Shankill Castle

Shankill Castle
Kilkenny, Ireland.

Originally a tower house before being rebuilt for Peter Aylward in the style we see today, Shankill Castle is a privately owned big house with gardens located on the Carlow and Kilkenny border. The house and gardens are open to the public on a seasonal basis, and tours of the house itself are available.

In and around the 1700s, graves were often targeted by robbers seeking cadavers for use by medical students in their anatomical studies. Only the use of the bodies of convicted criminals had been sanctioned for this purpose and this led to a shortage of suitable corpses. As a result, all graves were considered fair game to the robbers and there was good money to be made in this dark and gruesome market. When castle owner, Peter Aylward was laid to rest in his family vault, his body was stolen, and it has never been found. This may explain why the man himself still walks the upstairs corridor of his former home and the bedroom that he once slept in.

Members of Oliver Cromwell’s army briefly occupied Shankill Castle, with many of them slain in battle. Their ghosts have been seen in the basement.

In the early 19th-century, a bitter argument arose between the priest of the neighbouring church and the owner of the castle. The priest was fatally shot, and it is said that he cursed the estate with his dying breaths, saying that the castle gates would never close and that the land would become overgrown. The ghost of the priest is said to walk along the stone path over which the dispute arose, and it could well have been his spirit that opened the gates at night, even when they had been chained shut. Such was the state of the overgrown entrance, that the owner was forced to relocate it.

A mysterious elderly lady has been sighted in the “blue room” and the ethereal sound of a horse and carriage approaching over gravel has been heard, followed by a knock on the front door. Of course, nobody is ever there when the door is answered and there are no horses to be seen either. Experiences below stairs have included servant bells ringing, even though they are no longer in use.

Ghost Advisor

If any users have shared their own paranormal experiences of Shankill Castle, these will be shared here. To add your own, click the green “Add Your Experience” button below.

All experiences are open to interpretation and are vetted prior to publishing to ensure they are relevant to the nature of this website. I reserve the right to decline inclusion. Sensitive information may also be redacted if necessary.

Further Information

Venue Name
Great House
Paulstown, Kilkenny, R95 N7F3, Ireland

Please note that Spirited Isle is not responsible for the content of third party websites.

Admission Policies
Restricted Access
Seasonal Opening Arrangements Apply
Admission Fee Applies
Facilities & Services
Café / Coffee Shop / Restaurant
Car Park
Guided Tours Available (conditions apply)


Users should always undertake their own checks before traveling to Kinnitty Castle Hotel or any other location listed on this website, to ensure that it will be open and accessible. You can suggest an amendment here if any information shared on this page has changed since it was last modified (June 23, 2024).

Spirited Isle accepts no responsibility for action taken by any user having consulted information published on this website or elsewhere. Furthermore, the owner of the website is not responsible for any loss, damage, injury, demonic possession, death, or other negative outcome arising..

Be safe, be responsible and be respectful.