From ghastly jails to abandoned asylums, we give you a definitive list of Ireland’s most haunted landmarks. It's never too early to get excited for Halloween!
Ireland has a long history of myths and legends, with many creepy stories of haunted glens and houses around the country.
Whether it’s a banshee, a ghost or just a thump in the night, everyone has their own creepy tale of haunted happenings around the country.
Here at Campus.ie, we thought we’d get everyone in the Halloween mood with a countdown of the most haunted places around the country. Pay a visit if you dare!
Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin
A cornerstone of Irish history, Kilmainham Gaol has seen its fair share of brutal executions, giving it a well-deserved place on our list. The prison was built in 1796 and housed men, women and children all together in awful conditions, until its decommission by the Irish free state in 1924.
During its time, it was the home of almost every significant Irish nationalist leader, with the exceptions of Michael Collins and Daniel O’Connell. Subsequently it has had plenty of anger and dread in its cells.
Now open to visit to the public, the jail is said to be haunted by both inmates and guards and so is a great destination for paranormal and history buffs alike.
Cork District Asylum
Built in 1798, this abandoned asylum was founded by William Saunders Hallaran, who wrote the first book on Irish psychiatry, with some dubious claims about the care of psychiatric patients.
The sounds and screams of inmates from the asylum’s history have been heard by many visitors to the site, and even recorded, making it a huge place of interest for paranormal investigators throughout the country.
Partly still in use today, the asylum is a sight creepy enough to freak out even the most hardened of horror buffs, and is a must-see for anyone fancying a scare this Halloween.
Glenuilin, Co. Derry
In a remote field in north Derry, there lies an area known as ‘Leacht Abhartach’ or Abhartach’s sepulchre (another word for a grave or burial). But who is Abhartach, you may ask?
According to legend, he was a ‘powerful and evil wizard’ who terrorised the local people in the area.
Too afraid to get rid of him, locals recruited chieftain Cathán to slay Abhartach. Cathán killed him and buried him upright in an open grave, but Abhartach rose from the dead, returning to demand a bowl of blood from his subjects to sustain his soul.
Cathán eventually killed him with the help of a local druid, but Abhartach’s grave is said to be haunted ground and that if the stone on the grave is lifted, he’ll be free to walk the land of the living again.
The site is so creepy that it’s been the subject of many local legends throughout the years, with many people too afraid to visit the site. What better way to spend your Halloween than at the grave of an Irish vampire?
Loftus Hall, Co Wexford
Self-described as ‘Ireland’s most haunted house’, Loftus Hall has had more than its fair share of scary folklore over the years.
Paranormal investigators have consistently picked up strong indications of ghostly activity at Loftus Hall, almost all pertaining to a previous resident of the home – Anne Tottenham.
According to legend, one stormy night, a man came knocking on the door of the house looking for shelter from the weather. Throughout his stay, he and Anne fell in love, until one evening when he and the Tottenham family were playing cards, Anne bent down from her seat to pick up a dropped card to see that the mystery man had a cloven hoof in place of a foot.
When she questioned him, he fled the house and Anne never saw him again. It’s said that she retreated to the Tapestry Room in Loftus Hall, where she sat curled up at the window until her death, waiting for her lover to return.
These days, Loftus Hall is a huge attraction for lovers of hauntings and legends, with Anne’s ghost said to roam the hallways, even making an appearance in a photo taken at the halls. Sounds scary enough to us!
Looking for an alternative way to spend your Halloween this year? Why not dare to enter The Nightmare Realm? Cork's infamous scare house has invaded the RDS for the second year in a row, transforming it into an extreme walk-through horror event designed to prey on your deepest fears and twisting them into a deadly reality.
Be warned, this show is not for the faint of heart. If you are a true thrill enthusiast and think you’re brave enough, then get your tickets right here. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Plus, with Campus.ie students can get a 10% discount when they purchase their ticket for Sunday-Wednesday night during the month of October. For more information, just click here.