10 haunted spots in Northern Ireland: scary places to visit this autumn and Halloween - and tales behind them

From Friars Bush Graveyard to the Crown Bar, Northern Ireland has plenty of haunted places to explore.

Friday, 8th October 2021, 3:02 pm

Home to many spooky and supposedly haunted places, Northern Ireland has lots of locations to offer this Halloween..

We've put together the 10 most haunted locations you can visit this Halloween.

Ballygally Castle Hotel, Ballygally

Ballygally Castle in 1890.

One of Ireland's most haunted hotels, Ballygally Castle has a dark and troubling history.

The resident ghost Isabella Shaw, the wife of Lord Shaw who built the hotel, was locked inside a room in the castle by her husband after giving birth to their son.

When she tried to escape out of a window, rumour has it, she slipped and fell to her death.

She is said to walk through the corridors at night, knocking on guests doors looking for her child.

The hotel even boasts a ghost room, where the most reported hauntings have occurred.

Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast

One of the most haunted spots in Belfast's, the Crumlin Road Gaol was open from 1846 until 1996 and is a popular place for ghost tours in Belfast.

Home to some infamous criminals, many met their end in the execution chamber.

There are many stories of spooky apparitions, including a young boy who can be heard crying, shadows walking through the cells and sightings of prison wardens still on patrol.

Crown Bar, Belfast

A must-see tourist spot in Belfast, the Crown is fully restored to its Victorian glory.

The former gin palace boasts two resident apparitions including Michael Flanagan who renovated it in 1885 and Amelia, a woman who mysteriously died after falling down the stairs.

Their forms have been seen in the bar, with sights of Amelia taking place near the staircase in question.

Belvoir Park Hospital, Belfast

Now a luxury housing development, Belvoir Park Hospital was originally founded as a Fever hospital in 1906.

After it closed its doors in 2006, security guards frequently reported strange shadows moving around the building and eerie noises that they could never find an answer for.

Springhill House, Moneymore​

This plantation house set outside Moneymore is said to be haunted by a friendly ghost and it isn't Casper!

Olivia Lenox Conyngham, a former resident, is rumoured to be spotted around the house grounds and gardens.

She is supposed to leave a warm and friendly feeling and is said to be happy when people come to visit.

Friars Bush Graveyard, Belfast

Set beside the Ulster Museum, this graveyard has been used since the 5th century.

Home to a mass grave from Belfast's 1840 cholera outbreak, there are tales of hauntings with ghostly apparitions being seen in the graveyard.

But what's most frightening is what's underneath.

Queens University's David Kerr building is across from the graveyard and features an underground tunnel that connects to the Ashby Building.

There have been reports of people who use the tunnel feeling hands touching them and eerily cold spots.

Dobbins Inn, Carrickfergus

Dating back to the 13th century, this pub and hotel in Carrickfergus is said to have a resident ghost called Elizabeth.

She is still said to haunt the rooms and has even been known to stroke the faces of guests whilst they sleep.

Other guests have also reported seeing black masses in the reception area.

WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre, Comber

An usual spot for a haunting, Castle Espie Wetland Centre features Ireland's largest collection of native and exotic water birds and also a resident ghost.

Often depicted as a woman in Victorian attire, holding a baby in one hand and a lantern in the other.

Castle Espie's learning manager John McCullough, said: “You can hear her crying out for help as she wanders the woods, looking for shelter and warmth."

Glenuilin, Londonderry

Glenuilin is home to the burial place of Abhartach, said to be Ireland's vampire king.

The druids said that he could not be killed unless he was stabbed with a sword made of yew wood, then buried head first and a large stone placed on top to stop him from rising again.

Over twenty years ago an attempt was made to cut down the three, but the chainsaw broke three times and cut the hand of one of the workers.

The spot is now on private land, but can be seen from the roadside.

Bruce's Castle, Rathlin Island

Rathlin Island is home to the ruins of Bruce's Castle, where the, 'King of the Scots,' Bruce and his soldiers went into hiding after being defeated by Edward 1st army in Scotland.

Legend has it that a group of fishermen who spent the night in the ruins saw a a mysterious hand with a cup reach out to join their table.

Once the cup was filled, the mysterious hand disappeared, back into the darkness.