With such history behind Irish pubs, is it any wonder that you'll come across loads of haunted pubs in Ireland?
Haunted Irish pubs from Dublin to Kerry and Donegal to Galway, are sure to be a fright fest this Halloween! Ghouls and goblins will be out to mess with your feet and make you tumble as you step up off your bar stool, and they might even be responsible for you spending a few extra bob behind the counter. The horror!
If you want to add a little fright to your Halloween scoops this year, why not visit one of these top Irish haunted pubs? What’s better than a pint on Halloween with some ghosts?
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.
The 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!
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.
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.
Bull and Castle, Lord Edward Street, Dublin
This birthplace of poet James Clarence Mangan (1803), who was best known for his “Róisín 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 darkens.
Kavanagh's ("The Gravediggers"), 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.
H/T: Irish Independent.
* Originally published in 2011. Updated in October 2023.