Five Spooky Ghost Stories of Dublin Landmarks

As the nights grow darker and the winter closes in around us many of us are dreading the “only so many shopping days left to Christmas” utterances that accompany this time of the year. But before we can enjoy the lead up to Christmas many of us are also dreading Halloween the darker time of the year when we traditionally remember the dead.

In this feature journalist, Ger Leddin looks at Dublin and recounts some of our capital city’s more noteworthy ghosts, and spectres.

Nobody tells ghost stories or tales of the supernatural like a Dubliner. Just look at the real-life father of spooky tales, Bram Stoker. Born in Clontarf, Dublin on a dark November night in 1847, Stoker was a sickly child who spent his early years in solitary walks through the graveyards of Dublin, where it is reputed he received the early seeds for his later masterpiece Dracula.

But even Stoker would feel shivers down his back on hearing some of the other ghost stories that abound about his native city.

1. The Hellfire Club

The Hell Fire Club today

Probably the most infamous gentleman’s club ever to exist, The Hellfire Club is located a few miles outside Dublin high up in the Wicklow Mountains.

Aristocratic young members of this club amused themselves along with other leisurely pursuits by placing young local girls in a barrel which was then set alight before being rolled down a nearby hill.

Devil worship was also a common pastime for this wealthy and young Dublin set. One story that has survived is that during an evening card game, one of the players happened to glance down at the feet of a fellow player and noticed that his opponent had cloven hoofs instead of feet.

Many hill-walkers return to Dublin after an evenings stroll shaken and disturbed after hearing the screams of young women in the area surrounding the Hellfire ruins.

2. The Brazen Head Pub

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Robert Emmet was hanged in September 1803, but don’t let that put you off. According to many visitors, you can still chat with him if you desire, by just visiting what was his local pub, The Brazen Head on Merchant’s Quay one of Dublin’s oldest pubs.

Inside the Brazen Head (@jojoglobetrotter)

It is said that on many the night locals frequenting The Brazen Head will see Emmet sitting in a corner watching out for his executioner who was also a regular at the pub.

3. Connolly Station

Be careful when visiting Connolly Station in Dublin because you just might catch more than a train.

In 2011 a security guard working at Connolly Station late one night saw a solitary figure dressed in a grey soldier’s uniform semi-floating along the used Platform 5. The security guard gave challenge and chase but the figure simply disappeared into thin air leaving a very frightened security guard to tell the tail.

Paranormal investigators were called in and some believe that the station which was bombed during the Second World War when twenty-eight people died is a hotbed for those spirits which cannot find rest.

4. Copper Face Jack’s

Yes believe it or believe it not, Dublin’s infamous nightclub known locally as Copper’s has an equally infamous reputation for other things that also go bump in the night.

You see Coppers’ is named after the notorious hanging judge who lived in the building which is not encompassed by the nightclub. The Judge Lord Clonmel is reputed to never have shown any mercy, constantly sending felons to their fate on the gallows.

Not a very popular man among Dublin people, he was said to indulge heavily in alcohol and to have possessed a ruby-red alcoholic bloated face (hence the name copper face) which many present-day revellers claim to have seen.

A spirit sentenced to wander eternally in the ether of what is now the nightclub. In fairness, I’ll let you be the judge of that one yourselves.

5. The Rubrics Building, Trinity College Dublin

I suppose like all college campuses, Trinity College is familiar with the occasional loud noises off student revellers making their way home after a night out on the tiles with their fellow students.

However one night back in 1734, things got a tad bit out of hand when the sleep of a Trinity College Fellow, Edward Fox was broken by a group of boisterous students below his window. The story goes that Fox admonished the students who left the area but later returned to break Fox’s windows. It is said that Fox fired his pistol indiscriminately into the crowd. The students allegedly fired back, hitting and killing Fox.

Four students were charged then acquitted of the murder but later expelled from the college. It is said that even to this day many contemporary students still report sightings of Fox dressed in a wig, gown and knee breeches walking by the side of the building as night begins to fall.

Well, there you have it, five of Dublin’s resident ghosts. Of course, I don’t personally believe in ghosts myself, except maybe on dark winter’s nights especially around Halloween.

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