Have you wondered what Ireland's most scariest places to visit are? Well wonder no more. From Loftus Hall to Leap Castle, Ireland's history is gory indeed...
'It was a dark and spooky night…’ – the classic opener for all great primary school tales. While the presence of witches, ghosts, banshees and monsters seemed the most outrageous choice of characters at the time, there are far more frightening tales on this superstitious isle than our nine-year-old selves could have imagined. 
 
With Halloween’s own roots firmly set in Irish pagan practices, it’s no wonder that we have our fair share of things that go bump in the night. For the real scare-seekers, here’s the places you need to check out.
 
Loftus Hall
Over 600 years old, Loftus Hall, at the Hook Peninsula in Co. Wexford, is riddled with tales of ghosts and the devil himself. It is said that while minding the house for the Loftus family in 1666, Anne Tottenham and her parents allowed a curious guest to take refuge during a storm. 
 
Upon Anne’s horror at the guest’s cloven hooves, he shot through the roof leaving an irreparable hole in the ceiling. Anne was supposedly so traumatised by the affair that she locked herself in her room until her death years later. 
 
Her ghost supposedly haunts the manor alongside the occasional sounds of hooves. A dark and spooky night is right.
 
Leap Castle
Said to be Ireland’s most haunted castle, the site has been featured on several American ghost-hunting series’ for its supernatural stories. Situated in Coolderry, Co. Offaly, and built in around 1250, Leap Castle has a history bathed in blood and guts and gore at the hands of the O’Carroll family who ruled it. 
 
From a murdered family that haunts the great hall, to the strange illumination of the ‘Bloody Chapel’ (so-called after a priest was slaughtered mid-mass), this spot gives Hogwarts a run for its money. 
 
Keep your eyes peeled for the hunchbacked ghost often accompanied by the smell of rotting flesh – he’s no Quasimodo.
 
The Nightmare Realm
Cork’s ultimate scare experience is hitting Dublin this month with the hope of petrifying the capital this Halloween. Promising to be “bigger, darker and freakier than ever before”, the Nightmare Realm is for those made of the tough stuff. 
 
With live creatures and terrifying sets, this scare adventure is the most thrilling of them all – if you’re brave enough to see it to the end. 
 
Charles Fort
This star fort in Kinsale, Co. Cork, aptly houses a tale of star-crossed lovers that would make for a nasty episode of Don’t Tell the Bride. A case of mistaken identity caused the Commander of the Fort to shoot dead his daughter’s husband on their wedding day. 
 
Upon realisation, he jumped to his death from the walls of the fort. Coming across the scene, the daughter, too, jumped from the fort. The White Lady has been seen, clad in her wedding attire, smiling and waving. 
 
Other reports tell of an unknown force throwing people down flights of stairs. Tread lightly, she’s an unpredictable one.
 
 
Think you could handle these haunted houses? Well why not try The Nightmare Realm which will open with an almighty creak at the RDS on Saturday, September 29th and will run until November 5th. Think you’re brave? Think again.
 
Plus, with Campus.ie students can get a 10% discount when they purchase their ticket for Monday or Tuesday night during the month of October. For more information, just click here.
 
Tickets to The Nightmare Realm will be available to book online at www.thenightmarerealm.ie and start from €15 for adults and €13 for students (strictly 13+ years).