This area, while not renowned for ghost sightings, it is a great wonder why not considering it’s history!
The most famous resident of the area was Bram Stoker, he was born at 15 Marino Crescent on the border between Clontarf and Marino and Fairview. There is plenty to do in this charming suburb for half a day.
While the house where Stoker was born is privately owned and not open to the public, the area where he lived is where he drew his stories from and easily accessed by coach tour or on foot.
The house where Stoker was born was built after a row between neighbours. Lord Charlemont had built his summer house further back from the sea on a slight hill at Marino. At that time, the house would have had uninterrupted vistas of the sea. Lord Charlemont had travelled extensively throughout Europe and was taken with Italian architecture and had built his Summer house and named it the Casino, Marino. The house is not a gambling den but Casino means ‘small house’ and Marino means ‘near the sea’. This house is open to the public and is a fascinating little visit to hear about life at that time.
After falling out with his neighbour, the neighbour built the Crescent, a row of houses situated just at the bottom of the hill that completely blocked the sea views from the Casino further up the hill.
Understandably, Lord Charlemont was furious and the story was widely reported at the time and perhaps this contributed to the ‘bad blood’ (or Droch Fhula, in Irish, pronounced Druc Ula) original idea for Dracula.
There are plenty of other local folklore that Stoker may also have drawn on. This includes the Suicide Plot at Ballybough, located just at the other end of Fairview, this was a site chosen to lay to rest the bodies of suicides, robbers and highwaymen in the 18th and 19th Centuries. This was unconsecrated ground at the edge of a former Leper Colony, at a crossroads. The practice at the time was to drive a wooden stake through the heart of the deceased so that the spirit wouldn’t rise again to terrify the local residents. This site is a ten minute walk from Stoker’s childhood home.
A lunatic asylum was opened a short distance from here in 1857, again, around the time Stoker was living in the area.
In the other direction, towards Clontarf, it is possible to visit the ruins of the church where Stoker was baptised and the creepy cemetery must surely have inspired him to write about ghouls and the undead!
After all that, it’s time to take a break in luxurious Clontarf Castle for a coffee and some freshly baked scones. Clontarf Castle has links to the area since the 12th Century with it’s own Knights Templar connections but that’s a whole other story…..
For more information on Ireland’s Most Haunted Sites…..Fairview/Marino/Clontarf, contact Sandra@helloireland.com