Looking for a good scare this Halloween? Then check out our list of the top five best ghost walks in Ireland.
Halloween is said to have its origins rooted firmly in Ireland through the ancient Celtic harvest festival of Samhain.
According to Samhain, on 31 October, the veil between worlds is lifted to allow safe passage for spirits in the afterlife to cross back over to the mortal world.
Each year in the run-up to spooky season, people from across the globe partake in various traditions and themed events: from haunted houses and terror trails to paranormal experiences and scary movies.
Additionally, supernatural tours like ghost walks – which act as a continuation of old Victorian storytelling – have become increasingly popular. As such, there are many to choose from across the Emerald Isle.
Here are the five best ghost walks in Ireland.
5. The Wild Raven Ghost Walk, Co. Down – for frightful family fun
Whilst trekking the dimly lit trail, visitors will encounter various figures from Hillsborough’s past and learn of the ghostly hauntings surrounding the place.
Guests will also visit the South Terrace where Nancy Stott lost her life in 1825, hear of the Greek Prince whose disappearance from his coffin remains a mystery, and heed the tragic tale of Major Earle, a skipper cast overboard in 1860.
The Friday Fright Night Ghost Walk, a spookier event for those 14+, is also available this year for one night only (29 October).
Duration: 40 minutes
Cost: from £6
4. Hidden Dublin: Haunted History Walking Tour, Co. Dublin – Dublin’s first haunted history tour
Suitable for all ages, this highly engaging walking tour will take you along cobblestone streets to various tourist spots across the city centre, where you will hear stories of Dublin’s haunted history.
Experts from Paranormal Study and Investigation of Ireland guide the tour. Along the way, tour-goers will learn the stories of the alleged serial killer and witch Madam Darkey Kelly.
You will also inspect the haunted gates at St. Audoen’s Church for the restless spirit of ‘The Green Lady’. Then, come to discover the origins of the infamous 18th-century Hellfire Club.
Duration: 1.5-2 hours
Cost: from €19
3. Dublin Dark Side Walking Tour, Co. Dublin – cults in the capital
Experience the supernatural on this evening walking tour throughout Dublin city centre and learn of murders, ghosts, supposed hauntings, and cults from a knowledgeable guide.
Guests will visit Dublin Castle, where the souls of beheaded enemy invaders roam free before encountering Charlie Parker and other friendly ghosts who have made the Olympia Theatre their home.
Also, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the haunted dog thought to await its master at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. As one of the best ghost walks in Ireland, this tour is certainly not one to miss!
Duration: 2-2.5 hours
Cost: from €12
2. Hidden Dublin: Northside Ghost Walk Tour, Co. Dublin – uncover Dublin’s dark secrets
Whilst exploring Oxmantown, one of Dublin’s oldest areas, guests will visit Saint Mary’s Abbey. Later, you will hear the tale of Lord Norbury, the ‘Hanging Judge’, said to have returned from the dead to continue his treacherous tyranny.
Tour-goers will also learn of an infamous medieval thief whose buried treasure is hidden in a series of tunnels underneath Smithfield. Not to mention the plight of the legless 18th-century thief and murderer Billy ‘in the Bowl’ Davis.
And, after visiting the spot formerly belonging to two of Dublin’s most haunted houses, be sure to keep an eye out for the restless spirits of former nurses known to roam the halls of the nearby haunted hospital.
Duration: 1.5-2 hours
Cost: from €19
1. Dark Dublin Guided Walking Tour, Co. Dublin – discover Dublin’s dark past
From tales of murder and torture to acts of cannibalism and satanic worship, the shocking amount covered in this tour ensures it to be one of the best ghost walks in Ireland!
Those who take part will uncover the brutal past of the Devil’s Half Acre at Dublin Castle and visit the location of what was previously known as Dublin’s ‘Hell.’
As you make your way along the city streets and down back alleys, you will also learn stories of grave robbing, witches, and brothels – plus the tale of a strangler and killer with no legs!
Duration: 2 hours
Cost: from €15