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Dublin: 15 °C Tuesday 18 June, 2019
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A ghosthunter picks his favourite spooky places in Ireland

Irish Ghost Hunters investigate where most of us would fear to tread…

Keith from Irish Ghost Hunters at the Hellfire Club
Keith from Irish Ghost Hunters at the Hellfire Club
Image: Irish Ghost Hunters via YouTube

NOT JUST ANYBODY is born to be a ghosthunter.

The prospect of spending a night in the dark basement of a possibly haunted castle is enough to send some of us running in terror, but for the gang from Irish Ghost Hunters, it’s all in a night’s work.

With Halloween just around the corner, some of you might be looking forward to scaring the bejaysus out of yourselves in the name of some craic.

Tim Kelly is from Irish Ghost Hunters, who spend their free time roaming the hallways of some of Ireland’s oldest buildings, and told us where he thinks Ireland’s spookiest locations are.

The group, which numbers eight, started about four years ago. Kelly is driven by his love of the paranormal, and the ‘rush’ he gets during investigations. Here are some of the spooky places that left an impact on him

  • Charleville Castle (Tullamore)

“That has got to be the iconic haunted castle,” said Kelly. “It’s like something out of a Scooby Doo movie. We heard the strangest noises and bangs and flashes and stuff. The atmosphere in the place is bizarre.”

There is an underground network of dungeons or tunnels here, which Kelly described as “very weird”.  “It’s one of the key places that we will return to,” he said.

  • Kinnitty Castle

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Pic: Wikimedia Commons

This 19th century castle is a hotel, and Kelly says there are rumours that one of its apparitions is a monk. “Two team members were walking down to the lower levels when they saw a full apparition [of a monk],” he said. They didn’t, unfortunately, have cameras on them at the time.

The team was working with a psychic who was sent down to the old schoolroom in the jail, dressed in an old matron’s outfit. She put her torch down – while in total darkness – and when she went back to get it, “it did a 45-degree sweep before she touched it”.

  • Powerscourt Estate, Co Wicklow

Powerscourt House was built using the walls of a 13th century medieval castle, and Kelly said that it has a network of tunnels beneath it.

While investigating here, they opened a steel red door and “heard a voice in a growling tone saying ‘get out’!” “One of the guys jumped and hit his head on sewage pipe – everyone jumped back,” said Kelly.

  • Dublin Castle

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Pic: Wikimedia Commons

Rumours are that Dublin Castle is haunted by a dog, said Kelly. While IHG were investigating in the apartments in the main areas of the castle, two of them “heard sound of a dog scratching and barking”. “We went in and heard it – we were getting repeats of it all night.”

Even more frightening, while underground in this area, where the River Poddle still flows, they heard “what sounded like kids crying in the distance” but it was “like slightly out of dimension”. It transpired that the area above where they had been standing used to be an orphanage.

  • Connolly Station


(irishghosthunters/YouTube)

Dublin’s Connolly Station is not a place most people think of when they think of ghosts. When IHG were doing an investigation there, the stories from security guards and staff were “unreal”, said Kelly. They told them that one security guard was watching the security monitoring system in the middle of the night, “looking at the platform area when suddenly he saw two people dressed in military gear”. He ran down there, but they were gone. There are also doors that “seemed to be closing on cue”.

  • Wicklow Jail

At Wicklow Jail’s dungeon, at 2am, they were doing electronic voice recording, which involves asking questions. When listening back to the tape, though they had heard nothing at the time of recording “we heard these hobnail boots” on the floor, said Kelly.

Paranormal

For the disbelievers, Kelly points out that ghost hunters don’t automatically believe everything that happens has a paranormal reason, and they look at things rationally.

“If something presents itself as paranormal, you have to rule out all the normal signs first,” said Kelly. “Roughly 90 per cent of the time or so, everything can be explained. It’s that remaining 10 per cent that you get things you are curious about, and then one per cent of that again you get things where you say ‘wow’”

As for Kelly’s scariest moment? When he fell asleep in a cellar while on an investigation – and had his walkie talkie turned on full blast. No spooky behaviour was needed to frighten him awake.

Read: Psychic mediums to ‘take away mystery of spirituality’ at Cork event>

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