The Red Man's Cave

The Red Man's Cave
Clogherhead, Louth, Ireland.


Many thanks to L. Johnson for suggesting that I include The Red Man’s Cave 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.

The Redman’s cave is located on the eastern side of the headland at Clogherhead. These days, the cavern itself and the network of passages associated with it are mainly inaccessible, but many, many years ago they were used by smugglers to bring luxuries such as tobacco, tea and silk into Ireland.

There are two legends associated with this particular cave network and how it got its name. The first tells of Catholic priests who were hiding from Oliver Cromwell’s army. The priests would take their dogs out for a walk at night, but on one occasion, they spotted soldiers in the distance and retreated to the cave where they were in hiding. They hoped that the soldiers would pass, but instead their dogs became agitated and started to bark uncontrollably. This lead the solders straight to their hiding place. The priests and their dogs were brutally slain and their blood drenched the walls of the cave. This legend concludes that the sound of the dogs barking can be heard on cold, stormy autumn nights. The sounds get progressively louder until they cut away to silence.

The second legend references a small smuggler ship that set off from Spain to Ireland. During the ill-fated voyage, several crew members became ill and died on board. The captain was unable to offer an explanation for what was happening, and this made other crew members suspicious. When they reached Irish waters, only the captain and six members of his crew remained. The weather was particularly inclement at the time, so he decided they would seek refuge in the cave and wait for conditions to improve. But the storm only seemed to worsen, and with each passing day, another member of the crew would be found dead. The last two remaining members of the crew were now convinced that the captain was responsible for the deaths of their shipmates and suspected that he had an intention to keep the goods they were transporting for himself. So they murdered and decapitated him, placing his severed head on a spike at the entrance to the cave. This legend concludes that the headless ghost of Captain Redman can occasionally be seen walking near the cave.

Despite the two legends associated with this spot, modern day witnesses have reportedly seen the ghost of a man walking around the area, and he is often said to be either singing or whistling.

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Further Information

Venue Name
Outdoor / Street Hauntings
Clogherhead, Louth, Ireland


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