Be afraid, be very afraid. Are you looking to scare yourself silly and get spooked this Halloween? Ireland boasts various creepy castles with harrowing histories, spooky cemeteries, and special events perfect for heart-pounding thrills.
If you dare, here are six frightfully haunting hotspots to visit this Halloween with older kids who love to sleep with one eye open.
Now a shell of its former self, the once magnificent 15th-century castle boasts a series of unexplained phenomena which forced Carlow County Council to close the grounds at night for 'health and safety reasons'. In recent years paranormal investigators have reported eerie encounters including unexplained lights, and heavy, hollow sounds alongside strange figures and shadows from one of the castle's tall towers...
Now a museum run by the Office of Public Works, Kilmainham Gaol was once a prison and is considered one of the most haunted places in Ireland. Prisoners locked up here were kept in appalling cramped conditions, including women and children, believed to be as little as seven years old. Ghostly activities date back to the 1960s with many reports saying lights have turned on and off, people being knocked off their feet, and footsteps being heard in deserted corridors.
The Hellfire Club
The burnt out and abandoned creepy 'club' was a site where people once dressed as Satan and drank whiskey from a cauldron. Rumour has it, animals have been sacrificed at the Montpelier manor, and a servant girl was consumed in a bid to summon a ‘Dark Lord'. By day, the lodge is a backdrop to breathtaking views over Dublin but, at night, many have reported strange happenings at the gaunt ruin, as well as unusual smells. It is also advised not to wear crucifixes or any religious memorabilia when visiting.
At Farmaphobia, revellers will journey through a frightful evening of screams and laughter - socially distanced, of course. Expect eerie corners, blood-curdling frights and ghoulish entertainment on this Meath farm like you've never envisioned before. The night time activities consist of three terrifying adrenalin-pumping experiences where many believed their worst nightmares come through.
We love a gruelling ghost story, but this one truly gave us the creeps. Charles Fort, located in the quaint village of Kinsale, is home to a lonely spirit who wanders the grounds in her wedding dress stricken with grief. It is believed her father murdered her husband mistakenly, then threw himself from the battlements. Unable to come to terms with the loss of her partner and her beloved father, she too killed herself. Now, visitors say they can feel her presence and sadness around the Cork cove.
This 15th-century castle had a brutal history of revenge, rivalry and power hanging over its head before it was burned to the ground in 1922. Believed to be one of Ireland's most haunted houses, the Leap Castle was home to a mundane amount of murders including family members and a priest, who was believed to be performing mass at the time. Ghosts hunters claim two little girls roam the main hall, while a monk walks the windows of the priest's house.
And some other haunted Ireland hotspots...
Other scare-fests and gruesome places to visit this Halloween include Charleville Castle, St. Michan's Church, Kinnitty Castle, Ballinagarde House, Drumbeg Manor, Loftus Hall, Cork District Lunatic Asylum, Coolbawn House and Captain Boyd's Grave, or any graveyard for that matter.