Stories and sightings of apparitions abound in this ancient city steeped in myths and legends. If you do not want to chance an encounter with undeparted souls, there are numerous places you will want to avoid.
Michan's Church immediately off your list: behind iron doors, a narrow
stone staircase descends to its crypt where the ghoulish remains of up to
800-year-old bodies have been preserved by the dry air. Stacked coffins have
caused limbs to protrude at startling angles, and occupants of open coffins look
as if they are merely snoozing and might wake any moment. Visitors often hear whispers
and voices and feel icy cold fingers pressing on their necks and running down their
Castle is another do-miss destination if you want to evade the city’s ghosts.
The heads of overcome invaders were mounted on the castle’s walls to deter
other would-be assailants, and their decapitated corpses lie buried beneath. But
according to tour guides, their spirits can stray.
Prisoners at the
ominous 18th-century Kilmainham
Gaol included the leaders of the 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867 and 1916 uprisings.
The gaol closed in 1924, and is now Europe's largest unoccupied building of its
kind -- if you do not count the ghosts of former inmates and wardens. Their spectral
presence is most frequently sensed around the prison chapel, where 1916 Easter
Rising leader Joseph Plunkett married Grace Gifford just hours before his
execution by firing squad.
Gaol's inmates was rebel leader Robert Emmet, who was hung, drawn and quartered
in 1803. In his speech from the dock during his trial, Emmet famously asked
that his grave not be marked until Ireland was a sovereign nation, and the
whereabouts of his body remain a mystery today. But his ghost, it is rumoured,
is watching out for enemies in Dublin’s oldest pub, the Brazen
Head, where Emmet once held Resistance meetings.
Brazen Head is
not the only city pub with phantom customers. When the temperature unexpectedly
drops in the Bull and Castle
(formerly the Castle Inn), it is believed to be the presence of poet James
Clarence Mangan, who was born here in 1803.
pub is its better-known as Gravediggers, because the gravediggers working at
the adjacent Glasnevin
Cemetery used to order drinks on the job through a secret hatch. At the bar,
there are regular reports of an elderly gent dressed in tweed who drinks a pint
and then vanishes.
Cemetery, as you would expect, has its own spooky stories. One of the more
unusual ones is that a ghost of a Newfoundland dog is said to appear at the
grave of his master, John McNeill Boyd. The bereft dog starved to death after refusing
to leave Boyd's grave. Sightings of the dog have also taken place at St
If you do not want
ghosts disturbing your sleep, you might want to pass on Dublin's most majestic
Shelbourne, located on stately St
Stephen's Green. The recently refurbished hotel was built in 1824 on the
site of a row of houses. It is rumoured that one of the original residents, a
little girl called Mary Masters who died of cholera in 1791, roams the hotel
Or so the
If you do want
to search out Dublin's supernatural attractions on your own, several companies offer
dedicated ghost tours including Hidden
Dublin Walks, which runs a variety of spooky walks and bus tours of the city
The article 'Haunted Dublin' was published in partnership with Lonely Planet.