Ireland is a strange land, filled with ghost stories, legends and myths. It is a land that is mysterious and where myth meets reality and the lines between real life and fiction are often murky. Ancient castles and ruins make it the perfect backdrop for a ghost story; it is afterall the birthplace of Bram Stoker, the author that gave us Dracula. Folklore, legends, and haunted sites make Ireland a unique Halloween destination for the brave of heart.
Ireland’s Most Haunted Sites
Ballygally Castle is believed to be haunted by Lady Isobel Shaw. When locked in the tower by her husband for her failure to produce a male heir, Lady Shaw flung herself from the top, choosing to meet her end on the rocks below rather than starve to death.
Ardgillan Castle, Co Dublin, is not a place to visit on Halloween night. According to local legend, those caught wandering the castle by the “White Lady” will be flung into the sea.
Leap Castle is considered to be one of the most haunted castles in Ireland. When a dispute between two O’Carroll brothers arose, Thaddeus, the older brother, a priest was holding a mass in a room which is known today as the ‘Bloody Chapel’, when his brother, Teige O’Carroll, burst in through the door and plunged his sword into Thaddeus, bleeding him to death. The priest’s spirit is said to be the earliest ghost to haunt Leap Castle.
Ross Castle, Co Meath was home to Richard Nugent an English Lord who was also known as the Black Baron; due to his ill-temper and mean streak. His daughter Sabina, distraught over the death of her lover refused to eat or drink and locked herself up in the tower. She eventually fell into a deep sleep and never woke up. To this day, visitors claim to have encountered Sabina’s ghost, as well as the ghost of the Black Baron.
Dunluce Castle, Co Antrim, the owner Lord MacQuillan had a daughter named Maeve Roe (thought to be his only daughter), who he wanted to marry off to her cousin; however Maeve was in love with another man. Lord MacQuillan locked Maeve up in one of the turrets of the castle intending to free her once she agreed to marry her cousin. Maeve is known as ‘the Banshee of Dunluce Castle’; forever waiting to be rescued by her one true love. Her cries and wailing are reported to still be heard today by visitors.
Charles Fort, Kinsale, Co Cork is Ireland’s military haunted sight. The fort, which was built in the 1670s, is often visited by the “White Lady of Kinsale”. She roams the grounds of the Fort and has been seen walking through locked doors.
There are many other ‘haunted’ historical sites and cemeteries not covered in this post that make Ireland a unique Halloween destination. For more information or if you want to plan a ghostly adventure, contact us today.