Haunted Places in Northern Ireland
Published October 30, 2017
To help you get into the Halloween spirit, we've put together a list of some spooky places and stories for you to explore in Northern Ireland.
Dark Hedges, County Antrim
Northern Ireland's iconic Dark Hedges are a beautiful avenue of Beech trees planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century. Beautiful as they are, they are also thought to be haunted. If you're visiting, watch out for the 'Grey Lady' who appears at dusk and glides silently along the roadside before vanishing as she passes the last tree.
Ballygally Castle Hotel in County Antrim is one of the most famous haunted hotels. It is said to be haunted by Isabella Shaw, the wife of Lord Shaw who built the hotel. She reputedly wanders the corridors at night dressed in a silk dress, amusing herself by knocking on guests’ doors. If you're feeling brave, you can request to stay in the 'ghost room' in one of the hotel towers.
As Derry~Londonderry is home to one of the biggest and best Halloween festivals, it's no surpirse that there are some spooky tales to tell. The White Horse Hotel in the city is said to be haunted by a mail stage coach complete with portly driver, who pulls up and enters the hotel only to mysteriously disappear.
Further away along the coast, Mussenden Temple, situated on the Downhill estate, is said to have blood appear on the floor only to mysteriously disappear within minutes.
Springhill, an early plantation house situated outside Moneymore in County Londonderry, is haunted by the friendly ghost of Olivia Lenox Conyngham. She is said to float around the gardens and house and loves to see visitors to her home.
In County Down at Tollymore Forest Park, the Blue Lady is a wistful spectre who can formerly resided in the seat of the Roden family, at Tollymore House. Since the destruction of the house in the post war years, she now wanders restlessly through the forest park and has been seen on many a dark night walking the tree lined avenue.
Across in the seaside town of Newcastle in County Down, there are stories of a banshee, seen walking silently among the tied up boats and lobster pots. Described by locals as a small woman with a high pitched voice, her appearance is said to herald a death.
At St John's Church, also in Newcastle, sightings of a huge black dog have been seen. This hound is said to have eyes of blazing fire and gleaming white teeth.
If you're wandering in the Mourne Mountains this Halloween, beware of the Slieve Binnian light, which has been known to block the path of unsuspected walkers and steer them away from the haunted trees near Spelga Dam where it is claimed an Irish Chieftain is buried.
And of course, there are few castles in Northern Ireland with ghostly stories to tell.
Carrickfergus Castle in County Antrim not far from Belfast, is said to be haunted by Button Cap who carries his head under his arms as he walks the battlements and Dobbin’s Inn, also in Carrickfergus, is supposedly haunted by Button Cap’s girlfriend.
A few centuries ago the kitchens of Dunluce Castle, which overlooks the Causeway Coast in County Antrim, slipped into the sea below taking the staff with them. On certain nights you can still hear the screams of the people as they fell to their watery graves.
Discover more of Northern Ireland's myth, legend and folklore with a short break. Visit our accommodation page and begin planning your next getaway.
Posted by Sarah
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