See Beyond The Dark......
Below is a list of some of the locations Ghost Hunt Ireland has investigated
Established by Richard McCarthy in the 1850’s McCarthy’s Hotel provided the services of a spirit merchant, restaurant,
hotel, undertaker, draper, grocer, baker, hackney service, glass, delph and china shop and if you still couldn't get what
you want - hire a few horses to take you elsewhere. Continuing in this tradition the present proprietor, Annette Murphy
(fourth generation McCarthy), has a pub, restaurant and undertaker business which she runs with her family (fifth
McCarthy’s success is based on a mix of the old and the new. The interior is unchanged since Richard McCarthy opened for
business in the 1850’s. McCarthy’s were lucky that in the 1970’s, when great changes swept Ireland, three old ladies,
Beatty, Kitty and Nell, ruled McCarthy’s and were unwilling to modernise the premises to a “lounge bar”. People still
return expecting to meet the old ladies (now deceased) sitting in the office drinking tea and surveying the comings and
goings of life from the office door.
McCarthy’s is also a place of interest for those who believe in the supernatural. A sign was given before the deaths of the
last generation of McCarthy’s, usually a picture falls from the wall for no apparent reason. Three loud knocks on the front
door were heard by people at both sides of the door before Beattie’s death. Ghosts have been seen by locals and visitors
both by night and day.
Steeped in history this pub is must to visit'
They will wine you, dine you and bury you . . .
This is a real fairy tale castle, complete with grand staircase, towers flying about, battlements, crenellations, a porte-cochere and a chapel.
For 350 years the Cooper family have been living at Markree Castle. Their story is a journey through time, starting in the 16th century with the invasion of Ireland by Cromwell.The young officer, Edward Cooper, was serving under Cromwell when his army defeated the mighty O’Brien Clan. O’Brien himself lost his life in this battle and Edward married his widow Máire Rua (Red Mary). With her and her two sons he went to live at Luimneach Castle in Limerick, which is now a ruin. She had her two sons take the name of Cooper as protection from the English invaders. Cromwell’s army marched on, further northwards in spite of the fact that he did not have the means to pay his officers. Instead, he gave them large pieces of land. Thus, he gave Markree Castle and the surrounding grounds to Edward Cooper.
Markree Castle, the Cooper family home for 370 years, has been lovingly restored by the current owner Charles Cooper and his wife Mary to become one of the finest country house hotels in Ireland. Set in a secluded 500 acre estate in County Sligo, peace and relaxation combined with good food, fine wine and old-world charm make a stay at Markree a step back in time. The only castle hotel in Sligo, Markree is a truly unique hidden gem in the heart of Sligo- the only place to go if you are looking for Sligo accommodation with a difference or a Sligo hotel with genuine character.
A castle since the 14th century, with the most recent redesign taking place in the late 1800s, Markree is a cultural gem where the very finest in Irish Victorian and Georgian architecture is to be seen. Stay in casual castle comfort and style at this unique Sligo hotel and restaurant.
Markree Castle and it's surrounding gardens has proved inspirational and the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful was written here in the 1800s. At the heart of Yeats’ Country, the poet W.B. Yeats was a guest here when the Castle was still a private residence.
More recently the golfer Tom Watson and the singer-songwriter Johnny Cash have stayed here. The room Johnny Cash and his wife slept in was named in honour of him called (The Johnny Cash Room).It is said that Johnny's spirit often roams the Stairs and hallways and the room he slept in...
The first castle at Kinnitty (home to Druids and poets alike) was knocked down in 1209 and then rebuilt in 1213 by the Normans. Whilst the Normans were in control of the castle, an Augustinian Abbey was established near the castle. In 1630 William O Carroll built a new castle in close proximity to the old abbey, but this was confiscated in 1641 by English forces. In 1664, the castle and estate were given to Thomas Winter as a reward for military service. The castle stayed in the Winter family for 100 years, when it was sold to the Bernard family. In 1811 Catherine Hutchinson commissioned the Pain brothers to extend the castle into what it is today. Unfortunately, in 1922 the castle was burned by Republican forces, but it was rebuilt in 1928. The castle was turned into a luxury hotel in 1994, which is how it stands today.
