Haunted Castles Ireland

Haunted Castles Ireland

With Halloween just around the corner, we thought we would do a small list of the best haunted castles to visit in Ireland. We all like a bit of a spook in our life from time to time and some of us like a spook a bit more than time to time, so much so that we might seek out a haunted location to investigate. Ireland is home to many a paranormal element. Some places are so well known that they provide guided tours, others are less well known. Below we have a list of some of the best haunted castles for you to visit.

Leap Castle is known to be haunted. Perfect Irish Trip

Leap Castle- Ireland’s Most Haunted Castle

Leap Castle, located in County Offaly (just under a two hour drive from Dublin). Leap Castle is said to be one of the most haunted castles in Europe. Originally the site was used by Druids for initiation ceremonies and then in the early 1500s, the first castle structor was built for the O’Carroll Clann. There was huge rivalry between two O’Carroll brothers. One of the brothers was a priest and was holding a small family mass ceremony in the chapel, mid mass the other O’Carroll brother charged in and murdered the priest by stabbing him with a sword. That was the start of the paranormal activity, the chapel is now aptly named – ‘The Bloody Chapel’. Over the next few centuries, the castle was home to more bloodshed and violence. In 1922 three cartloads of skeleton remains where found in the Oubliette. With a dark and bloody past and over 9 regular spirits seen on various occasions by different people Leap Castle isn’t for the faint hearted. Sean Ryan, the current owner takes regular bookings for private guided tours around the castle, showing the different rooms, telling the history of the castle and talking about all the different spirits. For more information and to book a tour email Sean Ryan – seanfryan@outlook.

Malahide Castle, Haunted, Ireland

Malahide Castle – Tour Around

Malahide Castle in north Dublin was built in 1185, by King Henry II of England and was gifted to the kings friend, Richard Talbot. The Castle is home to Puck, a professional joker or a ‘fool’ from medieval times. Puck was found stabbed in the courtyard of the castle, on a snowy Christmas morning. The tales behind Puck say that he was a jester for the castle, who, when not entertaining would keep lookout for any dangerous threats approaching the castle, he was said to have fallen in love Lady Elenora Fitzgerald who was being held has a prisoner within the castle. His spirit has been scene by many of the Talbot family members over the years. The castle was sold to the Irish family by Rose Talbot in 1975. Puck’s ghost has been seen by many of the visitors touring the castle. Malahide castle is home to four other spirits too, although they may not be as well known like Puck. Two short stories of the other spirits in the castle include the gruesome punishment of Miles Cobert, who was hanged, drawn, then quartered for treason and Walter Hussey, who was murdered the morning of his wedding (his bride-to-be later fell involve with his murderer). Malahide Castle is a beautiful castle to visit in Ireland and its conveniently located close to Dublin, you can explore the grounds or take guided tours of the castle, for more information click into – Malahide Castle

Ballygally Castle in County Antrim, Haunted

Ballygally Castle – Sleep Over

Ballygally Castle in County Antrim is home to Lady Isabella Shaw, whom is said to have been a permanent guest of the castle for about 400 years. There are two different stories behind her death, both of which castle blame on her husband after she gave birth to his son. One says after the birth of their son, Lord James Shaw locked his wife Isabella into a room at the top of the castle and upon trying to escape to find her son, she fell to her death. Another story says that Lord Shaw himself killed her or that he had her killed. Lady Isabella is said to be a friendly spirit who roams the castle. People can feel her presence or feel they have a moment that they cannot explain. You can stay over in Ballygally Castle (Lady Isabella Shaws ghost is said to roam the older parts of the castle) and you can also arrange a ghost tour by a member of staff, click here – Ballygally Castle Ghost Tour.

