Haunted Ireland

Ireland's centuries-old castles and battle sites hold plenty of secrets ... and maybe a few ghosts. Tour Ireland's most haunted places, with tales so shocking you'll want to leave the lights on.

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Ross Castle

Ross Castle
This 5-bedroom stone castle, built in 1536, is now run as a B&B. But beware: Guests often wake at night hearing voices and doors banging and shutting on their own. Paranormal believers say the spirit of an English lord’s daughter haunts the castle. So does the ghost of Myles “The Slasher” O’Reilly; the Irish folk hero spent his last night here before dying in battle, in 1644.

Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin

More than 1.5 million people are buried in Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetery, so tales of spooky ghosts shouldn’t come as a surprise. But it’s the story of one Newfoundland dog that steals the show. When his master died, the faithful canine companion refused to leave the gravesite, eventually starving to death. The dog’s apparition has been spotted at the tombstone.

Loughcrew, Neolithic Cemetery

The Loughcrew Cairns are passage tombs, built 5,000 years ago. The Irish name for the cairns is Sliabh na Cailli, or “the Hills of the Witch.” Legend has it that a witch jumped from one hill to the next, dropping stones from her apron to form the cairns.

Castle Leslie, County Monaghan

Castle Leslie’s Red Room is supposedly inhabited by Norman Leslie, who died abroad in 1914 and returned to the castle as a ghost. You be the judge.

Hill of Tara

The Hill of Tara was a stomping ground for the kings of ancient Ireland. Locals say you can feel a vibration of energy from this stone.

Lady's Lake, County Cavan

A ghost of a lady – who, nobody knows – is said to be a frequent visitor to this artificial lake. Maybe you'll see her in a stroll around the grounds in County Cavan, Ireland.

Charleville Castle, County Offaly

Singing in the middle of the night, screams, laughter -- this strange mix of sounds has been reported by visitors to Charleville Castle, in County Offaly, Ireland. Psychics and paranormal investigators say the ghost of an 8-year-old girl named Harriet is the source; the youngest daughter of an earl, she died in the main staircase of the castle in April 1961.

Wicklow Gaol, County Wicklow

Wicklow Gaol, County Wicklow, Ireland
This early 18th-century jail might make your skin crawl. Ever since a paranormal group visited and broadcast their investigation on TV, Wicklow Gaol has become known as one of the most haunted places in Ireland. Paranormal enthusiasts routinely visit from around the world; you can even join them for a night at the jail.

Leap Castle

Fierce family feuds have plagued this 15th-century castle. Brother turned against brother; one was killed as he held Mass in the chapel. Centuries later came a gruesome discovery: a dungeon filled with human bones – the remains of those imprisoned and executed in the castle. Today, several apparitions have been reported. Among them is “It,” a small grey human figure, with a skeletal face.

Athcarne Castle

Six miles from this 16th-century castle, the tortured cries of soldiers once rose up: At the Battle of Boyne, 1,500 men -- and King James -- died in a bloody sectarian conflict. Today, the ghost of the fallen king supposedly haunts Athcarne Castle; he stayed here shortly before his defeat in battle.

Kilmainham Jail, Dublin

The halls of this Dublin prison, built in 1796, are eerily quiet now. Back in its day, it was crammed with every type of human misery: men, women and children, 5 at a time, shoved into 1 cell. Among them were Irish nationalists; some were executed. And what remains? Bold gusts of wind, heavy footsteps, lights that turn on -- inexplicably -- have all been reported.

Kinnitty Castle has a long reputation for being haunted and is home to the Phantom Monk of Kinnitty, a ghost that sometimes appears to take physical form.

In Dublin's famous Shelbourne Hotel, one of the luxury rooms is reportedly haunted by the ghost of a mischievous girl.

Malahide Castle is one of Ireland's oldest, having been built around 1185. It is reportedly haunted by at least five ghosts.

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