Top 10 Most Haunted Castles in Ireland

Take a look at the below list of the Top 10 Most Haunted Castles in Ireland in 2017. Some people believe them while others do not, but the truth is, most love to hear about them. We are talking about, legends, myths and mysteries. Ireland is has many castles associated with such tales. Dark magic, witchcraft, spirit and even ghosts. Ireland is famous for ghost towns and has a lot castles with epic legends. In-as-much-as most of these legends may have literature that lacks evidence the names of people and places used in most cases existed or still exist. The chill is the thrill.

Some legends contrast while some castles have more than one legend. Below are some of the most haunted castles in Ireland 2017:

List of Top 10 Most Haunted Castles in Ireland 2017

10. Charleville Castle

Charleville Castle Top Popular Haunted Castles in Ireland 2017

This site is seated in the heart of a forest that was once a ritual place for the Druids. In 1978 this gothic castle was built upon the request by the earl of Charleville, Charles William Bury. The architect of the building was one Francis Johnstone, a popular architect at the time. According to the legend, Charles daughter, Harriet, after washing her hands after dinner upstairs, playfully decided to slide down the balustrade where she fell and died. Despite her burial Harriet’s spirit refuses to leave the house. It is said that it can be heard singing, laughing and screaming to date. Some guests claim to have seen her dressed in a blue dress and has golden hair.

9. Leap castle

Leap castle Top Most Famous Haunted Castles in Ireland 2019

In this castle that was built in 1250 A.D. by the O’Carroll clan a dispute arose in 1532 between two O’Carroll’s brothers upon the death of their father, Mulrooney O’Carroll. They both wanted to fill the slot of chieftainship left vacant by their father and disagreed because none was willing to step down. As Thaddeus, the older brother who was also a priest, was leading a sermon in the ‘Bloody Chapel’, his younger brother Tiege burst through the doors and stabbed Thaddeus with a sword. Thaddeus bled to death. In the 1900’s human skeletons were discovered in the dungeons of the castle by workmen hired to clean it. It is believed that there is a spirit in the castle ‘The Elemental’ that appears and terrorizes its occupants whenever ‘provoked’. However it is unclear if the spirit can appear without being provoked.

8. Ross Castle


Built in 1532, the Ross castle lies on Lake Sheelin in County Meath. It belonged to Richard Nugent, the English Baron of Devlin at the time. Due to his mean streak and ill temper he was also known as the Black Baron. Sabina, her beautiful and social daughter, usually accompanied by the governess for a walk close to the lake managed to sneak on her own from time to time but would return. Soon Sabina fell in in love with a young man and their boat capsized during an attempt to elope. Orwin, the young man, died immediately and Sabina followed soon after. Up to date, visitors claim to have encountered with Sabina’s ghost in the castle.

7. Leamaneh castle


In County Clare Kilinaboy, built in the late 1400’s is the Leamaneh castle. After the death of her first husband Mary McMahon also known as Red Mary got married to Conor who unfortunately was murdered in 1651 by the Cromwellian forces. So that she could keep her land Mary offered herself to the Cromwellian officers for marriage and managed to get married to Captain Cooper. Following several disagreements Mary pushed cooper off the window. It is said that Mary married 25husbands in toatal whom she all killed. Due to the cunning nature of Mary she was soon apprehended by her enemies and sealed inside a hollow tree. Myth has it that her red headed ghost haunts the house up to this day.

6. Dunluce castle

Dunluce castle Top Most Popular Haunted Castles in Ireland 2018

This castle was built in the thirteenth century and is located in County Antrim. There are many different legends about this castle but ’The Banshee of Dunluce Castle’ is the most popular. It is about a girl, Maeve, who refused to be married to her cousin against the will of her father and instead fell in love with the son of a neighboring enemy. The father then decided to hold her in a room within the castle till she towed the line but her lover came and rescued her. In an attempt to elope, the boat they were using capsized and their bodies never to be found. However, it is said that the ghost of Maeve haunts the castle with screams and cries emanating from the tower where she was held.

5. Ballygally castle ‘


Built in 1625 Ballygally castle is believed to host three ghost. Isabella Shaw, is the ‘main’ ghost. She died trying to escape from the castle to find her son. Her ghost is said to be friendly. It mostly knocks on doors and many visitors believe to have felt her presence.

4. Kilkea Castle

Kilkea Castle Top Famous Haunted Castles in Ireland 2018

It was built in 1181 by Sir Walter de Riddlesford and later inherited by the Fitzgerald family and it stayed in the family for 700 years. Earl of Kildare who habited the house in the 16th century according to the legend went to Europe to study and became interested in alchemy. Upon his return he is said to have acquired magic powers which earned his name, ’Wizard Earl’. His wife persistently urged him to show her his powers until he gave in. He is said to have done many tricks without her wife getting scared until a black sun appeared and the wife fainted with horror. When she came back to, the Wizard Earl had disappeared never to be seen. It is said the earl take a nap under the moat of Mullaghmast only to appear once every seven years.

3. Clonony castle


Clonony castle was built in 1500s by the MacCoughlan clan and is located in County Offaly. The castle is said to be haunted by many ghosts the main one being a man standing on the top of the tower covered by mist. He wears old fashioned clothes and his figure is skeleton-like. The mystery about the ghost is very intriguing and perhaps appealing.

2. Killua castle


Built in 1780 then converted to gothic in 1830, Killua is located in County Westmeath and beloged to the Chapman family back then. The castle is said to be haunted by the ghost of Sir Benjamin Chapman’s land stewart was drowned himself in the Lake after stealing and large sum of money from his master and used it to drink. His ghost is frequently seen wondering in the ruins of the castle.

1. Ardgillan castle

Ardgillan castle Top Most Haunted Castles in Ireland 2017

Many say that during the night a white woman is seen emerging the stone steps and wanders towards the Ardgillan castle. The white woman is thought to be Lady Luisa who died taking a swim the rough sea waters during her visit to the castle. In her death she left behind a young family. The castle is located in County Dublin, was built in 1738 and belonged to Reverend Robert Taylor.

These Most Haunted Castles in Ireland 2017 have been in existence for a long time and most of them serve as tourist attraction sites. Ireland receives a lot of visitors from different parts of the world to visit such castles. Anyway what better way is there to ascertain the validity of the legends other than to visit?