With a long, long history rife with wars and massacres, Irish land is bound to have a few ghosts here and there. That is, assuming you’re a believer in the paranormal.
From castles to beaches, here’s a list of our top 10 supernatural destinations in Ireland. Spanning the country, these destinations are supposedly haunted by ghosts of all sorts – soldiers, brides, court jesters and more.
1. Ross Castle
On the edge of Lough Lane in Killarney, Co. Kerry, this five bedroom stone castle built in 1536 is currently run as a B&B. Visitors have reported supernatural activity both in and out of the castle: apparently every May Day for hundreds of years, a Medieval knight named O’Donoghue rides along Lough Lane past the castle, accompanied by a group of spirits who play music behind him. Inside the castle, visitors have reported waking up in the middle of the night to sounds of screams or doors repeatedly opening and slamming shut. One of the spirits is believed to be Myles ‘the Slasher’ O’Reilly, an Irish folk hero who spend his last night in Ross Castle before dying in battle in 1644.
2. Kilmainham Gaol
Famous for its political prisoners or Easter Rising leaders like Padraig Pearse, James Connolly, Charles Parnell, Eamon de Valera and others, Kilmainham Gaol is supposedly full to the brim with spirits. Many died (some executed) in the prison, which is now a popular museum. Not only are there ghosts of former inmates floating about, but apparently there are plenty of prison warden spirits, who are of the malevolent sort.
3. Lough Sheelin
A limestone freshwater lough between counties Westmeath, Meath and Cavan, Lough Sheelin is said to take a life every seven years. You can ask the Local Civil Defense Volunteers who’ve gone out to fetch the bodies from the lake on a few occasions. Sabrina is a ghost that’s well known in the area – story goes her lover drowned while the two were crossing the river as they were eloping. She still hangs around in search of her lover, and visitors of the nearby Ross Castle (#1) have reportedly had close encounters with her.
4. Malahide Castle
King Henry II of England built Malahide castle for his dear friend Sir Richard Talbot in Malahide, Co. Dublin in 1185. One of the oldest castles in Ireland, Malahide castle is apparently haunted by at least five ghosts: Walter Hussey, Miles Corbett, Lord Chief Justice and his wife Maud Plunkett, but most notably the castle’s jester, Puck of Malahide. Word got out that Puck had fallen in love with one of the prisoners, Lady Elenora Fitzgerald, and within days he was found mysteriously stabbed to death outside the castle. As the story goes, with his last dying breath, Puck made a promise that he’d haunt the castle - apparently he stood by it. There have been quite a few sightings of the jester’s ghost, and he often appears in photographs. When the castle was being sold in 1979, there were several reports by potential buyers of the jester’s spirit roaming about.
5. Charles Fort
A wedding and three funerals: the story of Charles Fort (near Kinsale) is quite the tragedy. It’s famously haunted by recent bride Wilful Warrender – she flung herself to her death from the fort wall after her groom was killed on the night of their wedding. To make matters worse, her father is the one who shot him: during wartime, he was under the impression that her husband was an intruder. Grief stricken by his daughter’s suicide, he shot himself. Warrender is called “the White Lady” by locals because whenever she’s sighted, she’s in her wedding dress. She’s often found by children as she wanders around the town of Kinsale where she grew up, and she gives them a wave. Usually she’s quite friendly, but there have been reports of people in the fort being pushed down the stairs by her spirit.
6. Dún an Óir
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