Ireland’s Spookiest Visitor Attractions
Ireland is known as a land of magic and folklore and with Halloween just around the corner, the Emerald Isle has no shortage of sights to get you in the spooky spirit. Read on to find out Ireland’s spookiest visitor attractions.
Leap Castle, Offaly
Leap Castle in County Offaly is often considered one of Ireland’s spookiest visitor attractions and proudly lists itself as the world’s most haunted castle, and for good reason. This castle, which is more than 700 years old, has seen a brutal history of massacres, murders, and torture. Many visitors allege they have seen the Red Lady wandering the castle with the knife she used to commit suicide, while those who visit the castle’s “Bloody Chapel” have reported feeling the eerie presence of spirits from the past.
Lost City of Kilstiffen, Clare
The Cliffs of Moher may be one of Ireland’s top tourist attractions, but did you know these cliffs boast a very spooky history in Irish Folklore? The tales of County Clare tell how the ancient city of Kilstiffen was submerged by the Atlantic Ocean after the local chieftain misplaced the golden key to the city while engaged in combat. According to legend, the City of Kilstiffen won’t come out of the water until this key is located and returned. If you’re visiting the Cliffs of Moher, take a look out from O’Brien’s Tower and see if you can spot the lost city!
The White Lady of Kilkenny Castle
No list of Ireland’s spookiest attractions would be complete without Kilkenny Castle and its White Lady. Spend the day in Kilkenny and locals will tell you stories of the ghostly woman who is rumoured to haunt the rooms of this medieval castle, known as the White Lady. It’s believed that this is the spirit of Lady Margaret Butler who was born in Kilkenny Castle in the 1450s, the grandmother of Anne Boleyn who was beheaded by King Henry VIII for treason in the 16th Century.
The Hauntings of the Dark Hedges
Made famous by HBO’s Game of Thrones, the Dark Hedges makes for a popular day-trip from Dublin, but this iconic destination is more than just a filming location… This Halloween, the Dark Hedges should be visited by anyone looking for a scare. The eerie surroundings are frequently claimed to be haunted by a female figure dressed in grey who glides along the road and vanishes after the last tree. This woman is believed to have been either “Cross Peggy,” the building’s original builders’ daughter, or a maid who mysteriously passed away centuries ago.
The Ghost of Glendalough
When you think of Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, you likely think of picture-perfect scenery, wildlife, and walking trails. However, this beautiful destination has a spooky side as visitors have reported supernatural sightings here of the Lady in Red, thought to be a woman named Kathleen, who lived here in 500 AD. According to legend, Kathleen, who is grieving over her unrequited love for Saint Kevin of Glendalough, haunts the monastic site wearing a red gown.
The Hanging of Galway
Galway City draws both locals and visitors for a variety of reasons, including its spooky past. According to legend, in 1493 the son of Judge James Lynch FitzStephen, the Mayor of Galway, killed a Spanish merchant sailor. However, after entering a guilty plea, no one was available to carry out the execution, so Judge Lynch personally hanged his son to ensure that justice was served. Following this event, the act of execution came to be known as “lynching” throughout the world. The window where the deed took place is known as the Lynch Memorial Window and is located in Galway City Centre.
Thank you for reading our article Ireland’s Spookiest Visitor Attractions. Are you planning your next Irish holiday? Discover the very best of Ireland’s attractions on a Wild Rover day trip from Dublin.