Emerald Isle

Irish Ghost Stories

Irish ghost stories and spooky tales, halloween folklore, Irish samhain tales and Celtic ghost stories

Irish ghost stories, spooky tales to chill the bones from Ireland.

Irish ghost storiesIrish ghost stories are deeply intertwined with ancient Irish culture and mythology, with many tales going back to the pre-Christian days, sometimes retold in more modern forms. The old people had a great belief in the afterlife and in places where the world grew thin, or places where spirits could most easily pass from one realm to the next.

Many's the strange apparition and phantom that has accosted weary travellers on dark country roads, and these tales they shared with others as they went, warning and telling ghost stories of things stirring that had no right to move!

Even the living sometimes had ghosts, like the fetch, by some tales, spirits that came to visit, but if you went looking in deep, dark places you might find yourself the guest of another kind of ghost. Especially to be feared were crossroads, where the spirits of the lost can get caught, unable to find their way to where they were going, but you might meet murderous wraiths like Petticoat Loose on any dark boreen!

The most ancient Irish ghost stories are often the most unsettling, like the collector of debts of the elder powers of Ireland, the Dullahan, who comes to ensure that the evil ones get their due from whatever bargains had been struck, or the mournful tale of the vengeance of the abused maiden who became the red thirst.

So when you read these terrifying tales, think about all of those who came before and listened to them being told, perhaps in a drafty cottage or in a great hall, or even gathered around a peat fire in a crannog back when the world was younger and ghost stories were the doorway to those long gone into the dark valley to meet their maker. Especially at times like Halloween, or Samhain as it used to be called, when the darker half of the year began.

With the harvest gathered and stored, then was the time for the hunger of the spirits, and great bonfires were lit to protect villages from their unwelcome attention. Stones were sometimes cast into these fires, and the ashes used for protection. The ancient sidhe or fairy mounds opened, allowing supernatural creatures to roam free, and their wells were blue-lit and shimmering. Ancestors long dead would join the feasting and places were set for them, although tales tell that less welcome revenants could be held at bay by iron, salt, or turning your clothes inside out!

There's nothing quite like a good ghost story to chill the blood on a dark evening around the fire, and few tales are quite as chilling as those that can be found on the Emerald Isle! Out of the mists and across the veil the unquiet spirits of those who came before stretch out their ghostly hands to tell their own stories through their encounters with the people of Ireland.

Irish Ghost Stories

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