From Dublin, we boarded a bus and headed for the Haunted Castle of Foulksrath in Kilkenny.
A haunted medieval castle?
In the Irish countryside?
And, we can stay there as guests for the night?
How could we resist??
We found Foulksrath Castle listed in HostelWorld as the oldest hostel in Ireland, located just 8 miles from the town of Kilkenny. Pictures of the 16th century Norman House Tower in the gloom and green of Ireland’s fields had us hooked.
Learning that a BBC television team of British Ghost hunters visited the hostel and sent back a report to say that “their machines recorded the best ghostly sounds of any place they visited in Ireland” was a bonus! We booked in for two nights.
On our arrival, we approached the silent castle grounds searching for signs of life. Timid knocks on the wooden fortress walls only echoed in the foggy mist. If the cab we’d ridden in hadn’t already headed back to town (without even a good-bye glance), we might have turned around right there.
Soon the door opened and our caretaker led us to the studio where we were offered a room in the High Tower if we wished, or the already occupied dorm on the lower floor (and closer to escape).
We had read the stories that the daughter of a previous owner fell in love with an Irish boy and was locked away by her father in the Tower to stop her from seeing him. The girl is believed to have died in this room and it seems that the ghost of the girl still can be found here. Would we be visited by her ghost in the Tower?
Climbing the narrow steps, we could feel the dampness and chill breathing from the cold stones under our feet. Our room looked out over fields of rainbows and it was hard to imagine unkind spirits sharing this space.
Dinner was by candlelight downstairs in a space where we expected to be joined by Knights of the Round Table at any moment. Stories of the area and its haunts filled the room and more than one traveler left the room with wide eyes.
Well, we were told by a frequent castle visitor, “The spirits here won’t bother you if you are a good soul. And only good souls or souls that are lost are drawn here to Foulksrath.”
We must have made the cut! 🙂
If you’re interested in having your own “haunted experience” on a visit to Ireland, we’re sorry to say Foulksrath Castle has been permanently closed. However, here are a number of other spooky castles guaranteed to keep you wide awake at night. Happy Haunting! Haunted Castles in Ireland.