The High Cross and Abbey wall of the original structure remain and several ghosts are believed to haunt the grounds. Two of the bedrooms, the Geraldine and Elizabeth rooms, are haunted and several other areas of the hotel leave visitors and staff a little spooked. The most famous ghost, however, is that of the Monk of Kinnitty, Hugh, witnessed by visitors and staff alike. The castle has been visited by many Irish paranormal groups, also both Irish and UK television stations. This castle is known as one of Ireland's most haunted castles, which has attracted numerous holiday makers from home and across the pond to stay in a real Irish castle, more so a real Irish haunted castle....
This historic castle is situated amidst majestic trees in the tranquil countryside over looking its nearby lake. Built in 1533 by the lord of Devon, Richard Nugent, 12th Lord Delvin--also known as the "Black Baron".
He is said to be buried under the Anchorite's Cell in Fore. The great hall and extensions of Ross Castle were built by the Baron's grandson Richard in 1539 and the tower was used by Myles "the Slasher" O'Reilly, before he was killed in battle in 1644 by Cromwell's forces. His descendant, Anna Maria O'Reilly, restored it in 1864.
The Legend: In 1536, Sabina, the Baron's daughter, slipped away one day and met a handsome young man named Orwin on a bridge at the edge of her father's property. The Baron was English and Orwin was the son of an Irish lord. They fell in love, but it was not considered a proper match. They decided to elope and took a boat out onto Lough Sheelin.
The lake's waters are unpredictable and sometimes dangerous, with changeable weather and the lake being shallow with sharp limestone deposits underneath. While out on the lake, Sabina and Orwin couldn't get back when a storm came up and the boat overturned, with Orwin striking his head and dying. Sabina was thrown from the boat and rescued. She had a weakened heart from a virus when she was 7 and didn't awaken for three days, and when she did, she came across her beloved's body laid out in the palace chapel.
The scream from her seeing him is said to still be heard around 3-4 am in the back right room of the great house. She died from the shock of it all not too long afterwards.
She and Orwin are buried nearby in a mound down the road near the quarry. It is said that her spirit returned to Ross, while Orwin's returned to his family's home. Her screams can be heard in the dead of night.
Built in the 14Th Century, a keep to guard the pass from Slieve Bloom into Munster.
Galic name for the castle is “Leim ui Bhanain” which means Leap of the O’Bannons. Under the O’Carrolls Chiefs, the O’Bannon Clan were the first owner’s of Leap Castle, later occupied by the O’Carrolls them self’s. Leap Castle has a violent and turbulent history.
In 1532, on the Death of the O’Carroll Chieftain a fierce rivalry for the leadership erupted within the family.
The bitter fight for power turned Brother against Brother, one of the brothers Leap Castlewas a Priest.
The O’Carroll Priest was holding Mass for his family (in what is now known as the Bloody Chapel). As the Priest was chanting the Holy rites his brother Teige (one eyed Teige) burst into the Chapel plunging his Sword into his brother and fatally wounding him. The butchered Priest fell across the Altar and died in front of his family.
During the 17Th Century a Daughter of the O’Carrolls fell in love with a British Soldier named Captain Derby, who was being held prisoner in the dungeons. After a few months she engineered his escape. As they were making their way down the stairs they were confronted by her brother. The Captain killed him there on the stairs.
Soon after they married and her father had died the ownership of the Castle passed to the Captains family.
The last of the Darby family to own the Castle was Jonathan Charles Darby who moved in on 16Th July 1880. In 1909 his wife Mildred wrote an article for the Occult Review, which said how she had held Séances at the Castle and that she felt there were “unwanted elements” within it.
She described once standing in the balcony looking down on the main floor, when she felt someone put a hand on her shoulder, when she turned she saw that it was about the size of a sheep, human like creature, it was thin and gaunt and very shadowy , it had eyes which seemed half decomposed in black cavities stared back at her.
She also said that the air was filled with the smell of decomposed flesh. It is said that Mildred awoke many bad spirits and forces during her time in the Castle.
In 1922 a fire destroyed part of the Castle, and when restoration work was started they discovered an Oubliette ( ) behind the wall of the Bloody Chapel.
It was crammed with remains of the victims of Leap Castles Past. There were cart loads of bones taken away.
Over the next 70 years the property remained a shell, its fearsome reputation made sure that the local people avoided it, especially at night when lots of ghostly activity occurred.
Across the field people would see a light shining through the windows of the Bloody Chapel, as if there was a lot of candles blazing within.
Some people who did walk through saw a full manifestation of a lady walking through in a red gown.
