Do you delight in ghostly goings-on and terrifying tales? A tour of Ireland’s haunted places will be just the thing to make your blood run cold.

It may be the Irish imagination or perhaps the island really is full of unsettled spirits that wander the night. Find out for yourself with a visit to the top 10 haunted locations on the island of Ireland.

1 Loftus Hall, County Wexford

Said to be the most haunted building in Ireland, this huge mansion on scenic Hook Head peninsula was reported to be the place where the Devil himself came calling in disguise. It has attracted thousands of ghost hunters who claim to have felt a chilling presence in the building which is now being renovated into a luxury hotel.

2 Leap Castle, County Offaly

A bloody and turbulent history has left this sixteenth-century castle teeming with tales of hauntings and restless spirits. Among them is the Elemental, a foul-smelling entity that makes its presence known when provoked. If you want to find out more, the castle is open to visitors on request.  

3 Ballygally Castle, County Antrim

Ballygally Castle, now a top hotel on Northern Ireland’s famous Causeway Coastal Route, is haunted by the ghost of Lady Isabella Shaw, who leapt to her death from the tower after her husband took her baby from her and locked her in the room. She now wanders the corridors at night.

4 Kilmainham Gaol, County Dublin

Famous as the prison where the revolutionary leaders of the Easter Rising were executed, Kilmainham Gaol dates back to 1796 and is said to be haunted by the spirits of many who suffered within it walls.

5 Charles Fort, County Cork

A large military installation, Charles Fort has been part of some of the most momentous events of Irish history. On a visit to the historic site, watch out for The White Lady, the ghost of a young bride who committed suicide after her soldier husband was murdered.   

6 Malahide Castle, County Dublin

With a dramatic 800-year history, beautiful Malahide Castle lays claim to more than a few ghosts. The best known is Puck, a court jester who can be heard lamenting his broken heart in the turret where he used to live. The lady in white is also often seen wandering the corridors.

7 Kyteler’s Inn, County Kilkenny

Medieval Kilkenny city is awash with tales of witchcraft and murder and most of it relates to Alice Kyteler, the original owner of Kyteler’s Inn which dates from 1324. Accused of being a witch, Alice escaped her punishment but her maid was burned at the stake in her place. The ghost that now haunts the inn may be Alice or may be the maid returning to exact revenge.

8 Carrickfergus Castle, County Antrim

One of the best-preserved Norman castles on the island, 800-year-old Carrickfergus Castle has a resident ghost that many people claim to have seen. In 1760, a soldier was wrongly executed for murder and vowed to haunt the castle to proclaim his innocence. He is known as Buttoncap after his military headgear.

9 Wicklow Gaol, County Wicklow

The historic gaol is now a popular visitor attraction that takes you through 200 years of history. With a dark past, it has reportedly been the location of much paranormal activity with many sightings. Join one of the gaol’s regular paranormal tours for a chilling encounter with its ghosts.

10 Leamaneh Castle, County Clare

In County Clare’s famous Burren region stands the ruins of Leamaneh Castle, the former home of Red Mary who is reported to have murdered 25 husbands. Her red-haired ghost is said to haunt the ruins. Definitely one to run from.