Halloween only comes around once a year, and with it comes paranormal intrigue. There’s certainly no shortage of supernatural places to visit in Ireland, especially a place as rich in history as Dublin.
We’ve dug deep into the vaults of Dublin’s most haunted and ranked some of these local haunts for all you Halloween fanatics. Let’s get spooky, shall we?
- Marsh’s Library
Founded in 1707, this beautiful building could be straight out of a fairytale--until the ghost of the library’s founder, Archbishop Narcissus March, shows up. As the story goes, Archbishop March disapproved of the sea captain his niece fell in love with. Before the couple eloped, she penned a letter asking for her uncle’s forgiveness and left it inside one of the library’s books. March, however, never found the note and wanders around his library to this day in search of it. Definitely creepy. Kind of endearing? We’ll put this one at number eight.
7. Collins’ Barracks
Screams, shouts, gunshots, and horses are just some of the sounds that have been heard here. Other visitors have reported seeing soldiers in uniform walking the barracks--and it’s not at all a part of a reenactment. Getting spookier!
- The Brazen Head
How could Dublin’s oldest pub not be haunted? In 1803, one of its patrons, Robert Emmet, used the location to plan his rebellion, and he was hanged later that year. But he still visits the pub and can be seen hiding in the corner, looking out for his executioner who was another Brazen Head regular. We would care to see zero ghosts on a night on the town, thank you very much.
- The Shelbourne Hotel
The swanky, five-star hotel attracts many a guest--including otherworldly visitors. Staff members claim a young girl who died there in 1791 never left and does her part to scare guests by turning on the taps and making other noises. Actress Lily Collins stayed at the hotel and admitted to hearing laughter and slamming doors. Number-five spot: Lily Collins approved (probably).
- Kilmainham Gaol
Given its history and current title as one of the biggest unoccupied prisons in Ireland, it’s no surprise that this place has countless chilling stories, from lights turning on and off to footsteps echoing through deserted corridors. We’re starting to have nightmares.
- Darkey Kelly’s Pub
This Fishamble Street haunt was named after a woman ran a nearby brothel and was accused of witchcraft in the 18th century. When her establishment was investigated by police, they discovered five bodies underneath the floorboards, and while Kelly was both partially hanged and burned at the stake, her spirit remains. Patrons report feeling watched, hearing odd noises, and seeing objects move on their own. Witchcraft, murder, and ghosts? Definitely worthy of a top-three spot.
- John Kavanagh "The Gravediggers"
To understand the creepiness of Kavanagh’s, one has to learn a bit about its neighbour, the Glasnevin Cemetery, which has a dark history of body snatching, or digging up newly buried bodies to be sold for experiments and medical research. The gruesome act was so common that the watch tower was built to allow guards to spot and put an end to the practice.
Next door to the cemetery is Kavanagh’s (which is also affectionately called “The Gravediggers”), and as if the proximity to Glasnevin Cemetery didn’t provide an eerie enough setting, the pub is haunted by its own resident ghost. Stop in for a pint, and you may see him at the bar wearing old-fashioned tweeds. Just don’t be surprised if he disappears without warning. Number two spot for the 2-for-1 deal.
- The Hellfire Club
The Hellfire Club was officially named the scariest place in the country, so naturally, it takes our number one spot. A short drive outside of the city brings those brave enough to Montpelier Hill, where the ruins of an 18th century hunting lodge--the former location of the Hellfire Club--still stand. Accounts vary as to what actually went on there, but many agree that the club gathered to drink, gamble, and well, raise hell. It’s said that the devil himself showed up for a round of card games. To this day, the ruins’ visitors report countless paranormal stories.