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  • Writer's pictureDesirae-Haunted Traverse

Explore Haunted Ireland’s Best Haunted Locations

Ireland. Land of mystery, lore, and a paranormal presence that is hard to rival in this world. A rich tapestry of culture woven with its rolling green hills and picturesque landscapes. The Emerald Isle as it is known by some harbors a darker, more spectral side. Ghost stories and legends of haunted locations are woven into the very fabric of Irish heritage.

Read on as we journey through some of Ireland's most haunted and enigmatic sites, where the past lingers and the banshees roam free.

Map of Ireland
Haunted Ireland

1. Leap Castle, County Offaly The Most Haunted Ireland Location

Often referred to as Ireland’s most haunted castle, Leap Castle has a chilling reputation. Built-in the late 13th century by the O’Bannon clan, it later became the stronghold of the ruthless O’Carroll family. The castle’s bloody history includes fratricidal murder and numerous battles.

One of the more grizzly finds during Castle Leap's existence is an oubliette found under the Bloody Chapel's floor in the late 1800s. This oubliette was a dungeon where enemies would be thrown in to be forgotten to die or impaled on 8-foot spikes shooting up from the floor of the oubliette. Over 150 bodies were found in this hidden dungeon.

One of the most infamous spirits is the "Elemental" or "It" a dark, malevolent entity believed to be an ancient, pre-human spirit. Witnesses describe it as a decomposing human, with black holes where the eyes should be and with a horrific stench of sulfur. Another tragic ghost is the "Red Lady," who is said to wander the castle clutching a dagger, perhaps a relic of her own demise. This may be the spirit of a woman whose newborn baby was killed with that very dagger shortly after the unwanted birth and which is believed to have been the tool used in her suicide.

2. The Hellfire Club, County Dublin

Perched atop Montpelier Hill in County Dublin, the Hellfire Club was built in 1735 as a hunting lodge for the infamous Irish Hellfire Club, a group notorious for their debauchery and satanic rituals. The lodge's construction allegedly disturbed a prehistoric burial site, adding to its eerie ambiance.

Some say that the Devil himself appeared during a card game while others say it is a stranger with cloven hooves and this is how the Hellfire Club was named. Stories abound of animal sacrifices, demonic manifestations, and other sinister activities (murders/sacrifices) conducted by the club’s aristocratic members. Today, visitors report chilling encounters, disembodied screams, and the unsettling feeling of being watched by unseen eyes.

The Green Lady spirit has a connection to the Hellfire Club as she came into contact with Hellfire Club members at the Pub she owned as the innkeeper. She was accused of witchcraft by the sheriff of Dublin after a falling out. After she was accused of witchcraft, Darkey Kelley, The Green Lady, was found guilty and burned at St. Stephen's Green in 1746. Now, she can be witnessed haunting St. Ouen (or St. Audoen) in the form of a green mist that hovers above stairs before disappearing into a stone wall. This church is the last medieval church in Dublin.

Interior of Jail in Dublin Ireland
Kilmainham Gaol (Jail) in Dublin Ireland

3. Kilmainham Gaol (Jail), Dublin

Kilmainham Gaol, one of Ireland’s most notorious prisons, housed some of the country’s most famous political prisoners, including leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising. The prison, operational from 1796 until 1924, has seen countless executions and deaths within its cold, stone walls. During the Great Famine, prisoners were left to starve (many of these women and children imprisoned for stealing food) or fed only once a day.

The Easter Rising lasted 6 days and over 400 people were killed, 310 of those lives were civilians. This revolt was against British rule and led Roger Casement, Eamonn Ceannt, Tom Clarke, Con Colbert, and James Connolly to be executed at Kilmainham Gaol.

Ghostly apparitions, cold spots, and eerie whispers are commonly reported by visitors. Many believe the spirits of the executed rebels and unfortunate inmates remain, bound to the place of their suffering. In the chapel, lights shut off turn back on. In the dungeon, workers have been touched and shoved violently.

Falling walls in Charles Fort in Ireland
Haunted Charles Fort County Cork Ireland

4. Charles Fort, County Cork

Situated on the edge of Kinsale Harbor, Charles Fort is a star-shaped military fortress with a history dating back to the 17th century. While it’s a site of historical significance, it’s also renowned for its resident ghost, the "White Lady of Kinsale."

Legend has it that the White Lady was the daughter of the fort’s commander, who married a soldier against her father’s wishes. The soldier was tragically killed by her own father, leading the grief-stricken bride to leap to her death from the ramparts. Later that same night, her father would take his own life. Her apparition, dressed in white, is said to wander the grounds, forever searching for her lost love.

Some of the White Lady's most notable encounters were with two soldiers manning the fort and knocked unconscious by the White Lady. Another sighting was an officer thrown down the staircase with force beyond what he was able to perceive. Sometimes the White Lady is not quite so violent and is known to stand at the end of beds and watch residents sleep or witnesses tell of viewing her drift and disappear into walls or walk up or down the fort's stairs.

Tower of Ross Castle
Haunted Ross Castle

5. Ross Castle, County Meath

Ross Castle, a 15th-century tower house built by the O’Donoghue clan, is nestled on the shores of Lough Sheelin- a midland lake. The castle’s haunting is linked to the tragic love story of Sabina, the daughter of an English lord, and Orwin, the son of an Irish chieftain.

