The Arran Quay Ghost, 1837

From the Tuam Herald, 9 December 1837, and the Dublin Morning Register, 8 December 1837:



An elderly little man, apparently in his perfect senses, came before the bench and stated that the ghost of his former master appeared to him nine times altogether.  The first appearance was in June, when he came to him at nine or ten o’clock in the evening.  He was greatly frightened, and was sick for three weeks after the ghost appeared to him.  He appeared to him five times more, and on the sixth time he asked him in the name of God, what did he want. 

The ghost told him that he had been murdered three years ago by a man named ___ who was foreman in his employment; that he was choked by that man and his brother in his own privy; that he left £15,000 in ready money, and his stock in trade, that the murderer possessed himself of all under the title of a false will; that a servant girl had cognizance of the fact, and that he (the ghost) would be greatly obliged to the narrator if he would go to a magistrate, set an inquiry on foot, and have the man arrested.

The man did not then go to a magistrate, but he went to the accused, and told him what passed between himself and the ghost, whereupon the accused said he did not care a pin for all the ghosts in Bully’s Acre.

The man then called down a priest who lodged in the house, and who asked him could he swear to all that had been told him on that occasion.  He said he could; and the priest replied that if he would see the ghost again to send him to his reverence.  He did see the ghost again, and told him what the priest said, but his ghostship said he did not want to have any call to the priest – he wanted to have justice done and requested that the man would go to a magistrate.  The man omitted doing so, and in the few days after the ghost again appeared to him, and made a similar request, so that at last he came before his worships.

One of the peace-officers who was present said he recollected very well that the man alluded to had died suddenly, and that his foreman was actually in possession of his property.

The magistrates said it was upon that very fact the man founded the story of the ghost. 

The man begged for God’s sake that their worships would take his informations, or do something in the business, for if they did not the ghost would give him no rest.

He was so importunate that they (the magistrates) directed him to Arran-Quay police office, being the division in which the accused person lives. We called there in the course of the day but could not learn that the ghost-seer had made his appearance.”

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Author: Ruth Cannon BL

Irish barrister sharing the history of the Four Courts, Dublin, Ireland, and other Irish courts.

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