Top 5 spooky ghost stories from Belfast

Not quite Casper the friendly ghost, the ghosts that feature in these spooky ghost stories from Belfast aren’t exactly the ones you would like to meet.

Like the rest of the country, Belfast is rife with ghost stories, usually passed down by generations. From angry poltergeists to legless apparitions, Belfast has it all.

Whether you’re looking for a tale to tell at your next Halloween party or just enjoy being scared, these stories are sure to send a chill down your spine.

Are you ready to be spooked? If so, here are the top five spooky ghost stories from Belfast you need to know.

5. The haunting of Lucifer’s match factory – can you hear the screams?

In fifth place on our list of the top five spooky ghost stories from Belfast is the haunting of Lucifer's match factory.
Credit: Pixabay / TheDigitalArtist

This is a pretty bleak one as far as Irish ghost stories go. The Lucifer Match Factory in Millfield Place was the site of a horrific accident on 15 December 1882. It would go on to spark this spooky ghost story from Belfast, no pun intended.

On that fateful night in 1882, a flicker landed on a rack of drying matches, and suddenly the entire factory floor was up in flames. Unfortunately, the blaze trapped and killed four children, one of whom was the factory manager’s daughter.

For years after the terrible blaze, when the factory was rebuilt, nearby residents would swear they could hear screams coming from the site in the night. That is until the factory was demolished. After that, the screams could be heard no more.

Address: Millfield Place, Belfast BT1.

READ MORE: Add to your list of scary tales with our article on the top 5 most terrifying ghost stories in Ireland, ranked

4. Old John Street – don’t get in the way of the angry old woman

In fourth place on our list of the top five spooky ghost stories from Belfast is the angry old woman of John Street.

A house on John Street, which is Royal Avenue today, was once said to be haunted by the poltergeist of an angry elderly woman.

Reports were heard of this spirit wreaking havoc, throwing cups, plates, and furniture. She also allegedly once destroyed everything in the back garden. One resident even said they saw the apparition of this woman pacing the back room, muttering to herself.

In mid-1882, workers were laying down new pipes beneath the house’s foundations, and they found the skeleton of a woman who had been there for many years.

The bones were exhumed and given a proper burial, after which the angry old lady was never seen nor heard from again.

Address: Royal Ave, Belfast BT1.

3. Horseshoe Bend hitchhiker – don’t pick up vanishing hitchhikers

In third place on our list of the top five spooky ghost stories from Belfast is the Horseshoe Bend hitchhiker.

This road has been the source of many accidents due to its sharp bend and steep gradient.

From the early 1970s, many motorists would describe slowing down for a hitchhiker on the bend, only to get closer or blink, and the man would vanish right in front of them.

The disappearing hitchhiker, who haunts this dangerous bend, was supposedly last seen by a group of friends in the area in 2008. Have you ever seen this apparition on Crumlin Road?

Address: Upper Hightown Rd, Belfast.

2. ‘Scottie Shoe’ at Grand Central hotel – legless apparitions

The old Grand Central Hotel.
Credit: Wikimedia / Aubrey Dale

This isn’t the Grand Central Hotel that stands in Belfast today; this hotel was opened on Royal Avenue in 1893 and stands where CastleCourt exists today.

This spooky ghost story comes from one of the original gas fitters of the hotel, whose nickname was ‘Scottie Shoe’.

During the First World War, the hotel was acquired by the British Army. One night, commanding officer William Jenkins was on patrol of the building when, during his watch, his men were awoken by Jenkins’ screams echoing somewhere on the upper floors.

When they searched, they found the man lying at the bottom of the stairs, shaking and petrified. He told the men that he had seen a man coming towards him, horrified to realise that the man’s legs seemed to be going through the floorboards.

There have been no sightings of ‘Scottie Shoe’ since, but this spooky ghost story lives on as part of Belfast’s haunted history.

Address: Royal Ave, Belfast BT1 1DD.

1. Biddy Farrelly, the ghost of Smithfield Market – her spirit continues to search for her lover

In first place on our list of the top five spooky ghost stories from Belfast is the story of Biddy Farrelly.

Smithfield Market is said to be haunted by the ghost of Biddy Farrelly. She was once the lover of a wealthy local businessman, Luke White.

After stealing the affections of Biddy, the man left her to seek fortune in Dublin. This abandonment drove Biddy to drink. However, he didn’t leave her empty-handed.

With the large sum of money left to her, Biddy drank herself to death. The woman is said to be seen wandering Hudson’s Entry, now Gresham Street, with a bundle of ballads under her arm, endlessly searching for the lover who left her.

Now where Biddy wanders, there sits a lovely café in her name. Hopefully, she doesn’t mind.

Address: Winetavern St, Belfast BT1 1JE.

That concludes our list of the top five spooky ghost stories from Belfast. Are there any other spooky stories from Belfast that you think should have been included?

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