Happy Halloween - the most haunted places in Ireland
From old castles to deserted prisons, the scariest spots in the Emerald Isle
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.”
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.
4. Charleville Castle
Tullamore, County Offaly
Charleville Forest Castle is so famously haunted that it’s been featured on shows such as Fox's “Scariest Places On Earth” and Living TV's “Most Haunted.”
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