In 1991 Sean and Ann Ryan bought Leap Castle making it there home. Restoration was soon halted when a ladder Sean was using was inexplicably pushed away from the wall, leaving him with a fractured knee. Later another accident happened and this time he broke an ankle. “We began to think we weren’t welcome here” Ann said at the time.
How ever Sean and Ann seen to have been largely accepted by the spirits. For example, in May 2002 Sean and Ann found a ghost of an old man sitting in a chair by a downstairs fire place, completely unfazed, the couple said “good day” to the phantom and continued about their business. It seems that the ghost sitting by the fire has become part of life for those who inhabit or visit Leap Castle.
Charleville Castle features prominent turrets and spires, clinging ivy and a medieval grotto. It isCharleville Castle regarded as the finest Gothic Revival building in Ireland. Charleville castle is bordering the town of Tullamore, near the Shannon River. The castle is situated in Ireland’s most ancient primordial oak woods, once the haunting grounds of Ireland’s druids.
The word 'druid' in Gaelic literally means, "knower of the oak". In the sixth century it was part of the ancient monastic site of Lynally, which itself was in the ancient Durrow monastic settlement.
The castle is haunted by the ghost of a young girl who fell down some stairs to her death in the early 1800s.
The girl whom fell to her death from a staircase still roams around the castle and can be heard in rooms above moving furniture around and laughing and talking.
The castle has also been investigated by many paranormal investigation groups from around the world
The White family first settled on Whiddy Island in the 17Th Century, but purchased a small Queen Ann house called Blackrock on the main land known as Bantry House.
In 1820 Richard, the first Earl of Bantry, enlarged the house by adding the two drawing rooms. It was his son, then Viscount Berehaven, who travelled extensively and amassed an eclectic collection of tapestries, paintings, furniture and artefacts. Bantry House
In 1922 during the Irish Civil War, the Cottage Hospital in Bantry, run by the Nuns of the Convent of Mercy was not large enough. The owner, Mrs Leigh-White offered the house as a hospital to care for the injured on both sides of the conflict.
Bantry House is the ancestral home of the Earl of Bantry, still lived in by their descendants Egerton and Brigitte Shelswell-White, and their family.
Since 1946 Bantry House has been open to the public.
The first documented historical record of the Castle dates back to1291, however the Chapel and tower flanking on the eastern side of the Castle were erected during the 12Th Century. This section of the castle, while not accessible, is remarkably still standing.
The Castle became the principal stronghold of the Norman FitzGodebent Family who travelled to Ireland with Strongbow during the Anglo-Norman invasion in 1170 and settled in Csatletownroche. This family were known as “de la Roche” and accordingly became known as the “Roche’s” in Ireland hereby giving Castletownroche its name.
The prominent tower on the west wing side of the Castle (“the keep”) was erected during the 14Th Century and is a fine example of Norman architecture in Ireland. The tower is structurally intact throughout and offers spectacular views from the roof.
The Castle remained in the Roche Family until 1666, loosing it to Lieutenant Colonel John Widenham who received the Castle as a reward of his loyalty to the Crown. The Castle was renamed “Castle Widenham”. The Widenham family enjoyed a peaceful time of some 300 years. Ownership passed outside the Widenham Family in 1960 and in 1992 the Castle was purchased by The Nordstrom Family as a Trust to preserve and enhance Irish Heritage and to promote Art and Culture.
After several years of extensive restoration work, the Widenham Family opened the Castle as a guest house.
The Castle was built in the early 1400s by the 7Th Earls of Desmond, a father and son. The original name was Castle Matres (Castle of the Matron), however after a few Centuries they realised that this sounded too much like “mattress” which wasn’t dignified enough, so they changed it to Matrix.
According to Irish Mythology , the 4Th Earl was known as the Wizard Earl and was said to have married Aine, the Fairy Queen. With the overthrow of the Fitzgerald’s of Desmond, the Castle was occupied by Walter Raleigh ( captain at the time). It is said that here Raleigh first introduced the potato into Ireland.
Edmund Spencer also stayed here for a time, and its likely that the local tale of the Wizard Earl and his Fairy Queen wife were the initial inspiration for his epic work, The Fairy Queen.
The Castle lands were later held by Edmund Southwell, and were easily captured by the local Irish rebels and then by Cromwell’s forces in 1642.
In the early 1800s the castle was being used to manufacture linen and a flour mill was added.
