What better way to spend Halloween than to stay in a haunted hotel in Ireland? Read on to find out where the best haunted hotels in Ireland are and which haunted castle hotels in Ireland you can stay in.
Why are buildings believed to be haunted?
There are several reasons why people believe a building to be haunted which usually start with the history of the building. Buildings where large groups of people gathered and possibly faced tragedy are more likely to be haunted. It may even date back to before the building was build as in some cases buildings are built on top of burial sites or sites of historic tragedy. People may see the spirits of people who died there walking the halls or may feel some uncertain energy in that place, and echo of its tragic past.
Want to know about more spooky places to visit this Halloween check out our articles on Spooky Staycations, Family Halloween Spots in Northern Ireland, or read our article on Samhain to find out more about the origins of Halloween.
What are the most haunted hotels in Ireland?
- The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin
- The Maldron Hotel, Cork
- Renvyle House Hotel, Galway
- The Lake Hotel, Killarney
- Commodore Hotel, Cobh
- Dobbins Inn, Antrim
The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin
Want a slice of luxury with your haunted hotel? The Shelbourne is a 5-star luxury hotel in Dublin but luxury isn’t the only think guests can expect. The Shelbourne hotel is built in the place of old Dublin tenements and its most famous ghostly resident is believed to have died in one of those tenements. The most well-known spirit believed to haunt The Shelbourne Hotel is the ghost of a little girl who some believe died of Cholera in the 18th century.
Guests report seeing the little girl’s ghost in the halls and hearing her giggling. One celebrity guest also reported seeing this ghost, Lily Collins, daughter of Phil Collins, she reported hearing the giggles of the girls spirit and saw the ghost during her stay. Other guests have experienced taps turning on by themselves, a weird phenomenon even witnessed by staff. All this making it one of the most famous haunted hotels in Ireland.
This hotel has 6 dining and drinking venues inside, a salon, and a spa. Enjoy yourself with a little spooky stay with a touch of luxury.
Location: 27 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, Ireland
The Maldron Hotel Shandon, Cork
This hotel has come a long way from its original routes but according to its guests the history of the place continues to have an impact. The original function of this hotel was as a hospital, in fact it was Cork’s first general hospital. Spirits spotted in this modernized hotel include patients in wheelchairs and a distraught woman asking for help from guests. One of the rooms has even been shut off to guests due to the high levels of activity there. Ready for a city center break with some ghostly roommates?
Location: 11 John Redmond St, Shandon, Cork, T23 A9TF, Ireland
Renvyle House Hotel, Galway
Famous Irish poet W.B. Yeats once performed a séance at this historic location at the request of a friend who owned it. During this session it was discovered that a young boy’s spirit was haunting the building. Some believe he was a son of a previous owner who had died in the house. The hotel was destroyed by the IRA with a massive fire burning it to the ground. It was rebuilt to be opened again in 1930, and it is said the ghosts remain there. Visitors to the hotel report unseen forces pulling at their bedsheets or being thrown out of bed. Others even see the face of a man in the mirror while they are doing their makeup.
Beyond its spooky happenings the Renvyle Hotel is a hotel with plenty of amenities available to its guests such as clay pigeon shooting, golf, and a sauna and jacuzzi. It is also located with sea views on the beautiful wild Atlantic way.
Location: Renvyle, Renvyle Peninsula, Connemara Loop, Co. Galway, H91 X8Y8, Ireland
The Lake Hotel, Killarney
Across a picturesque lake from Killarney National Park stands this 4-star hotel with a few ghostly inhabitants. The Lake Hotel supposedly has a famous spirit inhabiting it, the spirit of Donal Gott MacCarthy. A historic King of Ireland who was known to be a fierce warrior in his day. He is known to be spotted in the hotel bar, fitting as it was known he liked a drink in life.
Outside the hotel the spirit of a young woman is seen walking the shores of the lake sometimes accompanied with a ghost dog. People are unsure why she haunts the shores of the lake and why she travels with her dog.
The Lake Hotel has been welcoming guests both living and spiritual since 1820 and has beautiful scenery, food, drink, and spa treatments to fill your time there. You may even be able to raise a glass with a former King of Ireland
Commodore Hotel, Cobh
Ireland’s first purpose built hotel, opened its doors in the late 19th century ready to receive visitors getting ready to board the fateful first journey of the Titanic. It was later turned into a hospital and morgue as the RMS Lusitania was sunk following attack by a German U-Boat during World War 2. These tragic events have led to the belief that this hotel is haunted by the souls of the people that suffered there. One of the most common ghost stories is that of a baby crying in the upper floors of the hotel. Some guests also hear heavy boots associated with World War 2 soldiers.
