Haunted History: Gruesome Galway Tales
Galway History

Haunted History: Gruesome Galway Tales

In the mood for a ghost story? Come with us to take a glimpse into the stories behind some of Galway's spookiest spots. Each story contains gruesome moments from Galway's haunted past!


This eerie burial ground was the site of slaughter, sympathy and hushed silence for more than 520 years. It remains to this day a resting place for many, including those slayed in the greatest act of mass murder in Galway. 300 members of the Spanish Armada were beheaded in the place where Forthill Cemetery now sits. After witnessing such horrific violence in their locale, the people of Galway took it amongst themselves to grant their souls peace and laid their bodies to rest.

Read about it HERE.

Forthill Cemetery


Perfectly preserved, the chilling Irish Workhouse Centre houses the memories of those who suffered horrors within its cold walls. Once its walls were filled with desperate masses who had no where else to go, the haunting aura of the old stone walls reminds us of its awful conditions; the overcrowding, hard labour, disease and deaths. A place where even prison seems a preferable alternative. The fear and stigma attached to such a terrible moment in Irish History caused the buildings to be abandoned and it sat for decades locked up with weeds.

Read about it HERE.


Shrouded by its dark past, this haunted mansion is now a mere shadow of its former glory. The three storey palladian country house was once the epitome of grandeur, but today it lies barren with boarded up windows, uninviting halls and echoes of groaning wooden floorboards that cry at the memory of what it once was. The infamous Trench family at Woodlawn are remembered for their cruelty towards their tenants. The resentment held by the tenants towards the family grew and so they ran the Trench family out of the town. The bitter and ill will that had been felt toward the family was now directed at the great mansion and so it was neglected and left to weather out the harsh elements.

Read about it HERE.

Woodlawn House


Be warned - the history of the bloodiest battle on Irish soil is not for the faint of heart. The followers of the Catholic King James - Jacobites - and followers of the Protestant King William of Orange - Williamites - clashed upon the open lands at Aughrim one misty morning. The thunder of canonfire echoed across the land for miles. The Jacobites forced the Williamities down the damp boglands, many of them drowned and this was where the battle would come to a bloody end. As legend would have it, the piercing screams of soldiers echoed through the darkness. In the battle's aftermath the grass dripped blood and was scattered with bodies that had been abandoned by their comrades, left to rot until nothing remained but bone...

Read about it HERE.


An ominous skull and crossbones lies near the spot rumored to be the exact location that the terrible hanging took place. James Lynch FitzStephen - the elected mayor of Galway AD1493 - condemned and executed his own son Walter after he confessed to the murder of a Spanish merchant sailor by the name of Gomez, who had taken fancy to his girlfriend. Plagued with guilt over what he had done, he retired into seclusion.

Read about it HERE.

Lynch Memorial

Now that you've read through these haunting tales of Galway of old, tell us - do you believe in the legends and ghouls that lurk about the City of Tribes? From all of us here at This Is Galway, we hope you have a spooky and socially distanced Hallowe'en!

Oíche Shamhna Shona Daoibh! 

Feature photo by Nathan Wynne of Galway City Photographs. Check out more of his work HERE.

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