What’s better than a pint on Halloween with some ghosts?
1. Renvyle House Hotel, Renvyle, Co. Galway
Despite being burnt down by the IRA and then refurbished, the several ghosts of Renvyle House Hotel refuse to leave their old haunt here in Galway.
Famed poet W.B. Yeats was witness to some strange happenings - doors moving by themselves, groans, and bedsheets and people being thrown out of their beds. And these ghosts have a touch of voyeurism as they’ve been spotted in the mirror by female guests who were undressing!
2. Kyteler's Inn, Kieran Street, Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny
This inn was named after Dame Alice Kyteler, known as ‘The Witch of Kilkenny, since this site was where her house once stood. After she outlived several wealthy husbands, accusations of wrongdoing and witchcraft arose.
She beat the charges, but Alice’s servant Petronella was burned at the stake. Some believe it is Petronella who now haunts the inn, while others believe it is Dame Alice herself.
3. The Brazen Head, 20 Lower Bridge Street, Dublin
What would a pint in Dublin’s oldest pub be without a ghost or two for company? The spot, though it is not the original building, was used by “Bold” Robert Emmet for meetings. He was hanged in 1803 but still reportedly visits the Brazen Head in ghost form, resorting to his place in the corner and looking out for enemies.
4. Ballygally Castle Hotel, Larne, Co. Antrim
This 17th century castle was home to Lady Isabella Shaw, and also were she was imprisoned after giving birth to a girl instead of a boy. Broken-hearted, she clutched her baby girl and jumped to her death.
The ghost of Isabella has been known to knock on doors to scare guests. Perhaps more scary is the crying of a baby that has been heard throughout the castle.
5. The Castle Inn, Lord Edward Street, Dublin
This birthplace of poet James Clarence Mangan (1803), who was best known for his “Roisin Dubh,” is said to still be haunted by Mangan. Mangan died of cholera in 1849. When Mangan’s ghost drops into the Castle Inn the temperature is said to dip and the mood darken.
6. Kavanagh's ("The Grave Diggers"), Glasnevin, Dublin
Surely a pub next to a cemetery won’t be without its own ghosts! Kavanagh’s, also known as ‘The Gravediggers’ due to its location near Prospect Cemetery, originated in 1833 and was named for former landlord John Kavanagh, who fathered 25 children.
An observed tradition at this pub is to order a pint by throwing a shovel of earth from the cemetery against the pub’s wall. The site is said to be frequented by an older man in old-fashioned tweeds who sits and enjoys a pint, until he disappears without a trace.
7. Ross Castle, Meath
This castle was built in 1533 by the lord of Devon, Richard Nugent, also known as ‘The Black Baron.’ Legend has it that in 1536, the Baron’s daughter Sabina snuck out to meet a man named Orwin at a bridge towards the end of her father’s property. Sabina’s father the Baron was English, and Sabina’s suitor was the son of an Irish lord, thus making an improper match. The two eloped by taking a boat out to Lough Sheelin.
The boat tragically capsized, killing Orwin and injuring Sabina so that she would not wake for three days. When she did, she awoke to Orwin’s body laid out in the palace chapel. She died of shock soon after.
The two are buried nearby the Castle, but the story goes that Sabina’s spirit returned to Ross, while Orwin’s returned to his family’s home. Sabina’s screams have reportedly been heard late at night in Ross Castle.
The following three Castles make up what are considered ‘Offaly’s Haunted Triangle.’
8. Charleville Castle
This castle was built between 1798 and 1812 by the 1st Earl of Charleville, Charles Bury. It is believed that Bury was a devil-worshipper, and his ghost now walks among the dungeons, catacombs and tower of his castle.
The castle is also haunted by the ghost of a young girl who fell down stairs to her death in the early 1800s, around the time the castle was being built. She still roams the castle and has been heard moving furniture, laughing and talking.