Six of the Spookiest Places to Visit in Ireland

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Spookiest Places to Visit in Ireland

THE HELLFIRE CLUB, DUBLIN

Montpelier Hill is a hill in County Dublin. It is commonly referred to as the Hell Fire Club, the popular name given to the ruined building at the summit believed to be one of the first Freemason lodges in Ireland.

Although the walk up to the Hell Fire Club is a nice scenic one, there have been many different nerve-wracking stories of the area.

According to at least one source, activities included mock religious ceremonies and partaking in meals containing dishes like “Holy Ghost Pie”, “Breast of Venus”, and “Devil’s Loin”, while drinking “Hell-fire punch”. Members of the Club supposedly came to meetings dressed as characters from the Bible.

There have been a few recorded sightings of the devil around the area. In one story, a stranger joined the members at a card game on a stormy evening after seeking shelter.

A member dropped a card and as he bent down to pick it up he saw that the stranger had cloven hooves instead of feet. The stranger disappeared in a ball of fire.

The Hell Fire Club

DUCKETTS GROVE, CARLOW

Duckett’s Grove is a ruined 19th-century great house and former estate in County Carlow, Ireland. Belonging to the Duckett family, the house was formerly the focal point of a 12,000-acre estate, and dominated the local landscape for more than two centuries.

The interior of the house was destroyed by a major fire in the 1930s and is now inaccessible. The surrounding gardens, including two inter-connecting walled gardens, are now managed by Carlow County Council and open as a public park.

The reason why many are scared of Ducketts Grove is due to the multiple sightings of a banshee, a female spirit from Irish mythology. The banshee comes because of a Piseóg, a curse placed on the house and family to bring about death, despair and financial ruin. This particular curse was cast by the resentful mother of a young girl who had been having an affair with William Duckett and was riding on the estate when she fell from her horse.

The banshee can be heard shrieking through the ruins of Duckett’s Grove for two days and nights, with stories of those that heard her suffering fatality and family tragedy. Voices of servants have distinctly been heard in what was formerly the kitchens and pantry. A phantom horse and carriage have rolled up to the former entrance at other times.

Spookiest Places to Visit in Ireland
Duckett’s Grove, Carlow

THE ABBEY OF THE BLACK HAG, CO. LIMERICK

Monasternagalliaghduff (Irish for ‘”Black Nuns’ Abbey”), also called the Abbey of St Catherine de O’Conyl or simply Old Abbey is a ruined Augustinian abbey in County Limerick in Ireland.

The abbey lies in a small valley about two miles east of the village of Shanagolden, in the townland of Oldabbey (named after it), which is in the civil parish of Robertstown and barony of Shanid.

Only the remains of the abbey church and refectory can now bear witness to a very disturbing past. It is a dark, depressing and brooding place that positively evokes an eerie atmosphere. The ‘Black Hag’ still rules here for sure.

It was the last prioress of this Augustinian order that has gone down in history and being derided as ‘The Black Hag’. More than likely because of her black-faced appearance at around the time of her death. But it is also highly possible that the name was applied after she was found to be dabbling in witchcraft in a room of the church now known as ‘The Black Hag’s Cell’.

She terrified all the local community and stories still remain of her mastery of the black arts and numerous depravities.

Spookiest Places to Visit in Ireland
The Abbey of the Black Hag

BELVELLY CASTLE, CO. CORK

Belvelly Castle is a 14th or 15th-century tower house in County Cork. It is situated next to the small village of Belvelly, opposite and overlooking the only road bridge connecting Fota Island to Great Island.

The castle was initially built by the Anglo-Norman Hodnett Family. They were an ambitious family who arrived in Ireland in the twelfth century. During the reign of Henry III, the Hodnett and de Barry families were in conflict with each other over their properties in and around Cork.

The haunting story of poor vain Lady Margaret Hodnett is definitely an eerie one. She was said to be something of a Jezebel or floozy with quite a number of suitors and an extensive collection of mirrors.

Tired of being kept at bay, one of her men, Clon de Courcy, took it upon himself to starve Lady Margaret and her family into submission. According to the legend, after a year, the Hodnetts gave in, with Lady Margaret surrounded by unburied corpses and little of her beauty left. When Clon rejected her, she smashed all the mirrors in the castle. Sometimes she can be seen wandering the castle today, faceless, constantly rubbing at patches of the wall until they gleam like mirrors.

Spookiest Places to Visit in Ireland
Belvelly Castle

LEAP CASTLE, CO. OFFALY

Leap Castle is a castle in Coolderry, County Offaly, Ireland, about 6 km north of the town of Roscrea and 10 km south of Kinnitty on the R421.

Sean Ryan of Leap Castle insisted that he doesn’t fabricate when telling the story of what he and his wife see and hear at their home. Where most would refer to these apparitions as ghosts, Sean prefers to call them spirits. He describes the regular visions as people with a haze around them.

The sounds they hear are footsteps, doors opening and closing and crowds talking. However, on occasions that he has gone in the direction of the noise, nothing is apparent there, with the location of the spirits always out of reach. There is spirit, though, a lady, who touches off people. A lot of guests to the castle have also felt her presence. 

Spookiest Places to Visit in Ireland
Leap Castle, Offaly

THE SHELBOURNE HOTEL, DUBLIN

Yes, you are reading that correctly. The Shelbourne Hotel has had numerous reports of sightings of a young mischievous girl. Spooked staff at one of Ireland’s most famous hotels have revealed that one of their luxury rooms is haunted by a ghost.

Management at the Shelbourne Hotel has admitted that on a number of occasions, guests have sprinted out of the eerie room screaming in panic.

At one stage over a six-month period between two and three hotel guests a week were reporting apparent paranormal activity, including sink, bath taps and showers turning on by themselves.

Spookiest Places to Visit in Ireland
The Shelbourne Hotel

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