Warning: contains topics that may cause an uneasy feeling. Advised to not read at night or rather with someone when easily feeling unsettled.
Ireland has many buildings that behold ghost stories, or well, paranormal ones. I’ve always been interested in such stories, including abandoned buildings. Sure, the question will always be the same: are such stories true? Multiple buildings have been visited by paranormal scientists, and they said it was true. In several parts, I’ll be telling all paranormal stories and the history of Ireland’s buildings! Today: part 3!
1. Kilmainham Gaol
Prisons have quite a famous name when it comes to being haunted. And so, Ireland’s most famous prison is not exception. Kilmainham Gaol opened in 1796 in Dublin. It’s the prison where the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising were held and subsequently executed by firing squad. The building was shut down in 1924. They restored it in the 1960s and is now a museum, said to be haunted by both former inmates and evil wardens. During its restoration, caretaker Dan McGill reported that lights turned on and off in the prison chapel. And during that same time period, a man who painted the dungeon area, experienced a powerful gust of wind, which blew him against the wall. He managed to fight his way out and came out with an ashen face and shaking hands. Another worker was decorating the 1916 memorial corridor when he heard heavy footsteps climbing the stone stairs, walking up behind him. When he turned around, there was no one there. The footsteps continued right past him. Several children who went on a tour stopped at the threshold of the prison and refused to go any further.
2. Charleville Castle
This castle was built in 1798 for the first Earl of Charleville William Bury and his family. The castle remained in the family until 1963, when Colonel Charles Howard Bury suddenly fell dead. Today, a woman named Bridget Vance owns it and wants to restore the castle. The workers say construction awakened the spirits. They report having heard strange whispering and classical music throughout the castle. Many also heard the sounds of children playing in a room of the castle, which was once a nursery. A little girl named Harriet died a tragic death at Charleville while playing in the stairwell in the early 1800s. Her ghost is seen in this stairwell as people said they felt a cold brush of wind brush past them as they descend these steps. The little girl can be heard in the rooms around the castle, moving furniture while giggling and talking. Also, the castle is said to have been built on an ancient druid stomping ground. The Vance family reports said they saw ghostly hooded figures walking around the grounds.
3. Ross Castle
Located on the shores of Lough Sheelin, the castle was built in 1533 by the Lord of Devon Richard Nugent. Also known as the Black Baron. His daughter Sabina is said to haunt the property today. In 1536, Sabina met a young man named Orwin, son of an O’Reilly chieftain, on a bridge on the edge of her father’s property. The two fell in love, but weren’t an appropriate match. Sabina was English, Orwin Irish. They took a boat out onto Lough Sheelin, but the storm hit and turned their boat over. Orwin struck his head on the rock beneath the shallow lake and died. Sabina was rescued. When she woke up three days later, she saw his body laid out in the palace chapel. She screamed a blood-curdling scream and died soon after from shock. Both her and her lover were buried in a mound on the castle grounds. She now haunts the castle, in search for her lost lover. Her agonizing wail can still be heard today around 3 or 4 am, in the back right room of the castle. Visitors also saw the Black Baron, roaming the grounds as he grieves for his dead daughter.
4. Grand Opera House
It was opened in Belfast in 1895. The building was damaged during the Troubles, but restored ever since. Several ghosts haunt this theater, most of them are unidentified. Cast members often saw a face looking at them from a round window on their way down from the dressing rooms to the top floor. Staff members reported feeling that someone was behind them, but there was nobody there. They had this feeling the most while standing on stage. Actors say they feel like they’re being followed in the stage area. The most commonly spotted specter is a mysterious figure dressed in a long, black hooded cloak who’s always seen on stage. Some think the ghost is a former actor, waiting for the curtain to go down on his final role. Paranormal investigators claimed to have been in contact with the spirits of Harry and George, a pair of deceased stagehands who worked at the theater in the 1980s.
5. Renvyle House Hotel
This hotel has an eventful history, having been burned to the ground by the IRA in the 1920s. Before this, the famous Dublin surgeon and poet Oliver St. John Gogarty owned it. Several of his servants reported fearful presences in the home, saying that bedsheets inexplicably fly off beds, doors opening and closing on their own. One night, he himself experienced a ghostly presence. He woke up because of heavy, limping footsteps along the hallway. He slowly approached the door and lit a candle, going on an investigation. Once he entered the corridor, his flame went out, leaving him alone in the dark. He said his limbs became heavy. The supernatural activities increased when his close friend William Butler Yeats and his wife Georgia came to stay. They were sitting in the library at the home when the door suddenly creaked wide open. His companions were terrified, but he shouted that it would leave as it came. The door then slammed shut. The Yeats later held a séance as a vapory mist appeared, assuming to be the form of a red-haired, pale-faced boy, about 14 years old. He was a member of the Blake family, who originally owned the house. Soon after, it was burnt to the ground, but it was rebuilt and the ghosts are still roaming its corridors today.
That’s it for part 3! Which story had you heard before? And which one seems the most ‘creepy’ to you?
Love, Deem/Skye Lewis ❤