John Locke Inn, Callan

John Locke Inn, Callan
Callan, Kilkenny, Ireland.


Many thanks to L. Johnson for suggesting that I include John Locke Inn, Callan in this directory. I validate all suggestions and do my own research before publishing to see if there’s any more information I can share, so sometimes it can take a while for me to process them. Site users are (as always) welcome to suggest an amendment or to add their own experiences.


This property no-longer exists.

During the summer of 1980, a group of locals watched on helplessly as a disused building, formerly known as the John Locke Inn, was consumed by fire. Some among their number believed that they could see a tall, grey haired figure looking out through the flames. And maybe they did. For more than three decades, the building had a fearsome reputation for being haunted, so it seemed only fitting that some of its ghostly occupants were also present at its demise.

When the building was in use, its previous occupants spoke of loud tapping sounds, disembodied voices and terrifying screams, disturbing them during the night. In the mid-sixties, a tradesman was working in an upstairs room when he felt a tap on the back of his neck. He turned around expecting to see a member of staff from the bar downstairs, but was instead face to face with a tall man dressed in clothing that he described as being from the 19th century. He asked the stranger if he was looking for something, but the entity simply smiled and whispered “keep working Jackie, your time has not yet come.” The stranger then turned and faded away. The startled tradesman ran down the stairs and recounted what had happened to a group sitting in the bar. As you would expect, some simply laughed and dismissed the story, but others took it more seriously and advised him that others had reported similar experiences in the area over the years.

A few years later, a witness recalled how he had passed a clothes horse on a landing while showing someone to their room. A moment later, he heard a loud noise and ran down to find that the same clothes horse had been pushed over and the clothes scattered in the stair well. There was nobody there that could have disturbed it. A more alarming encounter was reported by a visiting salesman who said that he had encountered a demonic entity in one of the upstairs rooms. He exclaimed and drew the attention of people drinking in the bar, but again was not taken seriously by everyone there. However, some did concur that a demonic figure had been seen at the property before.

Drinkers in the bar itself also claimed to have had strange experiences, but as I read further into this, I myself began to wonder whether other spirits were involved and they were just playing on the alleged haunting with their tales of glasses being thrown and pints being consumed by an invisible force etc. A garda officer’s wife claimed to have seen a figure resembling a Leprechaun. She was apparently terrified, so maybe she did see something demonic in the guise of a jovial figure, dressed in green, wearing a hat and presenting a shamrock to her. But it’s all a bit…

Despite some obvious storytelling, maybe the John Locke Inn did deserve its description as one of the “most haunted houses in Ireland” in its time. It is such a shame that the original building no-longer exists. Have any of the alleged ghosts stayed on at the location or elsewhere in Callan? If you have insider information, do “Add Your Experience”.

Ghost Advisor

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Further Information

Venue Name
Bar / Pub
Green Street, Callan, Kilkenny, Ireland


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