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County Galway Ghosts, Folklore and Paranormal Places

Short Men in Green

Location: Aran Island - Exact location not known
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: 1992
Further Comments: A fifteen year old boy spotted two figures sea fishing, each just over a metre tall, dressed in green and wearing brown shoes. The figures chattered to each other in Irish before jumping up and vanishing. One of the figures left a small pipe behind which the witness took, although it later disappeared when 'safely' locked away.


Location: Athenry - Dunsandle House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Mid-to-late-twentieth century
Further Comments: The ghost of a tall man attached itself to the mantelpiece which was in this house - when a stoneworker took the piece away, the ghost followed both it and him and began to haunt his workshop. Items were thrown around, and strange fiddling could be heard at night. It is unclear whether the new owner returned the mantelpiece or smashed it up.

Woman with a Lamp

Location: Athenry - Wooded area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 31 July 2020, between 03:00h-04:00h
Further Comments: While playing Geocaching, two friends met an older lady with a lamp walking through the woods. Sharing the story once they arrived home, they discovered a family member had also met the older lady around 35 years previous. A legend says that a ghostly lady walks the area, looking for her son who had died.


Location: Aughrim - Site of Battle of Aughrim
Type: Environmental Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The battle, fought in 1691, is said to have been the most brutal on UK soil, with up to seven thousand people killed. Folklore says that the screams of dying soldiers can still be heard in the area.

A ghostly young girl looks from a window.

Knocking Girl

Location: Ballinasloe - Rathpeak House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: An unknown young girl has sometimes been seen standing by an upstairs window in the ruined house. There are reports of strange, loud bangs which drift from the empty building.

First Irish Case?

Location: Ballybane - Private residence, Clareview Park
Type: SHC
Date / Time: 22 December 2010
Further Comments: The BBC reported that Dr Ciaran McLoughlin, West Galway coroner, had recorded a verdict of spontaneous combustion in a case he had investigated. The body of Michael Faherty had been found in his living room, totally burnt, although damage to the rest of the room was minimal.

Trotting Dog

Location: Ballygar - Lane in the area
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: 1913
Further Comments: Potentially last seen by a cyclist, the black dog which haunted this area would vanish into thin air as witnesses looked on.

Bear-faced Man

Location: Ballymacward - Lane near Woodlawn railway station
Type: Other
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Two people walking home after leaving the station heard groaning coming from over a wall. One climbed up to have a look and observed a creature with a man's body but with the head of a bear. The witness tried to speak to the strange creature, but it told him 'don't speak to me' before wandering off.

Large Eel

Location: Ballynahinch - Bridge near to Ballynahinch Castle
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1880s
Further Comments: A long eel-like creature remained stuck under this bridge for two days.

Christopher St George

Location: Clarinbridge - Tyrone House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Christopher came from a strongly Protestant family but fell in love with and married a Catholic woman. His family immediately disowned him, his ghost a testament to his protests of being unfairly treated.

The Poor

Location: Clifden - Clifden Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Stories say the castle was a place for people to gather during the Great Famine, and those who died remained on the site.

Loathsome Creature

Location: Clifden - Lough Fadda
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1954 onwards
Further Comments: After spotting this strange water creature, one of the witnesses had nightmares for weeks after the event and refused to return alone to the lake. She said the creature was long and black, with smooth skin and a head like a shark.

Horned Eel

Location: Connemara - Lough Nahioon (also spelt Nahooin)
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 22 February 1968
Further Comments: A family watched this creature, almost four metres long, swimming around the lake. It was described as dark and long without hair or eyes, and possessed two horns at the top of the head.


Location: Connemara - Renvyle House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Circa 1917
Further Comments: This house is thought to be haunted by the ghost of a man who strangled himself with bare hands. Doors are reported to open and close unaided, while figures have been seen reflected in mirrors. One phantom on the site is named as 'Old Mrs Gogarty', and little is known about the ghostly man dressed in tweed.

Murdered Pirates

Location: Cummer - Castle Dunanore
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Sometimes one can see a ghostly pirate ship drop anchor just off the coast; the battle scarred sailors use smaller boats to row to the castle where they carry chests and sacks of gold and jewels into the ruined structure.


Location: Feenish Island - Area around castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: An unknown amount of gold hidden somewhere in this area is guarded by a ghostly soldier.

An old postcard of Galway Bay.

Pig Fish

Location: Galway - Bay
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 28 June 1885
Further Comments: A sea monster caught by a fishing crew was seen by thousands of people. The creature was described as nine and a half feet (2.9 metres) long, weighed 136 kilograms and had silvery skin. The head had a long pig-like snout, cow-like eyes, and two rows of teeth, each tooth around two inches (5 centimetres) in length. The creature also had an underbelly of sharp thorns. The Dublin Museum later identified the creature as a bramble shark.

Tall Man

Location: Galway - Newcastle area (possibly neighbourhood known as Granville)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: November 1908
Further Comments: Two men walking in the evening encountered a dark human-like shape, some nine foot (2.74 metres) in height. The figure vanished as it moved closer, only to reappear further down the road. The following night, a party armed with sticks and pistols tried to find the entity. They succeeded, although as one man took aim with his revolver, he dropped the weapon and fainted. The entity vanished once again and never returned.

WB Yeats

Location: Galway - Renvyle House hotel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Yeats treated this building as home away from home and is believed to still reside here. Several of the rooms are also haunted by the ghosts of children.

Third Floor Ghost

Location: Galway - Subway sandwich shop
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: May 2017
Further Comments: This shop enjoyed a brief surge in online publicity when some news outlets showed a poster on display which stated, 'Ouija boards and seances are not allowed to be performed in this shop'. It was reported that the manager believed the third floor to be haunted and did not want anyone attracting more ghosts.

Claddagh Nun?

Location: Galway - The Long Walk
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: February 2012
Further Comments: An image from photographer Jonathan Curran showed what looked like a nun standing along the Long Walk at Claddagh, although the woman may just be a living person who popped up at the wrong time...

Murdered Woman

Location: Galway - Unidentified house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: October 1890
Further Comments: Thousands of people were reported to have stood outside this house after the ghost of a woman appeared in a window. She had been murdered by her husband fifteen years previous and had recently manifested to a couple walking to church, asking them to say a prayer for her.

Rhino-Like Creature

Location: Glinsk - Lough Dubh, aka Black's Lake, between Glinsk and Roscommon
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: March 1962
Further Comments: A cow-sized creature was hooked by a man and his son out fishing along the river - the monster emerged from the water after the younger of the two snagged it with his hook. The strange beast was described as having short stumpy legs, small ears, and a single horn protruding from its nose.

An Irish cryptid.

Water Horse

Location: Gort - Coole Lake
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The lake is said to be home of a mysterious water monster resembling a horse.


Location: Gort - Islandmore Castle (also known as Thoor Ballylee)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1989
Further Comments: W B Yeats believed his summer home to be shared by a ghost of a Norman soldier, although a photograph taken 1989 shows a shadowy child.

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