Ireland is an ancient land, filled with prehistoric ruins, age-old traditions, and a rich and abiding folklore. Many of the old Irish traditions and tales dwell upon the world beyond our own, the shadow world of spirits. Every village and landmark has a tale attached to it, a good many of them rooted in pagan beliefs from prehistoric times. Others are more modern, and deal with historic tragedies such as the English invasion, the Potato Famine, or the Troubles.
According to some locals, ghosts seem to haunt every historic building and place, acting as symbols of the past that still haunts this troubled land. For example, at Aughagreagh in County Longford there’s a wall running alongside a road. It’s just a typical drystone wall like so many in Ireland used to show the boundary of a farmer’s field. The road is just a typical road. But sometimes at night passersby will see a woman and two small children sitting on this wall. They wear tattered clothing in the style of the 19th century. Their faces are drawn and emaciated, their eyes sunken. They have a look of hopeless resignation about them. This is because they are famine victims. The wall stands on the road to the old workhouse, where Ireland’s poor and starving were packed into cold rooms and forced to work long hours of hard labor in exchange for a crust of bread and constant abuse. They were literally punished for being poor, and their spirits have remained in this sad place.
Ireland has a rich folklore. Everyone knows about the fairy folk and leprechauns and many have heard of the fearsome banshee. The stranger side of the Emerald Isle goes much deeper than that, however, with tales of phantom armies marching through the sky, sea monsters swimming in the waters around the island, and stories of strange powers and dark magic. Indeed, these tales are not consigned to the past; many unexplained occurrences continue to happen, even today. Here is a sampling of some of the Emerald Isle's better-known ghosts, plus a few obscure ones. They represent just a small portion of the hundreds of restless spirits that haunt this troubled land. For the purposes of this book we are covering the entire island, including Northern Ireland.
The Ghosts of Ireland: A Collection of Ghost Stories Across the Emerald Isle offers a sampling of the many strange stories and unexplained phenomena that make Ireland such an intriguing place. You will learn about the ghosts of Ireland like never before.