Prior to lock down, myself and the family went over to Ireland for a few days and of course, while over there it was on the list to visit some of the most haunted places in Dublin.
Believe it or not Trinity college is probably one of the most haunted places in Dublin. It is in the in the heart of Dublin city and is Ireland’s oldest and most reputable university. Students over the years have included Oscar Wilde, Robert Emmet and three of Ireland’s Presidents, among many others.
It was founded in 1592, and was expanded over subsequent centuries. Prior to being a college it the grounds of an Augustinian priory dating from 1166, dissolved by Henry VIII in 1538.
During the plague in the 1600s it was believed to be used as a plague house.
There is also tales that trinity college used people to body snatch to enhance students medical knowledge, this was believed to have been organised by Samuel Crossey, who worked at the college. Proof of this was found when dismembered bodies and body parts dating back to the 18th Century were found as they dug out foundations. They had at least two of their own students go missing mysteriously during this time!
There are many prevailing ghost stories about the college; the first involving an old provost of the college, Archbishop Narcissus Marsh. He acted as guardian for his young niece, and when she eloped with a curate from a distant English parish, he allegedly died in the college from a broken heart.
The other more grisly tale involves a grumpy student named Edward Ford. One night his fellow students decided to play a prank and throw stones at his bedroom window in the Rubrics building. In retaliation, he shot at them, but missed. They somehow acquired some guns of their own and fired back, fatally shooting him. In spite, he is said to wander the rubrics building and the grounds surrounding it after dusk to this day.
Samuel Crossey is another ghost which has been sighted. His tall intimidating spectral figure has be seen crossing the quadrangles and paths of the College. He has often been sighted carrying in one hand a surgeon’s case and the other carries a rather conspicuous and chilling cloth sack!
The Demon pig of Dublin–The Dolocher legend
Nickname Black Dog Prison, the gaol in the area now known as Cornmarket in Dublin. It dates back to the 17th century and is rich history
Legend as it that when a prisoner named Olocher was sentenced to death for rape and murder, he committed suicide. Its believed by some they have seen his spirit haunt the jail and caused several gruesome deaths in the vicinity in the guise of a demon or wild beast….
The Grave Diggers Pub and Glasnevin Cemetery
This pub from 1833 is named after the former landlord John Kavanagh – who fathered no less than 25 children! Commonly known as “The Gravediggers” due to its proximity to Prospect Cemetery and the frequently observed custom was to order a pint by throwing a shovel of earth from the cemetery against the pub’s wall. The resident ghost is said to be an elderly man in old-fashioned tweeds, sitting at the bar and enjoying a pint … until he disappears without trace.
The first burial, that of eleven year old Michael Carey from Francis Street in Dublin, took place on the following day in a section of the cemetery known as Curran’s Square.
The high wall with watch-towers surrounding the main part of the cemetery was built to deter bodysnatchers, who were active in Dublin in the 18th and early 19th century. The watchmen also had a pack of blood-hounds who roamed the cemetery at night. Prime Minister, Robert Peel, when questioned in Parliament on the activities of the body-snatchers, admitted that it was, indeed, a “grave matter”..
Christ Church Cathedral
The earliest manuscript dates Christ Church Cathedral to its present location around 1030. Dúnán, the first bishop of Dublin and Sitriuc, Norse king of Dublin, founded the original Viking church, which was probably subject to the archbishop of Canterbury. By 1152 it was incorporated into the Irish church and within a decade the famous archbishop Laurence O’Toole had been appointed.
The church as been known to have many oddities, Famed saint Laurence O’Toole was named Archbishop in the 1150s and although he died in France in 1180, his heart remained in the cathedral mummified.
Mummified remains of a cat and rat. According to church lore, the cat chased the rat into a pipe of an organ and both became stuck. James Joyce used both cat and rat as a simile in Finnegan’s Wake when he described someone as being “…As stuck as that cat to that mouse in that tube of that Christchurch organ…” The cat is chasing the rat in perpetuity behind glass in the crypt of the church.
In the nineteenth century, an army officer was accidentally locked in the tunnel which was used for storing ceremonial paraphernalia. He was soon documented as ‘missing, presumed dead’ until the next occasion demanding the opening of the tunnel. Near its entrance was discovered the skeleton of the officer and in the bones of his right hand was his sword. Lying about were the broken bone fragments of up to 250 rats that had attacked and had been beaten off by the mans sword before he himself was overcome.” he is said to haunt the tunnel to this day….
Erected in the early thirteenth century on the site of a Viking settlement, Dublin Castle served for centuries as the headquarters of English, and later British, administration in Ireland. In 1922, following Ireland’s independence, Dublin Castle was handed over to the new Irish government.
The heads of overcome invaders were mounted on the castle’s walls to deter other would-be assailants, and their decapitated corpses lie buried beneath. But according to tour guides, their spirits can stray.
St Machan’s Church
This church doesn’t look much from the outside but underneath in its vaults is a different story. It was originally founded in 1095- bulit to serve a Viking population and is the oldest parish church on the north side of Dublin. The church was rebuilt in 1685 and contains a large pipe organ which Handel is said to have played during the first ever performance of his ‘Messiah’. The church is still a fully functioning church with mass every second Sunday.
Under the church, through large metal chained doors and down a narrow stone stairway, are burial vaults containing the mummified remains of many of Dublin’s most influential 17th, 18th and 19th century families. The legendary Sheares brothers are down here, the highly decorated coffins of the Earls of Leitrim and even Wolf Tone’s death mask.
No one’s sure quite how the bodies have been preserved. Perhaps the constant dry atmosphere is responsible, the limestone walls or the methane gas that leaks up from the soggy ground. The vaults were owned by wealthy families and some coffins are highly decorated with gold studs and fancy plaques.
The most visible mummies are “the big four”: four mummified corpses which have no lids on their coffins and are displayed together. Still very life-like, their leathery skin is covered by a layer of dust. One of them, six-and-a-half foot tall, is believed to have been a soldier who returned from the Crusades. 800 years ago his height would have made him a veritable giant. He lies with his legs broken and crossed under him in order to fit in the coffin. He lies with one of his hands slightly in the air, stretched out of the casket; legend has it that those who touch his finger will have good fortune. Visitors were once encouraged to give it a shake…
Bram stoker (creator of ‘Dracula’ is believed to have visited the vaults and his mother’s burial plot is here.
Several people have reported hearing whispering around them while others report the feeling of being watched. Some people have apparently even experienced “being touched by unseen hands”.
Dublin’s oldest pub, which dates back to 1198, it is said to be visited by one of its former customers, “Bold” Robert Emmet, who was hanged in September 1803.
He’s often spotted in the corner of the bar, keeping an eye out for his executioner….