kilmainham gaol haunted places in ireland
Travel Tips

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

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Everyone loves a haunted tale, and Ireland has no shortage of them. In fact, there are numerous haunted places in Ireland that you can visit if you’re brave enough! Whether you’re looking for a haunted pub, hotel, or castle, I’ve got a list of some of the most supposed haunted ones around.

Keep in mind, most of these are stories that have been passed down for decades, so take them with a grain of salt. Some locals swear by them, while others have fun when retelling the story.

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

Most 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 on Facebook

While its official name is the John Kavanagh pub, locals call it the Gravediggers Pub due to its soul-stirring history. Built next to a cemetery, this pub was frequented by gravediggers looking for an ice-cold pint after a long day’s work.

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.

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.

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

2. Hellfire Club

Image via Flickr: young shanahan

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 of 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.

Address: Mountpelier, Co. Dublin, Ireland

3. The Shelbourne Hotel

shelbourne hotel
Image credit: Booking.com

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.

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

4. St. Michan’s Church

Image via Flickr: Zruda

Many religious places are said to have a few ghosts in their chapels. St. Michigan’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.

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

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

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 on Facebook

Another haunted pub in Dublin is this bar and steak house in the 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.

Address: 5-7 Lord Edward Street, Dublin 8

6. Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol black and white

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.

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

  • The Dublin GhostBus 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 waling 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

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. 

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

8. Loftus Hall

Image via Flickr: Jeremy Polanski

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.

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.

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

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 via Facebook: Grace Neills, Irelands Oldest Pub Est. 1611

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.

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

10. Kyteler’s Inn

haunted places ireland kyetelers inn
Image by Kyteler’s Inn on Facebook

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 burnt at the stake. Visitors to the pub report strange phenomena supposedly caused by either Petronella or the dame herself.

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.

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

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 via Flickr: Laois Cyclist

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 this castle has experienced 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.

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

12. Ballyseede Castle

ballyseede castle haunted hotel ireland
Image by Booking.com

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 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

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

13. Ballygally Castle

Image by Booking.com

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, head out to explore a beautiful Northern Ireland road trip.

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

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

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