Irish Ghosts for Halloween

Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin

It could be said that the ghosts of this now empty prison still haunt Irish politics, because it was here that the British kept many political prisoners, including the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising.

It has a much longer history than that though, dating back to 1796. Any prison is going to be full of unquiet spirits, especially one where conditions were as bad as they were at Kilmainham, where men women and children were locked away five to a cell with a candle that had to last two weeks.

There were executions here too, most notoriously after the Easter Rising. One of the first acts of the new government of the Irish Free State was to close the prison.

Today it is a museum and has often served as a film set. It’s also an important monument to the Irish struggle for independence.

Visitors are warned that they may see lights turning on and off; people are pushed over; footsteps are heard; children are often said to be so struck with fear they will not enter the gaol. The chapel has been singled out by psychic investigators as a particular hotspot.

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