From haunted houses to creepy castles, bloody battlefields to ghoulish gaols, Ireland has plenty of spooky sites full of paranormal activity.
So, for those who want to blend bumps in the night with bumps in the road and don’t mind experiencing potholes to exorcise poltergeists, here are some of the spookiest places to drive to
Leap Castle, Co Offaly
Pack your bags and nerves of steel for a road trip to one of the most haunted castles in Europe. The beautiful scenic drive to Leap Castle in Offaly belies its dark, bloody past. This creepy castle dates from the 15th century and is supernaturally supercharged with spirits that love to spook visitors. Lurking in Leap Castle is a moody monk and a rogue red lady. There’s also the gruesome ghoul called The Elemental who died in the castle from leprosy. Once you get a whiff of his wretched stench, you'll know that he is sneaking up on you. You have been warned.
Coolbawn House, Co Wexford
Ready to get the fright of your life? Then set the navigation to creepy Coolbawn House in County Wexford. This haunted house was once a beautiful 19th-century Tudor Revival home that politician Francis Bruen built for his bride. This is why the house is known as Bruen’s Folly. But these romantic ruins are roamed by the spirit of a servant girl who died in tragic circumstances. One dark and stormy night, the young girl was looking out an upstairs window when she was struck and killed by lightning. If you look closely, you will see the imprint of her electrocuted body on the windowpane. If you dare you to venture further, you might even catch a glimpse of her ghost, which is trapped forever inside. Let’s hope you make it out!
Cork City Gaol, Cork
Grab your proton pack and hit the road to Cork (boi) to one of the most paranormally active places in Ireland. Cork City Gaol was the horrific home to many prisoners for some 99 years. Constructed in the 1800s, the inmates had an incredibly harsh life under the 19th-century penal system. However, even though the conditions were so bad, many prisoners find it hard to leave and their ghosts linger on. Many people have seen apparitions of a woman dressed in a green shawl and have heard male voices calling out, even though nobody else was around. In fact, this site is so haunted that the World Ghost Convention is held here each year. If you are looking for the spirit of Halloween, you will find it, and many others, in City Gaol.
Aughrim Battlefield, Co Galway
Looking for a boo-tiful rural road trip to a bloody battlefield? Then enjoy the scenic drive to Aughrim located between Ballinasloe and Loughrea. This is the site of one of the bloodiest battles in Irish history, which took place in 1691 and saw over 7,000 people killed. As the bodies piled up their blood pooled in a ditch known as ‘The Bloody Hollow’. This ditch is now haunted by those who died. Walkers along the Bloody Hollow have been gripped by intense feelings of fear and have felt phantom touches and something tugging at them. People have also reported seeing the spectres of soldiers who seemingly arise from the ground. This sounds like the perfect Halloween hangout to lift your spirits!
Ballygally Castle, Co Antrim
17th-century Ballygally Castle is located along the breath-taking Causeway Coastal Route in Antrim, which is one of the greatest road trips on the island of Ireland. If you love a good scare before bedtime, this is one of the most petrifying places to stay and suitable only for the brave. Ballygally Castle is haunted by Lady Isabella Shaw who roams the corridors, tapping on the doors as she passes. Will you dare open the door when she knocks? For the ultimate frightfest, spend the night in the Ghost Room where you can lie in wait to see if Lady Isabella pays you a visit. Sounds like a perfect Halloween date night to us.