So The Story Goes...
You won't believe the many places across Northern Ireland which are said to be haunted... from streets and bridges to hotels and even visitor attractions!
To help you get into the Halloween spirit, here are just some well known places where you might bump into our non-living friends.
Haunted Streets, Roads and Public Places
• Ballymoney Main Street is said to be the haunting grounds for George ‘Bloody’ Hutchinsons, who clanks up and down the street between the hour of midnight and 1am with his ball and chain.
• It is said that a large woman holding a spear stalks up and down Dungannon’s Scotch Street!
• The Glenshane Pass in County Londonderry is reputedly haunted by the shadowy figure of a man and his dog.
• Highwayman Cushie Glen is said to haunt the road that runs between Downhill and Limavady – Murder Hall Road. Apparently Cushie and his wife were responsible for many murders here and people have reported hearing horses' hooves on this stretch of road.
• The old bridge over the Newtownards to Crawfordsburn road, near the Clandeboye Lodge Hotel, is apparently home to a mysterious figure in a black cloak.
• Most people have heard of headless horsemen, but in Mullanakill in County Armagh there is said to be a ghost of a headless horse! Sir William Verner took his trusty steed Constantine to battle in the Napoleonic Wars. Its head fell off and he brought the horse home to bury him in the family graveyard. You never know what you might see when you hear horses' hooves in the night.. (story courtesy of Hannah Rodgers)
• Newcastle Harbour in County Down is home of many a legend and story. A banshee has been seen walking silently among the tied up boats and lobster pots, and her appearance is said to herald a death. She has been described by locals as a small woman with a high pitched voice.
• Bogey Hill, overlooking the harbour, is said to be haunted too. Ever since a local fishing disaster in 1843 when so many of the local men drowned, there has been many a sighting of a grieving woman dressed all in black standing on here sobbing and looking out to sea hoping for the return of her lost husband, son or father. There have also been recent sightings of a male ghost dressed in a black suit – perhaps the husband of the grieving woman, still searching for his widow. (Story courtesy of John Leneghan)
You might expect a graveyard and churches to be a place of rest for departed souls yet do not escape a place on our most haunted round-up:
• Many years ago, Friar's Bush Graveyard on Belfast's Stranmillis Road was reputedly haunted by a lady in white holding a lantern.
• Sightings of a huge black dog have been seen in the area of St. John's Church, Newcastle. This hound is said to have eyes of blazing fire and gleaming white teeth.
• St. Nicholas' Church, Carrickfergus is supposedly haunted by a former clergyman and a grey lady. On the town's Belfast Road, on the site of the old Courtlands factory, the figure of a monk has been seen walking around the site – it used to be a priory.
Haunted Hotels and Visitor Attractions
• Ballygally Castle Hotel on the Antrim Coast is one of the most famous haunted hotels. It is said to be haunted by Isabel Shaw who wanders the corridors at night dressed in a silk dress, amusing herself by knocking on guests’ doors. Those who are particularly brave can request to stay in the ghost room!
• The White Horse Hotel in Derry~Londonderry is said to be haunted by a mail coach complete with portly driver, who pulls up and enters the hotel only to mysteriously disappear.
• Also in the Walled City, the Tower Museum houses the second oldest coach in Ireland and it is said to be frequently visited by Mary Anne Knox, who was shot by her lover MacNaughton. A photograph on display in the museum shows a mist in the coach.
• Belfast City Hall is said to be haunted by various spectres that died during the building's construction. If you are there late at night a chilling presence can be felt around the toilets!
• At Tollymore Forest Park in County Down, there is a wistful spectre known as The Blue Lady who formerly resided in the seat of the Roden family at Tollymore House. Since its destruction in the post-War years, she now wanders restlessly through the forest park and has been seen on many a dark night walking the tree lined avenue.
• The iconic Mussenden Templeon the North Coast is said to have blood appear on the floor only to mysteriously disappear within minutes.
• Springhill House in Moneymore, County Londonderry, is haunted by the friendly ghost of Olivia Lenox Conyngham. She is said to float around the gardens and house and loves to see visitors to her home!
• Carrickfergus Castle in County Antrim is said to be haunted by a character called Button Cap who carries his head under his arms as he walks the battlements. Dobbin’s Inn in the town is supposedly haunted by Button Cap’s girlfriend.