This is a great haunted hotel in Ireland to visit if you enjoy learning about history during your visit.
Location: 4 Westbourne Pl, Kilgarvan, Cork, P24 WR60, Ireland
Dobbins Inn, Antrim
Located close to Carrickfergus Castle and over 500 years old this Inn turned hotel has plenty of history. One specific event in the hotels history seems to have led to its status as a haunted hotel. The owner of the inn in the 16th century was Hugh Dobbins, whose wife Elizabeth fell in love with a soldier based at Carrickfergus Castle. We don’t know this soldier’s name but know that they would rendezvous with the help of a passage that went out the back of the inn.
Upon discovering this affair it is said that Mr Dobbins killed both of them with a sword. The spirit of Elizabeth, nicknamed ‘Maud’, is seen walking the corridors. A favourite room of Maud’s is room 21, well worth checking out if you wanted to catch sight of her on your spooky trip.
You can also expect great food, friendly service, and a nice beer garden and bar while you stay.
Location: 6-8 High St, Antrim St, Carrickfergus BT38 7AF
What are the best haunted castle hotels in Ireland?
- Ballyseede Castle, Tralee
- Kinninty Castle, Offally
- Ballygally Castle Hotel, Antrim
- Blackwater Castle, Co. Cork
- Kilkea Castle, Co. Kildare
- Cabra Castle, Co. Cavan
- Wilton Castle, Co. Wexford
- Castle Leslie Estate, Co. Monaghan
- Markree Castle, Sligo
Ballyseede Castle, Tralee
Feel like royalty in this 4-star hotel while hunting for a spooky sighting this Halloween. The Ballyseede Castle offers beautiful historic scenery as well as a few haunting tales. Hilda Blennerhassett was the last member of the Blennerhassett family to live in Ballyseede Castle, the family had been living there since 1590.
Hilda is known as the resident ghost of the castle and is known for her friendly manner even in death. Ballyseede Castle was once paid for by giving the landlord a single rose from their impressive rose garden each year. Guests often smell roses on the main stair case and report smelling roses before spotting the ghost of Hilda.
Location: Tralee, Ballyseede, Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Kinninty Castle, Offally
The most famous ghost of this four-star hotel is the Phantom Monk of Kinnitty, many believe his presence is explained by the monastic history of the castle. Some see him and mistake him for a real person however some only see a ghostly spectre. He is such a common sight he has been given the name ‘Hugh’ by staff and visitors there. The two main haunted rooms of Kinninty Castle are the Geraldine room and the Elizabeth room both are particularly active. You may also spot a female spirit walking around and checking on rooms on the first and second floor. She is rumoured to be a previous owner continuing her improvements to the hotel.
Beyond the ghosts you can expect luxury accommodation popular for weddings, food, and drink at the residents bar.
Location: Birr, Kinnitty, Co. Offaly, Ireland
Ballygally Castle Hotel, Antrim
Located on the Causeway Coastal Route and offering beautiful Irish sea views is Ballygally Castle Hotel. As a historic castle it of course has its very own resident ghost, believed to be the wife of a previous owner. The friendly ghost making Ballygally Castle her home is theorized to be Lady Isabella Shaw. Legend has it that after producing an heir for her husband she fell from a high tower were she had been locked. Other theories suggest she may have been pushed. Despite the violent nature of her death Lady Isabelle is said to be a friendly presence. Ballygally Castle is a haunted hotel in Ireland that may be the most active.
Ballygally castle are quite proud of their resident ghosts and ghostly history, calling it the friendly ghost on the coast. You can even visit the Ghost Room, dedicated to their resident ghost and go on a ghost tour of the castle. Click here for more info.
Location: Coast Rd, Ballygalley, Larne BT40 2QZ
Blackwater Castle, Co. Cork
How would you like to rent out a historic castle in Ireland to stay in? This unique venue allows you to do just that. Feel like the king of the castle this Halloween and try staying at a castle. You can bring up to 23 guests to stay as long as you don’t mind sharing with some ghosts too. The resident ghost of Blackwater Castle is believed to be the hooded figure of Lady Ellen Roche. Lady Roche fought back against the forces of Oliver Cromwell and was executed years later for a false convictions. With such a terrible end it is no wonder people believe she still walks the halls.
