13 Haunted Places in Ireland to Visit (If You Dare)

kilmainham gaol haunted places in ireland
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Get set for a chilling tour of Ireland’s most haunted sites! Imagine hazy moors, crumbling castles, and ancient pubs full of strange tales. In Ireland, ghost stories are real, and if you have the nerve, you may want to visit some of the most haunted places in Ireland.

These tales have been passed down from one courageous person to another in hushed tones over the years. While some people swear by these terrifying experiences, others simply enjoy them as interesting folklore to discuss around a warm fire. If you’re brave enough to venture into the unknown, we’ve compiled a list of some of Ireland’s most haunted inns, taverns, and other public establishments.

Let’s set off for Ireland’s most haunted spots and see what dark mysteries lie dormant on the Emerald Island. With Halloween upon us, Ireland beckons with all its spooky allure. Whether or not you believe all the stories, they sure are fun to read about.

With that said, let’s check out Ireland’s most haunted hotels, castles, pubs, and landmarks, and go visit them if you dare!

Haunted Places in Dublin

As the capital of the Emerald Isle, Dublin has seen many people pass through. A fun fact about Dublin is that its origins go back to the time of the Vikings, meaning it’s seen many tragedies, battles, and hard times. These past events may have been what caused so many haunted places in Dublin.

1. John Kavanagh Pub, “Gravediggers Pub”

john kavanagh haunted pub ireland
Image by: John Kavanagh Pub

Address: 1 Prospect Square, Glasnevin, Dublin, D09 CF72, Ireland  

While its official name is the John Kavanagh Pub, locals call it the Gravediggers Pub due to its soul-stirring history. Gravediggers who had worked all day frequented this pub because it was close to a cemetery.

While some consider it one of the best pubs in Dublin, others are a bit wary of entering its doors. There are a few reports of paranormal activity in the bar, especially after hours.

The most frequent visitor is the man in a tweed jacket. He may have been a previous customer, as he’ll enjoy a pint at the bar sometimes before fading away fully quenched. This is a fun tale in addition to the many Irish Halloween traditions the country has.

You can visit the pub on your own or take this Dublin gravedigger ghost tour for more spooky ghost stories and visits around the area.

2. Hellfire Club

Image by: Young Shanahan

Address: Mountpelier, Co. Dublin, Ireland

Hellfire Club, or Montpelier Hill, is a hunting lodge on the city’s beautiful patch of nature. Dubliners typically arrive here for peaceful walks on the rolling hills and forest trails. The area is tranquil and unsuspecting until you hear the history and origin of its name and why it’s one of the more haunted places in Ireland.

Around 1729, after the hunting lodge owner passed away, a group of young troublemakers started a secret society called the Hellfire Club. It is unclear what they did at this club aside from an explanation of “immoral acts,” and Satan worship.

The most famous tale from this area is about a young man who played a card game with a stranger. A card falls, and as the stranger bends to pick it up, he notices that the stranger’s feet have changed to hooves instead.

While you may not see any hooved creatures, you may experience lurking shadows, moving figures, and a few unfamiliar smells at this haunted place in Dublin. If you’re into this kind of thing, you’ll want to add this to your 7-day Ireland itinerary during your trip.

3. The Shelbourne Hotel

shelbourne hotel
Image credit: Booking.com

Address: 27 St. Stephen’s Green, D2 Dublin, Ireland

While there are haunted houses in Ireland you can visit, it’s not rare for hotels to be old and have a few dark secrets, and this nearly 200-year-old luxury hotel on Stephen’s Green is no exception.

When looking for places to stay in Dublin, you can spend the night at the Shelbourne Hotel for a night of ghost spotting at one of the most haunted places in Ireland. Guests often report taps spontaneously opening, seeing shadows, and feeling odd presences around them.

The ghost most regularly seen is that of 7-year-old Mary Masters. Unfortunately, Mary’s story is as heartbreaking as it is perplexing. The young girl succumbed to cholera around the late 18th century and can often be heard weeping or giggling in the halls. Some visitors have also reported seeing a girl opening and closing wardrobes.

Want to stay here yourself? Book a room through Booking.com or Hotels.com.

4. St. Michan’s Church

Image by: Zruda

Address: Church St, Arran Quay, Dublin 7, Ireland

Many religious places are said to have a few ghosts in their chapels, and St. Michan’s Church, built in 1095, is one of the oldest standing parishes in the city. 

Downstairs, there are even a few burial vaults containing coffins, personal items, and perhaps the most chilling—four mummified remains. So, it’s no wonder that visitors often hear whispers and feel the sense of being watched while here. Some visitors have even reported feeling touched by ‘unseen’ hands.

