Originally, Dublin Castle was the site of a Danish Viking fortress (portions of which still exist as the castle's under croft) built around 930 CE in the settlement known as Dyflinn. When King Brian Boru overthrew the Viking occupation in 1014, the site was ruled by the Irish until 1169 when the Norman Invasion reached the shores of Ireland. In 1171, England's King Henry II invaded in support of the Norman Earl, Strongbow. In 1204, King John of England had a larger, more imposing castle erected on the site. From here, English rule was imposed and the heads of those who dared conquer its walls were frequently displayed to discourage any further incursions. According to witnesses, some of those deceased invaders do not rest quietly. A fire in 1684 gutted much of the castle and the resultant rebuild is largely what we see today.
A church has, in various incarnations, existed at the site of St. Michan's in Dublin since 1095 when it served the Viking community. Its current form dates to 1686. While possessing a modest, almost negligible façade (in fact, many visitors pass it up to see the more popular St. Patrick's and Christ Church cathedrals), it is the ancient Viking undercroft that makes St. Michan's a Dublin must-see. These vaults, used as crypts for centuries, are not a big budget tourist attraction with fancy light shows and paved floors. It's quite nearly something straight out of a horror movie: Sickly bulbs make desperate attempts to reach into the darkness of the centuries to illuminate rough hewn limestone masonry, fringed in cobwebs, that slowly crumbles with the weight of age. A mantle of dust clings thickly over every surface, kicked up from the bare earthen floor or a long narrow passageway. All along this hall, on either side, the openings to small low crypts can be found. Some are gated with ancient wrought iron, others were bricked up, but almost all of them have over time crumbled open to reveal the many coffins stacked inside like cordwood. More than a few of these have rotted apart to reveal the desiccated husks of what makes these vaults so famous. The mummies of St. Michan's. The cave-like conditions of the limestone crypt have created an ideal situation for the preservation of the dead. In these vaults, you'll find some interesting characters. While some residents--like the Earls of Leitrim or the Sheares brothers, famous for their role in the 1798 rebellion--have well known stories, others are complete enigmas. There is a woman dubbed The Nun, a 6.5' fellow believed to be a crusader who was so tall he had to forced to fit into the tiny coffin, another gentleman missing some appendages thought to be a thief, and many more who are simply unknown. And the crypts go back even further than one can walk. The corridor becomes bisected by debris halfway down and many more mysteries likely linger beyond in the dark and the death. Myriad ancient gravestones litter the churchyard above, seemingly laid out haphazardly and listing with age. Among these can be found the grave of Bram Stoker's mother. Many believe that the Irish-born author of Dracula was inspired by the church and its haunting crypt when writing that famous novel of Gothic horror. The church is also home to the death mask of famous Irish revolutionary, Theobald Wolfe Tone. It was also at St. Michan's that Handel practiced his most famous work, "Messiah." One woman and her mother visited in the Summer of 2010 and heard a whispering coming from the unexcavated end of the crypts. She wasn't the first to report these phantom murmurs. Others have experienced this as well as the touch of unseen hands.
|An eternal game of cat and mouse|
|Tomb of Strongbow|
|Trinity College Library, home to the|
Book of Kells and the Brian Boru Harp
|Bell Tower in Front Square|
*There were, oddly, camel bones found as well.
Across the street, St. Stephen's Green was once home to a leper colony as well as public hangings. Spirits of both wander its verdant expanse to this day.
Collins Barracks, known as Dún Uí Choileáin in the Irish, is a former military barracks in the Arbour Hill area of Dublin, Ireland.The buildings are now the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History. According to some museum staff, it is also haunted. The WWI soldier, known only as "the Quartermaster" silently wanders the halls of the east wing.
Glasnevin Cemetery, which makes an appearance in the famous novel Ulysses is home to approximately a million graves that were often a target of Trinity College's efforts to gain cadavers for study. In fact, the cemetery has an unusual feature: a watchtower to keep a vigilant eye on the rest of the departed interred here. But not all is quiet in the ancient cemetery, and ghost tales abound. Nearby, a pub known as The Gravediggers is said to be haunted as well.
Also see: The Hellfire Club