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5 Haunted Spots to Visit in Ireland This Halloween

5 Haunted Spots to Visit in Ireland This Halloween

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Posted Wed 7 Oct 2020 7:44 AM
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Ireland is home to many spooky places from creepy castles to Victorians Gaols. MyBaggage.com look at five of the best to check out this Halloween.

Leap Castle, Co. Offaly

Leap Castle is often referred to as the most haunted place in Ireland. It was built in the 13th century and burnt down during the Irish Civil War in 1922. The castle is marred in stories of murder and betrayal. One example is from 1532 when two warring brothers were fighting for the seat of the house. One, who was a priest, was delivering mass in the chapel on the castle grounds when his brother ambushed him and stabbed him in the chest. This chapel is now known as the bloody chapel, but the stories don’t stop there.

The last owners of the castle were the Darby Family who would hold regular seances to try and summon the castle’s spirits. And here’s where it gets even weirder! In the 1900s the castle underwent renovations and a secret chamber was found behind the bloody chapel wall. The chamber led into a pit, where numerous skeletons were discovered impaled on pikes. The theory goes that unwitting people would be plunged into the pit of spikes by a trap door, upon excavation a watch from the 1800s was discovered amongst the skeletons, showing perhaps when the last murder occurred.

The castle is home to a few resident spirits including the Red Lady, who appears in the hallway with a dagger, two girls who are seen running up and down the staircase, and an infamous spirit called, ‘it’ which gives off the smell of rotting flesh.

Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin 8

Kilmainham Gaol is one of the most famous prisons in Ireland, being the place where the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising were imprisoned, tortured, and executed. It was closed in 1924 by the newly independent Irish government and today is a museum. It is a hotbed or paranormal activity. Strange goings-on has been witnessed by Dan McGill who oversaw the renovation of the jail. One night he awoke to see the light on in the chapel, he walked across the courtyard and turned the lights off, only to go back to his room and discover they had turned on again. Many other people encountered strange experiences during the renovation, including workers hearing footsteps and voices of children, another more petrifying incident included workers being thrown in a room by a strong gust of air.

The jail is now a museum and many visitors have also reported spooky goings-on, with some children refusing to enter the building due to seeing something. They have also reported hearing soldiers marching and phantom voices.

Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast

Crumlin Road Gaol is one of the most haunted spots in Northern Ireland. This infamous Victorian prison has been home to many hardened criminals and Loyalist and Republican prisoners during The Troubles. Throughout its history, 17 inmates were executed, with the last being carried out in 1961. The most haunted area of the jail is the execution chamber, where the hangman’s noose is said to sometimes be seen swinging. The wings of the jail are also said to be haunted by the tortured souls of those who met their mise here. Some of the most well-known spirits include a young teenager who committed suicide before his execution and an American man who was executed for a crime he didn’t commit.

Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin

The Shelbourne Hotel is one of the most haunted hotels in Ireland. Created in 1824 by Martin Burke, the hotel has played a famous role in Irish history, being home to British Troops during the Easter Rising and the spot where the Irish Constitution was drafted by Micheal Collins in 1922. It was also the place where Adolf Hitler’s half brother Alois Hitler worked in the early 1900s. Many famous guests have walked through the doors from JFK to Marilyn Monroe. But the hotel’s most famous residents are its ghosts! The most notable is Mary Masters, a little girl who is known to be heard crying and seen walking the hotel’s corridors. In 1965 famous paranormal investigator couple Hans Holder and Syble Lee stayed at the hotel and had an encounter with Mary. They believed she had lived and died in the townhouses that had been converted to create the hotel in the 1800s. But it’s not just paranormal investigators who claim to have had contact with Mary. In 2013 actress Lily Collins reported being visited by Mary whilst staying in the hotel. She stated she saw the girl and heard her giggling.

Ballygally Castle, Co. Antrim

Ballygally Castle was built in the 17th Century and is currently used as a hotel. Set on the picturesque coast of Antrim en route to the Giants Causeway, it is a popular spot frequented by paranormal enthusiasts. It is well known for its ghostly residents including the most popular spotted spirit of Lady Isobel Shaw. The former owner Lord Shaw was angry that his wife had not yet produced a male heir, in his rage, he locked her in the tower. It is not known whether she leaped from the tower to her death on purpose to avoid starving or fell by accident whilst trying to escape, either way, her spirit is said to roam the hallways and staircase. She is apparently a friendly spirit and means no harm to anyone who sees her. The room in the tower, where she met her demise is called the ghost room, but it is not used as part of the hotel.

Other ghostly residents include children, with some hotel guests being woken up by hearing children running around the hallways or in their rooms. A former hotel manager called Olga Henry was startled by a guest running out of his room in his underwear after hearing children playing in his hotel room. Many mediums who have visited have stated that there are more ghost guests than hotel guests!
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Posted Wed 7 Oct 2020 9:14 AM
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Hi Stuart, 

Thanks so much for sharing these spooky suggestions. I love ghost stories and can't wait for Halloween! 🎃

I absolutely loved the tour of the Crumlin Road Gaol, and the tour guide told us that the tunnel that leads from the gaol to the old courthouse is haunted too. 👻

Have you had the chance to visit any of these locations yourself? 

Thanks again for sharing! 

Melin
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Posted Thu 8 Oct 2020 10:17 AM
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ey Stuart,

Thanks for sharing some of these creepy stories! I really like the stories surrounding Leap Castle, they're so intense. I would love to get down for a visit although I don't think I'd like to bump into the priest haunting The Bloody Chapel!! 👻 

One of my favorite places to be during Halloween is at the festival that runs across the Derry/Londonderry City Walls. It's not quite as spooky as Leap Castle but there are all kinds of fun and interesting performances! I particularly love the fire show! 🔥

Hopefully, I get the chance to get down and explore the grounds of the castle soon!

Sean

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Posted Thu 8 Oct 2020 12:03 PM
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Kinnitty Castle in the heart of Ireland 

This wedding venue was built in 1209, it was burned by the Republicans in 1922 and rebuilt as it is today in 1928, managing to retain the High Cross and the Abbey wall of the original structure intact. Partly due to its turbulent history and partly due to its Gothic-style architecture, Kinnitty Castle is home to a few ghosts. Especially the Geraldine and Elizabeth rooms are the ones where most guests have experienced paranormal activities. The ghost of Hugh the monk is one of the most famous ones. 

Website: Kinnitty Castle 

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Posted Thu 8 Oct 2020 12:16 PM
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I've read that Hugh the Monk is thought to be a very friendly spirit, Emily. He's known to make an appearance to guests during the more joyous events, like weddings, at the castle. :)

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