Location: Connaberry, Castletownroche, Co. Cork, Ireland
Kilkea Castle, Co. Kildare
One of Ireland’s oldest inhabited castles is Kilkea, it has developed with the times providing modern amenities and even a spa to enjoy on your visit. Is it’s history still hanging on however? Possibly. One eccentric part of the history of Kilkea Castle is its time as home to a man known as the ‘Wizard Earl’. Gerald FitzGerald, the 11th Earl of Kildare was believed to have magic powers by locals and was said to perform black magic rituals in the tower of the castle.
Gerald is supposed to visit the hotel every 7 years, 7 months, and 7 days from the day of his death. Meaning you should schedule a visit for July 2026 for his next sighting. If you are looking for more regular ghostly residents you may see a little girl near the old nursery running and giggling. You may also see a woman in white walking the grounds.
Location: Castle View, Kilkea Demesne, Castledermot, Co. Kildare, R14 XE97, Ireland
Cabra Castle, Co. Cavan
When staying at this beautiful castle you can expect interesting architecture, stone walls, and luxurious décor. Beyond this there is a haunting history of this hotel which has left a mark on the building. The story of a maidservant called Sarah is one which haunts the hotel to this day, and as the story goes Sarah does too.
The story goes that the heir to the castle had fallen in love with the maid Sarah who fell pregnant with his child. Their love was forbidden and once the relationship was discovered, Sarah was hanged from a bridge in the forest on castle grounds. Visitors to the hotel claim to feel the presence of Sarah continuing to walk the grounds and halls of Cabra castle.
Location: Carrickmacross Rd, Mullantra, Kingscourt, Co. Cavan, A82 EC64, Ireland
Wilton Castle, Co. Wexford
Surrounded by quiet woodland and furnished in modern style Wilton Castle is an idyllic break away. However, it also holds its fair share of spiritual inhabitants which date back centuries. Following the death of a local magistrate called Archibald Jacob there were people hearing his distressed cries as he fell from his horse. His spirit is said to have been so disruptive that an exorcism was attempted in the castle. During the course of this exorcism Archibald’s face appeared in the fireplace.
Location: Wilton Castle, Wilton, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, Y21 V9P9, Ireland
Castle Leslie Estate, Co. Monaghan
The stunning Castle Leslie Estate is based on 1,000 acres of amazing countryside and provides plenty of outdoor activities. Within the walls of the estate there is a different form of activity. One of the most well-known ghosts of the Castle Leslie Estate is that of Norman Leslie who was killed during World War One.
His ghost was spotted by staff on the grounds a week before his death notice was delivered. Staff believed he had come home to visit family, who were excited to see him. Unfortunately he never came home for dinner and only his sword was delivered home at a later date. A recent visitor had a truly horrifying experience in the basement of the castle in which a dark shadowy figure with a scary face ran at her only to disappear before reaching her.
Location: Castle Leslie Estate, Glaslough, Co. Monaghan, Ireland
Markree Castle, Sligo
Gothic architecture and luxurious interiors are not all that awaits you at Markree Castle. Also making the Markree Castle hotel her home is the ghost of a little girl named ‘Pippa’ by staff. She is known for minor mischief such as locking guests in their bedrooms. Pippa is also known to befriend children staying at the hotel. One parent told of their toddler chatting to the corner of the room claiming to be talking to her friend.
Location: Clooneenroe, Collooney, Co. Sligo, F91 AE81, Ireland
Can you stay in a haunted Airbnb in Ireland?
Yes, you can and it’s a castle!
Rented on Airbnb for a private castle experience, Ross Castle is an authentic Irish castle experience with a sleek modern extension. Even when private renting you may bump into some uninvited guests as Ross Castle was named by Lonely Planet as one of the ‘Ten Lesser-Known Haunted Places in the World’. Ross Castle is said to be haunted by Sabina, the daughter of the infamously cruel ‘Black Barron’. Sabina is said to have lost the love of her life and committed suicide by starving herself. Guests staying in the room where she died claim seeing a full body apparition of her.
Have you stayed at a haunted hotel in Ireland? Did you experience the paranormal and see something beyond belief or did you enjoy a luxurious stay avoiding any ghostly inhabitants? Let us know in the comments below!