Ireland has a long and bloody history, which means that naturally, haunted places can be found all over the country.
From castles visited by murdered spirits, to pubs run by friendly ghosts, Ireland is home to an array of specters.
We’ve done our research here at IrishCentral and come up with what we think are the 10 most haunted places in all of the Emerald Isle.
So light a fire, curl up to your computer and get ready to learn all about the Ireland’s scariest ghouls and ghosts.
1. Ross Castle
Lough Sheelin, County Meath
A famous Irish building steeped in history, Ross Castle is known as one of the most haunted places in all of Ireland and even Britain.
Located on the shores of Lough (Lake) Sheelin, the castle was built in 1533 by the Lord of Devon Richard Nugent, a.k.a. the Black Baron.”
The Baron’s tragic daughter Sabina is said to haunt the property today.
Legend has it that in 1536, Sabina met a handsome young man named Orwin, son of an O’Reilly chieftain, on a bridge on the edge of her father’s property.
The two fell in love, but they weren’t considered an appropriate match, with Sabina being English and Orwin being Irish.
So the star-crossed lovers decided to elope, and took a boat out onto Lough Sheelin to escape the people who wouldn’t accept them together.
But the unpredictable lake waters got the best of them when a storm hit and their boat was overturned. Orwin struck his head on the rock beneath the shallow lake and died, while Sabina was rescued.
When Sabina woke up three days later and saw her beloved’s body laid out in the palace chapel, she screamed a blood curdling scream. Soon after she died from shock, and she and Orwin were buried in a mound on the castle grounds.
Sabina now haunts Ross Castle, in search for her lost lover. Her agonizing wail is said to still be heard today around 3 or 4 a.m. in the back right room of the castle.
The Black Baron’s presence has also been reported visitors in the vicinity of the castle on numerous occasions. The Baron is said to roam the grounds as well, grieving for his dead daughter.
2. Kilmainham Gaol
Kilmainham, County Dublin
Prisons are famously haunted buildings, and Ireland’s most famous prison is no exception.
Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin opened in 1796, and is the place where the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising were held and subsequently executed by firing squad. The building was shut down in 1924.
Today, the large and eerie jail is Ireland’s largest unoccupied prison. It was restored in the 1960s, and is now a museum that’s said to be haunted by both former inmates and evil wardens.
Several ghostly tales have been told about Kilmainham Gaol. During its restoration, caretaker Dan McGill reported lights mysteriously turning on and off in the prison chapel.
During the same time period, a man who was painting the dungeon area of the prison experienced a powerful gust of wind, which blew him against a wall. The man managed to fight his way out of the dungeon, and emerged with an ashen face and shaking hands. He refused to work in, or ever enter, the jail again.
Another worker was decorating the 1916 memorial corridor when he heard heavy footsteps climbing the stone stairs and walking up behind him. When he turned, no one was in the corridor, despite the fact that the footsteps continued right past him.
Several children who went to tour the prison have stopped at its threshold and refused to go a step further onto the grounds.
According to Dan McGill, the threatening spirits at the prison do not belong to the inmates, because they are happy that their stories are being told. But, “The soldiers and the guards?” he would say. “Now they’re a different matter.”
3. Charles Fort
Kinsale, County Cork
Military forts join theatres and jails in being the most haunted areas in many countries.
Charles Fort is Ireland’s resident military haunted sight.
The fort, which was built in the 1670s, is often visited by the “White Lady of Kinsale.”
The legend goes like this: In the 1870s, Wilful Warrender was a young woman married to an officer named Sir Trevor Ashurst.
One day, Ashurst swapped places with a sentry, who he sent to fetch flowers on his wedding day.
Wilful’s father, the commander of the fort, saw the “sentry” asleep, and shot him, only realizing afterwards that he had actually killed his new son-in-law.
When Wilful discovered what had happened, she leapt to her death from the battlements, prompting Commander Warrender to shoot himself.
Ever since, Wilful, the “White Lady of Kinsale,” has roamed the grounds of Charles Fort, and has been seen walking through locked doors.