If you love a scare, this is one of the best things to do in Ireland in October.

Check it out, whether you have one day in Dublin or three days visiting Dublin.

Take this guided dark Dublin tour to visit this church and a few other historic and possibly haunted places of worship.

5. Bull & Castle

haunted pub ireland bull castle
Image by: Bull & Castle

Address: 5-7 Lord Edward Street, Dublin 8

Another haunted pub in Dublin is this bar and steak house in what was formerly Skinner’s Row—now Christchurch Place.

A well-known Irish poet, James Clarence Mangan, was born here in 1803 and seemed to have difficulty letting go. The poet experienced quite a tumultuous life filled with depression and addiction until his death in 1843 after suffering from cholera.

Perhaps this is why patrons say they often feel a cold sweep and a melancholy feeling over them momentarily when entering this cozy yet eerie pub. You can decide after you visit if it’s one of the more haunted places in Ireland.

Staying in Ireland for a bit? You’ll love celebrating Thanksgiving in Ireland.

6. Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol black and white

Address: Inchicore Rd., Kilmainham, Dublin 8, D08 RK28, Ireland

There’s great debate about what the most haunted place in Ireland is, but Kilmainham Gaol is certainly up there. While this county jail opened in 1796 and closed in 1924, it’s still open to the public as a museum and place for things that go bump in the night.

Life under lock and key is tough, so it’s no wonder that some residents may have tried to lighten the mood with a few pranks. One of these ghostly pranksters happens to be the owner of the disembodied footsteps, running up to workers and then stopping beside them, leaving only a cold chill behind.

Other spirits may not be as kindly elusive, such as the evil presence in the chapel or the spirit in the dungeon. The dungeon spirit is known to hit visitors or pin them against a wall.

  • The Dublin Ghost Bus Tour takes you around the city’s most sinister spots. It features restless souls, tales of mystery, and some of Dublin’s most haunted spots.
  • The Northside Ghost Walk Tour takes you on a walking tour of one of Dublin’s most-haunted districts. You will explore the former Viking enclave and visit the former site of Dublin’s most haunted houses.
  • The guide on the Dublin Darkside Walking Tour provides little-known stories about Dublin’s ghosts, hauntings, murders, and cults. You’ll see landmarks like Dublin Castle and the infamous Hellfire Club.

Haunted Hotels in Ireland

In Ireland, haunted house hunting? Well, the country has a few paranormal accommodations for visitors to tour or visit for the night if you dare.

7. Dobbins Inn Hotel

dobbins inn haunted hotel ireland
Image by: Dobbins Inn Hotel

Address: 6-8 High St, Antrim St, Carrickfergus BT38 7AF, United Kingdom

Built over 500 years ago, this Inn has more than a few ghost stories as one of the more haunted places in Ireland. It has seen many owners, renovations, and visitors walk through its doors, with some not ready to leave just yet.

As the legend goes, Hugh Dobbins’ wife, Maud, is said to have had an affair with a visiting soldier. Upon finding out about this betrayal, Hugh killed both his wife and her lover in a rage. The pair are said to be roaming the inn until this day.

Some guests claim to have seen Maud walking through the reception area or gently stroking their faces while they sleep. The soldier is also seen walking the halls. In contrast, there also seems to be a benevolent poltergeist who moves pots and pans in the kitchen or throws small objects. 

If you love spooky tales, you’ll love staying here during autumn in Ireland.

Want to stay here? Book your room to experience this spooky story!

8. Loftus Hall

Loftus Hall
Image by: Jim Park

Address: Hook Head, New Ross, Co. Wexford, Ireland

Loftus Hall is often dubbed the most haunted house in Ireland. First built in 1350, this 63-acre mansion has gone through many owners. It has also been a popular backdrop to many horror movies, TV series, and ghost-hunting programs, and is one of the more famous abandoned places in Ireland.

Its backstory is eerily similar to Hellfire Club’s, featuring a card game and a hooved stranger. However, there is no proof of this story besides word of mouth. Visitors of the hall report seeing apparitions, like that of a young woman, often showing up in photographs.

Ireland’s most haunted house was sold in 2021 and is currently closed. Considering it has been a place people could visit for so many years, it’s possible that the new owners could open it up as a luxury hotel to the public soon.

Haunted Pubs in Ireland

Ireland is well-known for its watering holes. It’s where many people plop down for a pint after a long day, including a few wandering spirits.

