Ghosts of King John's Castle

King John's Castle, or Limerick Castle, was built around 1210 on the Banks of the River Shannon in Limerick, Ireland, on the orders of King John of England, Lord of Ireland, to protect the city from the Gaelic kingdoms to the west and rebellious Norman Lords to the east and south. It was constructed over the ruins of an earlier Viking stronghold, whose foundations can still be seen in the undercroft of the castle.

King John's Castle


The city of Limerick prospered as a port and trading center, and John set up a royal mint in the Northwest corner of the castle.

The castle sustained heavy damage during the siege of Limerick in 1642, the first of five sieges during the 17th century. Protestants fleeing the Irish Rebellion of 1641 occupied the castle, which was besieged by an Irish Confederate force under Garret Barry, who had no siege weapons, so he undermined the walls of the castle, causing them to collapse.

The castle is still home to some ghostly inhabitants.

The castle gatehouse is usually the most fortified part of a castle. At King John's Castle, the gatehouse entrance has an extra layer of defense in the form of a ghostly medieval guard dressed in full plate armor still performing his duty to protect the castle.

A lady in black with long golden hair has also been spotted on summer evenings wandering the crenelated top of one of the towers as the day's light fades into dusk.

If that is not unsettling enough, visitors have seen strange lights and orbs within the castle and reported hearing the sounds of slamming doors, marching soldiers, clattering armor, and swords clashing as though a battle is underway, with nothing visible to cause such sounds.

The best views of the castle are from the Thomond Bridge, which crosses the River Shannon beside the castle. But be careful, as the bridge is also haunted by the ghost of the Limerick Banshee, who tries to divert unwitting celebrators who cross the bridge into the waters below. She is suspected to be the reviled Bishop of Limerick's wife, who was drowned in the River Shannon by the people of Limerick.

One case occurred when a local criminal known as Drunken Thady was trying to cross the bridge, and the banshee forced him into the river. After praying and striking a bargain to mend his ways, he found a boat anchored nearby and pulled himself to safety. He did mend his ways but never crossed the bridge again.