the aging grandmother, so Cyril and Molly Cahill (daughter of Mrs. Fitzpatrick) decided to get a place of their own for their young and active family.   

At the time, the O’Reilly sisters had their family home up for rent and Mr. & Mrs. Cahill found that this was a suitable and large enough house for their family.  The Cahill’s rented the O’Reilly House around 1934/36. 

Mrs. MacDonald said that as young children, the Cahill kids (Hildred, Tom, etc.) were told by the local kids that the O’Reilly House was “haunted” by Mr. O’Reilly.  Mrs. MacDonald said that at about age 10 she was scared to death living there.  In fact, she says, her older brother Cyriltold his siblings of hearing Mr. O’Reilly walking around the hallway at night and that one night Mr. O’Reilly came into his bedroom and sat on his bed.  Cyril refused to ever sleep in that room again!  She said that they grew up on ghost stories and firmly believed that they existed. 

When their Grandmother Fitzpatrick died in 1936, the Cahill family moved back into their grandmother’s house. 

(Note: A member of the Cahill Family, Thomas, is now celebrated in the O'Reilly House Museum as a notable citizen of Placentia.) To read more go here.

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