9. Grace Neill’s

Image by: Grace Neills

Address: 33 High St, Donaghadee, BT21 0AH, United Kingdom

This century-old bar in Donaghadee has one or two spirits eager to make an acquaintance. This pub is the oldest in Northern Ireland, dating to 1611. 

A previous owner, Grace Neill’s, loved this bar so much that she never wanted to leave. You can hear her keeping on top of things through sweeping noises, clanging glasses, and moving cups. You may even see the Victorian-dressed owner standing at the downstairs bar or darting past you on the staircase.

While Grace’s dutiful and warm presence can be felt downstairs, upstairs is a different story. The upstairs ghost is known to be unpleasant and cold, and this spirit will often stomp about on the upper level and cause guests to feel uneasy and out of breath.

When you’re done, head to Belfast to explore all the places to visit in Belfast, including the best things to do with kids in Belfast.

10. Kyteler’s Inn

haunted places ireland kyetelers inn
Image by: Kyteler’s Inn

Address: St. Kieran’s St, Gardens, Kilkenny, Ireland

This brick-faced pub and inn has a Medieval theme full of knight’s armor, shields, and proudly blaring Irish music. It’s a great place to visit for a little bit of fun, a pint, and maybe a supernatural experience or two.

The pub is named after Dame Alice Kyteler, nicknamed ‘The Witch of Kilkenny.’ While the dame could escape, her servant Petronella couldn’t and was burned at the stake. Visitors to the pub report strange occurrences that Petronella or the dame herself may have caused.

Some of these happenings include black figures lurking in the background—sometimes caught on camera. Visitors and staff often report a presence in the bar and on the staircase too.

Haunted Castles in Ireland

It’s not uncommon for tourists to stay in castle hotels in Ireland, but many may not know the loaded history some of these structures have. This includes the ancient history of spirits roaming the grounds.

11. Leap Castle

Image by: Laois Cyclist

Address: EIRCODE, R421, Leap, Roscrea, Co. Offaly, Ireland

Leap Castle may possibly be Ireland’s most haunted castle, but that’s up for debate. What’s not up for debate is the number of tragedies experienced on these castle grounds throughout the years and how that may be the cause of so many trapped spirits.

The grounds’ chapel hosts the most activity as it’s where an awful murder and fire occurred. A priest, believed to have been killed by his brother, can be seen roaming the passages. Visitors also report smelling a faint scent of burning rubber. 

Over in the main building, there are still many more ghosts roaming the grounds. Beware of the Red Lady, who is seen carrying a dagger around, or the elemental with an inhuman face at one of the most haunted places in Ireland.

The two girls playing in the main hall are perhaps the most tragic of these ghosts. One of the girls, Charlotte, fell to her death from the battlements. She is seen dragging her deformed legs around and, unfortunately, seems stuck in a time loop–falling from the battlements but then disappearing before hitting the ground at the most haunted castle in Ireland.

Feeling brave? You’ll love visiting these haunted castles in Ireland.

12. Ballyseede Castle

ballyseede castle haunted hotel ireland
Image by: Booking.com

Address: Tralee, Ballyseede, Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland

This ancient haunted castle in Ireland is in the southwestern county town of Tralee in County Kerry. Its lush green grounds, elegant architecture, and roaming spirits are well-known.

The castle was also known for its impressive rose collection a few centuries back. While that no longer exists on the grounds, guests still report smelling these fragrant buds at certain times of the year. 

Another note of the past is that of a previous resident, Hilda Blennerhassett. She can be spotted every year on the 24th of March, walking around the upper floors in her tattered Victorian dress. 

Other ghosts are young children on the castle grounds believed to be servants who passed due to the famine. You may spot them on the upper floors, stairs, and bedrooms.

View photos and check availability here

13. Ballygally Castle

Image by: Booking.com

Address: Coast Rd., Ballygally, Larne BT40 2QZ, United Kingdom

Since 1625, this castle has been overlooking the shores of Northern Ireland’s Antrim. Since then, its resident ghost has also been making its presence known to those around it.

This ghost is believed to be that of Lady Isobel Shaw, the wife of Lord Shaw. After finding out she couldn’t bear him a son, he either pushed her to her death or locked her up in the castle tower, resulting in her falling to her death, trying to escape.

Either way, her tragic death causes her to wander the grounds. Guests report her presence as seeing a green haze or smoke and hearing noises.

View photos of the castle and check availability here

When you need a break from being spooked at haunted places in Northern Ireland, head out to explore a beautiful Northern Ireland road trip.

Which one of these haunted places in Ireland do you plan on checking out first?

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