Leamaneh Castle, County Clare Ireland, Haunted

Leamaneh Castle – Explore the Ruins

Said to be haunted by Red Mary (or Máire Rua) the ruined site of Leamaneh Castle is said to be one of the most haunted castles in all of Ireland. Located just on the outskirts of The Burren national park, between Carran and Kilfenora. The history behind Red Mary is that she married Conor O’Brien and moved into his castle, carrying the wealth from her first marriage through to her marriage with Conor, Mary was able to build extensions to the castle, soon turning it into one of the grandest in the country at the time (1630s). Red Mary was known for her red hair that match her fiery ways and foul temper. It is said that if a servant couldn’t do exactly what was asked of them or displeased her in anyway they were sent to death, if male they were thrown out a castle window and hung by the neck and if female they were also thrown out from a castle window, but hung from their hair, she was even known for punishing maids by cutting off their breasts. After a battle which severely injured her husband Conor, when he was brought back to the castle gates, Red Mary is said to have shown no sympathy and closed the gates to him and his men and shouted to them “What do I want with dead men here?”. She then changed her mind and nursed him until he died. Later, having married again (for a third time) her husband Captain John Cooper felt her wrath, when he said something unfavourable about Red Marys second husband, Conor O’Brein, Mary jumped out of the bed and kicked him in the stomach, killing him. Obviously in her life mary made many enemies and this caught up with her, after the death of her last husband, Mary was captured and tied to a tree, left to starve and die. The location of Marys grave is unknown, but her she has been seen walking the halls of Leamaneh Castle and also in a druids alter near the castle. For more information on the history of the castle and on Red Mary click here – Red Mary at Leamaneh Castle. (The castle ruins are visible from the road, but not accessible.)

If you ever go to any other locations in Ireland that you sense a paranormal spirit, or even see one, we would love o hear about it. You can comment below or email us at info@perfectirishtrip.com

The Most Romantic Irish Castles

The most Romantic Irish Castles, beautiful, historic, ireland, castle, perfect Irish Trip,

With Valentines Day fats approaching we thought it would be fitting to make a list of Irelands most romantic castle stays. For couples one request we get a lot is a night or two in an Irish Castle. So for anyone looking to add a touch of romance during their Perfect Irish Trip, we have done up a list of some the Most Romantic Castles In Ireland. 

Adare Manor – County Limerick

Adare Manor borrows its name from the nearby village of Adare, beloved for its delightful thatched roof cottages, lively pubs, and antique shops. Sitting on the banks of the River Maigue, Adare overlooks the fording point from which the village derives its name: Ath-Dara meaning ‘The Ford of the Oak’. Nestled in 840 acres of pristine parkland a night here in one of the 104 bedrooms makes for the ideal romantic night away.

Cabra Castle – County Cavan

Set on 100 acres of parkland and gardens, with the magnificent backdrop of Dún a Rí Forest Park, there is much to explore, both indoors and out. With 105 bedrooms, find a quiet corner or fireside to relax with a book, or just enjoy the atmosphere in one of the best-known Castle hotels in Ireland. Period features and furnishings create an authentic, old-world charm and a long tradition of warm and friendly service make Cabra Castle the perfect retreat from the pace of modern living.

Lough Eske – County Donegal

With 43 acres of woodland and lake views to explore, Lough Eske in County Donegal makes for the most tranquil getaway. steeped in history dating back to 1474, it is now one of Irelands premier Castle Hotels

Ashford Castle – County Mayo

When you drive through the grand stone gates of our remarkable 800-year-old castle set on 350 acres, you will discover the exquisite interiors, delicious cuisine, passionate team, a wealth of estate activities and state-of-the-art spa. As a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, Ireland’s top hotel destination and former home of the Guinness family, Ashford Castle is exceptional in every sense.

Kilronan Castle – County Roscommon

Ireland is a country famous for its incredible castles and Kilronan Castle Estate & Spa is one of its finest examples of the vision, splendour and elegance of the era when these homes graced our lush green landscape. This magnificent Gothic manor is unique in that its history can be traced right back through the royal family who resided there. For more than 300 years, this 40-acre estate remained in the Tenison family. In 2006, it was lovingly brought back to life by passionate Irish father and son, Alan and Albert Hanly. They endeavoured to restore it to its former glory by maintaining the homely feel and medieval soul but with a modern touch of luxury, technology and the best food that the surrounding lands still produce. As a member of The Hanly Castle Hotel Group, Kilronan Castle Estate & Spa is yours to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience in a fairytale Irish setting.

If you would like to include an overnight stay in one of Irelands most romantic castles, but you’re not sure which one suits you best or what’s on your route, get in touch or let us help you plan your trip by purchasing one of our Personalised Tour Itineraries (click here) prices start at €29.99.