In the 1930s the Castle was abandoned to the elements, becoming a ruin. In 1961 Colonel Sean O’Driscoll purchased the Castle and spent the last 30 years of his life restoring as much as possible to its mediaeval configuration, and housed it with his collection of books, art and artefacts from around the world.
Cork City Gaol
The Gaol in Sundays well was opened in 1824 and designed to replace the old Gaol at the North Bridge in the heart of the City the Gaol was nearly 100 years old, on a confined site, over crowded and unhygienic.
The new Gaol was reported as being “the finest in 3 Kingdom’s” In 1870 the west wing was Cork Gaolremodelled into a double-sided cell wing and in 1887 under the General Prisons Act (Ireland), the Gaol became an all-female prison which it remained until male anti-treaty supporters were incarcerated in 1922.
The Gaol closed in August 1923, with all remaining prisoners either released or transferred to other Gaols.
The Gaol was used by Radio Eirann as a broadcasting station from 1927 until the 1950s. From 1950 it had become derelict until reopening as a visitors attraction in 1993.
Tarbert Bridewell was built in 1831 and its elegant cut limestone exterior stands as a tribute to the fine craftsmen of the early 19th century. For more than 100 years it served as a Courthouse & Jail. The Courthouse was used for the dispensing of justice and the cells and yards for the temporary confinement of prisoners prior to removal to the County Jail in Tralee.
The Bridewell ceased to operate as a jail in 1874 but continued in use as a Courthouse for a further 75 years. A local family -were the last residential caretakers of the Bridewell and lived there up to the 1950’s. For the next 30 years the building being unoccupied, steadily deteriorated and by the mid 1980’s had become derelict.
In 1987 the Bridewell Project Group was formed with a view to retaining, restoring and developing this fine building. In 1993 the Bridewell opened as a Visitor Centre.
The impetus for the formation of the Tarbert Bridewell Group stemmed from Tarbert Development Association and the restoration would not have been possible without the generous financial support of the Community & its exiles and State Agencies. Tarbert Bridewell is owned by the community. The Building is held in Trust by a Board of Trustees and a voluntary Board of Management oversees the business of the Bridewell.
Today Tarbert Bridewell Visitor Centre features the entertaining and historically informative Exhibition which depicts rough justice in 19th Century Ireland. It also houses an exhibition on the life & works of Thomas McGreevy the famous Tarbert Poet.
The Ardfert friary was founded by Thomas FItzmaurice in 1253.The tower was added in the 15th century. It is in a strange position (usually they are centered in the church, this one sits a bit off to one side) and the transept was added at the same time.
The cloister inside is still impressive, although only pieces of it remain. The main church is remarkably similar to the Ardfert Cathedral. It was used as a friary and concent until about 1517 and eventually used as a barracks in 1584.
Once it was abandoned by the military, the friars returned from about 1613 until the 1760s
The 18th century Wicklow Gaol, steeped in history tells a story of crime, cruelty, exile and misery. It was used to imprison both common criminals and Irish revolutionaries until its closure in the late 19th century.
It was the scene of executions and many of its prisoners were detained there until they were transported to the New World or Australia. In 1798 many captured rebel leaders were held in Wicklow Gaol including Michael Dwyer, Napper Tandy and many others.
By 1900 it had been closed but was used again first by the British from 1918 to detain captured IRA and Sinn Féin members and later by the Irish Free State to imprison captured republican die-hards before it finally close in 1924.
Today it hosts historical tours, a geneaology service, a craft shop and restaurant.
A wonderfully atmospheric stronghold on the edge of Galway Bay, Oranmore Castle was built between the 13th and 15th centuries. Originally a De Burgo (Burke) stronghold, An Cáislean Mór or The Castle of the Well played a pivotal part in the defence of Galway during the Confederate Rebellion in the 1640's: provisions were shipped from the castle to the besieged fort of Galway.
Left abandoned to the elements in 1853, it was bought in 1945 by Lady Leslie for her daughter, the writer Anita Leslie, whose daughter, Leonie continues to reside in the castle with her husband, the noted musician Alec Finn of De Danann. Today, the castle is an enchanting, welcoming paradise of art, music and history.
It's said that one former resident was so despicable that when he died locals buried him, then dug him up a few days later and hung him. No one will dare to sleep in the North Cell bedroom because of its past horrors!!!
A place steeped in magic, tradition and eccentricity.