The Dingle Peninsula, one of the most picturesque places in Ireland, actually contains quite a lot of history, and apparently some ghosts as well. 1580 had the Siege of Smerwick: a Spanish force of about 400 soldiers (close allies to the Irish) was defending Ireland against the British during what was the Second Desmond Rebellion. They retreated to Dún an Óir on the Dingle Peninsula, and were then besieged by the English army who massacred the whole fleet and left them ashore without burial. Today, Dingle locals and visitors claim to hear Spanish cries, see occasional skeletal remains on shore or in the ocean, and smell the stench of rotting flesh coming in with the gusts of wind.
7. Belfast’s Grand Opera house
It’s like the Phantom of the Opera, but in Belfast. Though the Grand Opera House has faced brilliant restoration in recent years, plenty of actors and stagehands have made claims of seeing a face staring at them through an outside window, a figure wearing a long black robe, and also a strong sense of being followed if alone on stage. Just ask the Northern Ireland Paranormal Research Association, who’ve made direct contact with deceased stagehands George and Harry, as well as an unnamed cleaner and another unnamed electrician.
8. Thoor Ballylee
A fortified 14th century Irish-Norman tower house, Thoor Ballylee once belonged to Lady Augusta Gregory, life long friend of poet W.B. Yeats. She passed it onto the famous poet, and he spent many a summer living and writing in the peaceful tower of rural Galway. Yeats himself believed it to be haunted by a young Anglo-Normal soldier; after Yeats’s death, the tower was turned into a museum, the curator of which felt a spirit as well. He had plenty accounts of an apparition walking up and down the stairs, and his pet dog seemed to feel it too. In 1989, a visitor asked if he could photograph Yeats’s old sitting room, and the developed photograph contains a clear human figure (albeit blurry and black) in the picture that hadn’t been in the room at the time.
9. Castle Leslie
Though today’s connotations of Castle Leslie in Co. Monaghan are along the lines of a modern spa or hotel or fancy cooking school, it’s apparently pretty haunted. Each room is or has been home to an apparition, the most famous of which is the Red Room, where soldier Norman Leslie’s ghost appeared in front of his mother Lady Marjorie in 1914 just a few weeks after he’d been killed in battle in France. She recalled him appearing in a cloud of light, sifting through a pile of letters. When she addressed him, he smiled at her and then faded away.
10. Saint Michan’s Church in Dublin
If you start to hear faint whispers upon entering Saint Michan’s Church in Dublin, they’re probably coming from the mummies in the crypt below. Many of Dublin’s most influential families between the 17 and 19 centuries are interred there, as well as a famous thief and nun, the Shears brothers who were executed by the British in 1798, and many more. There have been some visitor accounts of ‘whispering mummies’ in the crypt – recently, a woman peered into an unexcavated section and suddenly became aware of many voices around her. “A sort of whispering, murmuring noise, but I couldn’t make out any of the words,” she said. She also felt the passageway becoming rather tight, like there were many people suddenly surrounding her.
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