Halloween may have come and gone this year, but that doesn’t mean your safe from ghosts and ghouls on the Emerald Isle! Ireland is known for many things, music, art, poetry, and seemingly never-ending green fields.
However, it also has a reputation as an island of myths and legends with dozens of mysterious characters, unthinkable creatures, and wailing banshees. Indeed, there are many so-called haunts on this little island, and we feel it necessary to advise you where to explore and where to ignore.
In this article we are talking all things spooky, as we explore three of Ireland’s most haunted places.
The Hell Fire Club – County Dublin
First up is the Hell Fire Club, or Montpelier Hill, an 18th century hunting lodge buried deep in the Dublin mountains. This peculiar looking site was founded by a Freemason named Richard Parsons who invited members of the Hell Fire Club to break away from their day-to-day lives to partake in satanic rituals and unholy behaviour.
The Hell Fire Club had one very simply motto, “Anything Goes”. Legend has it that the ultimate aim for the members of the club was to summon Satan himself to their gatherings. It’s thought that animals and sometimes even humans were sacrificed there in an attempt to connect to the underworld.
Leamaneh Castle – County Clare
From a desolate hunting lodge in the Dublin mountains to a haunted castle out west, Leamaneh Castle located in rural County Clare has a twisted and sickening past. Many moons ago this castle was ruled by a woman known simply as Red Mary. Red Mary was known for her wicked temper and stunning looks in equal measure.
It’s believed that Red Mary was married 25 times throughout her lifetime and that she killed one of her husbands by kicking him in the stomach over and over again until he died.
Her unmistakable temper and fondness of violence saw her make many enemies during her years at Leamaneh Castle. One day, Red Mary was captured by a group of locals, trapped inside a hollowed-out tree, and left to starve to death. It’s said that to this day her ghost haunts the grounds of Leamaneh Castle, and her deafening screams can be heard throughout the ruins.
Loftus Hall – County Wexford
No list of Ireland’s most notorious haunts would be complete without mentioning the crème de la crème of haunted houses on the island, Loftus Hall in County Wexford. Loftus Hall is known as the most haunted grounds on the Emerald Isle. Why you ask? Because rumour has it that it is inhabited by the devil himself.
Loftus Hall was built in the 14th century during the time of the Black Death. However, things get really spooky a few centuries later in the 1700s. The story goes that the Tottenham family who were living in Loftus Hall at the time, were visited by a stranger. The daughter of the family recognised the stranger as the devil due to his cloven hoof. The rest of the Tottenham clan however were not convinced and locked her away for bringing shame upon the family. She would die in that very room several years later.
It's believed Anne Tottenham still haunts Loftus Hall today, and that the grounds are also frequented by the devil, who has left a mysterious mark on the roof for all to see.
All three of these sinister locations are places that you can visit yourself, should you be so brave… but don’t say we didn’t warn you!
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