Forbidden to marry by the English Lord, Richard Nugent, called the Black Baron for his violent deeds toward his townspeople. Forbidden to marry because Sabina was English and Orwin was Irish. The couple eloped but were caught in a storm. Orwin drowned, and Sabina, heartbroken, locked herself in her room and starved to death.

Her ghost is said to still haunt the castle along with the Black Baron. For Sabina, sightings of a sorrowful figure in white gazing out over the lake. Some guests of the bed & breakfast tell of encounters of a moody, dark male spirit believed to be the Black Baron. Poltergeist activity of doors shutting and opening have been observed as well.

St. Michan's Church
Haunted St. Michan's Church in Dublin Ireland

6. St. Michan’s Church, Dublin

St. Michan’s Church, with its ancient vaults, is home to some of Dublin’s most chilling tales. The crypts contain naturally mummified bodies, including the "Crusader," an 800-year-old knight. It was built on an ancient Norse Chapel from 1095.

The vaults of St. Michan's, with limestone walls that help keep the air dry, are the perfect location to house mummified remains. And so it does. In the vaults, some of the mummified bodies include a 400-year body of a nun, a crusader, a body with no hands or feet, and more politically notable figures such as the Sheares brothers.

Vandals in the 1990s and 2019, desecrated some of the mummified remains which may be one reason the haunting of St. Michan's unfolds. Visitors report eerie sensations and ghostly apparitions among the mummies. Legend has it that Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, was inspired by a visit to these vaults. The ghostly atmosphere of the crypts is palpable, making it a must-visit for those intrigued by the macabre.

7. Loftus Hall, County Wexford

Loftus Hall, a grand mansion on the Hook Peninsula, is often dubbed the most haunted house in Ireland. Built in the 14th century and later remodeled, its most famous ghost story dates back to the 18th century.

Legend tells of a mysterious stranger who visited the hall during a storm. During a game of cards, the visitor revealed cloven hooves, marking him as the devil. The lady of the house, Anne Tottenham, was so traumatized she never recovered and is said to haunt the hall to this day. Visitors report poltergeist activity, strange shadows, and unsettling cold spots.

8. The Abbey of the Black Hag, County Limerick

The ruins of the Abbey of the Black Hag, or Shanid Abbey, is a medieval monastic site with a dark history. Founded in the 13th century, it became notorious due to the legend of the Black Hag, a nun, accused of witchcraft by Pope Martin V in 1432. Allegations of witchcraft and satanic rituals were made against the abbess.

The Black Hag was known to participate in the black arts in two small rooms. These two rooms in the abbey were abandoned by all of the nuns, except the Black Hag. She chose to live in the squalor of the decaying abbey and some say she is haunting the abbey to this day.

Her ghost, described as a sinister, cloaked figure, is said to roam the ruins. Some say the skin is darkened when viewed by witnesses in a manner unholy and this dark skin is why she earned the title the Black Hag. Visitors often experience an oppressive atmosphere, strange noises, screams, and the unsettling feeling of being watched.

9. Ballygally Castle, County Antrim

Ballygally Castle, located on the Antrim coast, is a picturesque castle with a haunting twist. Built in 1625, it’s now a hotel that embraces its spectral residents. The most famous ghost is Lady Isabella Shaw, who was allegedly locked in a tower by her husband and fell to her death while trying to escape.

Guests report hearing her footsteps and seeing her apparition. The castle even has a "ghost room" where visitors can experience the eerie presence of Lady Isabella.

10. Duckett’s Grove, County Carlow

Duckett’s Grove, a ruined 19th-century Gothic revival mansion, is surrounded by tales of hauntings. The mansion, once a grand estate, is said to be haunted by the banshee, a harbinger of death in Irish folklore.

One ghost reputed to be active here is Lady Isobel Shaw- a former resident. A tragic fate was to behold Lady Shaw who was reported to have taken her life by leaping out the window to her death after her husband locked her in her room to starve her.

The eerie ruins are a hotspot for paranormal activity, with visitors reporting ghostly figures, disembodied voices, and sudden drops in temperature. Lady Shaw is believed to be the spirit responsible for the knocking on doors and the women that are witnessed manifesting throughout the grounds. The atmospheric grounds add to the sense of foreboding, making it a must-visit for ghost enthusiasts.


Ireland’s haunted locations offer a captivating blend of history, legend, and the supernatural. From ancient castles and abbeys to mysterious mansions and forts, each site holds its own unique stories and spectral inhabitants. Whether you’re a seasoned ghost hunter or simply intrigued by the paranormal, exploring these haunted sites promises an unforgettable adventure through Ireland’s shadowy past.

So pack your bags, grab your ghost-hunting gear, and set off on a journey into the heart of haunted Ireland. Who knows? You might just encounter a spirit or two along the way.

With their rich history and deep-rooted legends, these haunted locations in Ireland provide more than just a scare—they offer a profound connection to the past and a glimpse into the stories that continue to shape the Emerald Isle. Whether you believe in ghosts or are a skeptic at heart, the tales and atmospheres of these sites are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Dare to Explore Haunted Ireland!

Want to experience Haunted Ireland in person? Haunted Traverse Tour Company is looking for some brave souls in September 2025 to explore the hauntings unfolding on the Emerald Isle. Do join us! Click here for more information.

By delving into the haunted history of these locations, you're in for spine-tingling adventures that reveal Ireland's eerie side. Get ready to embrace the supernatural and uncover the mysteries that await you with Haunted Traverse Tour Company!

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