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Grand Opera House, Belfast | © Ardfern/WikiCommons
Grand Opera House, Belfast | © Ardfern/WikiCommons

A Guide To The Most Haunted Places In Ireland

Picture of Kate Phelan
Updated: 9 February 2017
From a star fort in Kinsale, County Cork to the Grand Opera House in Belfast, Ireland’s plentiful ghost stories describe spirits inhabiting all kinds of locales. With Halloween fast approaching, here we take a look at some of the most haunted places in Ireland.

Malahide Castle, County Dublin

Once upon a time, the majestic castle at Malahide operated as fortress. With many elements that date back as far as the 12th century, it has weathered many storms, both literal and figurative. Today Malahide Castle is said to be haunted by many spirits – at least five, according to the experts at Haunted Rooms. These include the Baron of Galtrim, said to have died in battle on his wedding day, and Puck, the former castle jester. Not shying away from their dark history, the castle proudly hosts ghost tours at Halloween.

Malahide Castle, Malahide, County Dublin, Ireland +353 1 816 9538

Kilmainham Gaol, County Dublin

As the execution site of many prominent leaders involved in the Irish rebellion of 1916, Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin is often described as being home to many ghosts. According to lore, previous governors of the gaol and workmen doing repairs have seen lights turned on inexplicably, heard footsteps and felt powerfully strong gusts of wind here. The stories are so plentiful that Hidden Dublin has included the tourist attraction as part of its ‘Gravedigger Ghost Tour’.

Kilmainham Gaol, Inchicore Road, Kilmainham, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Ireland +353 1 453 5984

Where most lads will be going nowadays for being silly billys wih youngwans

A photo posted by C h e u n g💫 (@leahkcheung) on

Charles Fort, County Cork

A star fort at the photogenic Kinsale Harbour, this historic site was designed in the 17th century. The ghost at the Charles Fort is called the White Lady, a daughter of the garrison commander, and she is said to have married a soldier stationed there. The couple stayed at the fort on their wedding night, where the soldier husband fell asleep on the job. The following morning, he was shot for his negligence. The White Lady is said to have jumped off the wall of the fort into the sea below to her death, before coming back to roam the locality.

Charles Fort, Summer Cove, Forthill, Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland +353 21 477 2263

Loftus Hall

Celebrating its 666th year this year, the mansion of Loftus Hall, County Wexford, has not one but two spectres. Calling itself ‘the most haunted house in Ireland’, this abandoned building is said to have been haunted by both the devil and a young woman. Rumoured to have once briefly been owned by U2’s Bono, it is accompanied by a legend that a mysterious visitor, welcomed into the house one night after a storm, was later revealed to be the devil by the presence of a cloven foot. After his disappearance through the roof, the young lady of the house was driven mad, dying years later in the room to which she was confined.

Loftus Hall, Hook Head, Galgystown, New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland +353 51 397 728

Charleville Castle, County Offaly

County Offaly’s Charleville Castle is reportedly the home of a ghost by the name of Harriet, a daughter of the castle’s former owner, the third Earl of Charleville. Harriet is said to have died in the building’s main staircase in April 1861. She has been described by those who claim to have witnessed her as a girl in a blue and white dress with curls in her hair. Supposedly having a habit of singing, laughing and screaming in the night, her presence has resulted in the castle featuring on Living TV’s Most Haunted and ABC Family’s Scariest Places On Earth.

Charleville Castle, Charleville Demesne, Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland +353 57 9323040 

Grace Neill’s Bar, County Down

At over 400 years old, Grace Neill’s is Ireland’s oldest licensed pub and is also described as its most haunted. It was established in 1611 and is surprisingly cosy for an apparently heavily haunted public house, still full of antiques. The spirit of the pub’s proprietor from 1842 until 1916, Grace Neill, is said to be constantly felt here, as well as several others from down through its long history. Derek Acorah from Most Haunted visited and confirmed he felt a ‘restless spirit’ in the building.

Grace Neill’s Bar, 33 High St, Donaghadee BT21 0AH, United Kingdom +44 28 9188 4595

Grand Opera House Belfast

In 2014, the Grand Opera House in Belfast invited patrons to participate in a ‘paranormal investigation’, to see if its reputation as one of Northern Ireland’s most haunted buildings was justified. The beautiful concert hall, which opened to the public in 1895, has been at the centre of many a ghost story for years. Reported sightings here tell of a figure in a long, dark robe stalking around the stage area, as well as faces appearing in upstairs windows.

Grand Opera House Belfast, 2-4 Great Victoria St, Belfast BT2 7HR, United Kingdom +44 28 9024 1919

Lovely night at the theatre 🙌🏼🎭

A photo posted by An🍏aday (@wrookieschu) on

The Abbey of the Black Hag, County Limerick

The Abbey of the Black Hag – officially known as St. Katherine’s Abbey – is an abandoned 13th-century convent in Limerick, thought by many to be haunted by a former nun. The story goes that the head nun or abbess frightened locals through the use of the dark arts, before being executed as a witch. Her room in the abbey’s south end is now known as ‘The Black Hag’s Cell’, and neighbours complain of hearing her screams.

Saint Katherine’s Abbey, Monisternagalliaghduff, Shanagolden, County Limerick, Ireland