Cabra Castle was built at the beginning of the 19th century and sits on 100 acres of unspoiled gardens and parkland which are accentuated by the Dún a Rí Forest Park. The castle was converted into a hotel during the 1990s and now boasts 105 luxurious guest bedrooms.
Over the years, guests of the hotel have reported phenomena including flickering lights, doors rattling when there is no one there, items moving of their own accord, unexplained noises, and full apparitions. But the main ghost story attached to the hotel is the story of Sarah, a maidservant who was brutally murdered at the old castle in the 1780s.
A young man (and presumed heir to the castle), had fallen in love with Sarah. Given the time, such an affair would never have been permitted let alone accepted, so, despite the true love they shared, it was forbidden, and they kept their relationship out of sight.
That was all well until poor Sarah became pregnant with his child.
When the pregnancy and the relationship were discovered, the castle owners showed no mercy towards poor Sarah and demanded that she be killed. The story goes that Sarah was taken into the forest where she was hung from a bridge. Today, the hotel management openly acknowledges that Sarah’s ghost still haunts the hotel. Staff and guests have spoken of “feeling a presence” in the courtyard rooms and by the “hanging tree” in the hotel grounds. Sometimes during the night, the crying of an infant can be heard echoing through the grounds.
In 2009, a guest told a member of staff that they had heard a horse and carriage pull into the courtyard during the night and that a screaming baby was left on the castle steps. Another guest claimed to have met a figure dressed in 20th-century military uniform walking down a corridor. Another unusual encounter was reported by a guest who claimed he had witnessed a row between two ghostly men – probably a father and son. They were arguing about the sale of the castle.
Multiple Trip Advisor commentators have also shared their own accounts of ghostly goings-on at the Cabra Castle Hotel.
We were waiting for our luggage to be delivered when I heard something by our door and the door rattling like someone was trying to open it. I went to the door and when I opened it no one was there! A lady in our group had a hairbrush thrown off the counter in the bathroom.
I might add in the castle there are lots of rooms, libraries, and old parlors, etc and we walked around after supper going room to room. In one there were two sidelights which flickered on and off a few times and the large chandelier was moving and shaking on its own.
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