Visit Haunted Castles in Ireland

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Castle doors suddenly slam shut. Swift winds tear through guest rooms on otherwise calm nights. Terrifying wails are heard from deep within castles. The reason for these events? Ghosts. Their spirits have been haunting some castles in Ireland for hundreds of years. If you are brave enough, you might want to visit or stay in one of the real haunted castles in Ireland.

Many battles took place in Irish castles over many centuries of struggle for Irish rule. The violence and bloodshed took many lives and created many legends. Some of the castle ghosts were involved in the fighting; others had more personal tragedies. I visited many haunted castles during my most recent castle tour.

Charleville Castle in Tullamore, County Offaly is haunted by the ghost of its former owner, by druids buried on the grounds, and by a girl who fell from a high staircase to her death. When I visited, ghost hunters were setting up equipment to detect the spirits.

Clonony Castle in Birr, County Offaly, is near the Shannon River in the Irish Midlands. A ghostly figure of a man reportedly patrols one of its towers.

Ballygally Castle is 20 miles from Belfast on the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland. This beautiful hotel has a seaside location and its own friendly ghost! Her name is Isabella; she was the wife of James Shaw. The legend says that she was locked in her room after she gave birth to her baby. She tried to escape and either fell or was thrown to her death. I don't know why she would be a friendly ghost with that history!

Carrickfergus Castle is just east of Belfast in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. This haunted castle is has a seaside location and is home to "Buttoncap", the ghost of a young 16th Century soldier.

Huntington Castle in Clonegal, County Carlow is built on the site of a Druids Temple. Spirits of deceased monks, a murdered soldier, and Lady Esmond all haunt this large estate. You may want to visit this site when you are in Ireland's Southeast Region.

Killua Castle, located in County Westmeath, in the East Coast and Midlands Region of Ireland, is rumored to have a former employee's ghostly figure stalking the grounds at night.

Castle Leslie in County Monaghan, Northern Ireland is a beautiful castle haunted by Norman Leslie, slain in World War I.

Gormanston Castle in County Meath was owned by a family for seven centuries. Legend has it that foxes surrounded the castle upon
the death of one of the family members.

Kinnitty Castle in Country Offaly is a beautifully restored castle hotel built on land once inhabited by Druids. This castle is haunted by the "Phantom Monk of Kinnitty". The castle has become a popular wedding venue, despite the uninvited ghostly guest!

Wilton Castle in County Wexford, is in Ireland's Southeast Region. This castle is said to be home to the ghosts of a former magistrate, a dead actress, and a former castle resident.

Leap Castle in County Offaly is widely regarded as the most haunted castle in Ireland. Its bloody past of massacres and murders has led to the presence of vengeful ghosts and unexplained noises, placing Leap Castle at the top of the list of real haunted castles in Ireland. The current owners of this haunted castle have been interviewed by several reporters of paranormal activity. Various television shows and even internet movie clips have featured the ghosts of Leap Castle. The owners claim to co-exist peacefully with the spirits and have come to accept their presence.

Whether or not you believe in ghost stories, it is worth testing your beliefs firsthand. You will definitely enjoy a visit to these beautiful and real haunted castles in Ireland.

Copyright 2008-2009, Patricia McKinney-Lins. All rights reserved.

About the Author:

Written by: Patricia G. McKinney-Lins. Take the worry out of booking your own special trip to the Emerald Isle. Go to the author's website at for free travel advice and recommendations. Sign up for your free newsletter at and get great travel tips for your next escape to Ireland!

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