The Shelbourne

The Shelbourne
Dublin, Ireland.

With a turbulent past and a guest including Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, Elizabeth Taylor, and John F Kennedy (to name but a few) plus a sprinkling of military personnel, prisoners, wounded rebels, and political revolutionaries, it is no surprise that the essence of the personalities that have walked the through the doors of The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin has created an ethereal soup of residual energy.

Tipperary businessman, Martin Burke purchased three townhouses on St Stephen’s Green in 1824, with the intention of creating a grand hotel. The hotel’s name was in deference to Dublin man William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne, who became Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1782. In 1865, the hotel was acquired by William Jury, Charles Cotton, and Christian Goodman, who carried out extensive works on the hotel, reopening the doors two years later. The hotel became a popular haunt of the social, sports, and art elite and later a destination of choice for international visitors. The hotel held its own during years of bloodshed, accommodating the demands of war alongside hospitality. The hotel’s own place in Irish history was sealed when the Constitution was signed in room 112 (now the “Constitution Room”) in 1922.

Now a venue in which business deals are done and good times are had, the highly polished veneer of the corridors, rooms, and suites hides many of the physical scars that were inevitably inflicted on them during troubled times, but reports by guests and staff of cold spots, unexplained noises, ghostly figures and accounts of poltergeist activity, strip away some of the illusion of the evident grandeur.

Concerned hotel managers were so alarmed by the number of reports of activity in one particular room, that a member of staff was appointed to stay in it overnight. Over the course of six months, guests staying in that room were being disturbed at a rate of 2-3 times per week. Expecting to see nothing out of the ordinary, the male member of staff was petrified when taps in the bathroom turned themselves on exactly as the guests had described.

In 2013, actress Lily Collins shared her own ghostly encounter from her stay at the Shelbourne Hotel in a televised interview with Jimmy Fallon.

I was sleeping and I felt this presence of someone standing right there. And I was like, do I open my eyes or not?! So I open my eyes and I hear a giggle. And then I felt a rush of air across my body and I heard all these doors slamming, like fire doors – the ones you don’t hear opening, but then the air – it closes. Three of them – and there were three doors outside my room.

Lily relayed her experience to the hotel staff and was informed that it was likely to have been the ghost of Mary Masters, a young child of approximately seven years, who haunts the sixth floor of the hotel where she was staying. It is believed that Mary once lived in the building and died of cholera in 1791. Another guest encountered Mary opening and closing a wardrobe.

Ghost Advisor

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Strange encounter at the Shelbourne
The Shelbourne
I stayed at the Shelbourne back in 2003.  I was on a business trip, with another female colleague and we stayed for 1 night.  I woke in the middle of the night and my room had completely changed - it had a Victoriana appearance.  The arch to the hall/bathroom was now covered in long draped curtains and beyond the curtains was the sound of a young crying female.  I was absolutely stricke […]

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Further Information

Venue Name
Hotel  | Bar / Pub  | Restaurant
Official Rating
5 star rated.
Number Of Bedrooms
27 St Stephen's Green, Dublin, D02 H529, Ireland

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Accessible Rooms Available
Concerts & Events
Corporate Bookings
Lift / Elevator Available
Private Parties
Breakfast Available
Afternoon Tea
Casual Dining
Fine Dining
Fitness Centre
Indoor Swimming Pool
Spa / Treatment Room


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