We’ve featured a pretty wide range of job titles in our blog so far – honeymoon tester, garden designer, bartender, photographer – but I think we’ve found one of the most original by far.
Meet Declan Mills – Ghost Guide on the Ghostbus, a revamped double-decker that’s been haunting the streets of Dublin for over 10 years!
He’s agreed to talk to me about it before we come up to the spookiest event on Ireland’s calendar year: Halloween. The cynic in me has to immediately ask him, does anyone ever actually see anything on these tours?
“People do see things. Now. I’m not saying that ghosts come out in a conga line, but people have told us they’ve seen and felt things. The Lady in White at St. Patrick’s Cathedral has made a few people jump!”
The Lady in White?
‘The Lady in White was the wife of a wealthy Dublin businessman. She was taken from her home one day and buried alive. While she was in the tomb passers by heard her yelling and rescued her, but when she was returned to her husband he wanted nothing to do with her. He eventually died penniless before her and now she roams St Patrick’s graveyard looking for him…”
Since Declan has been doing the tour for three years, has he personally had any close encounters?
“I have actually, once. It happened about six months into the job. I had just given a little speech on the altar of a medieval church about a female ghost who’s said to live there. She was a lady of the night who worked the Wexford Street area and met a rather grizzly end on the church grounds. I was walking out of the church behind the group when I saw a flicker out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head and on the wall right beside me was a perfect profile of a woman in a ragged period dress wearing this strange hat. That freaked me out.”
Out of all the graveyards, churches and monasteries he’s visited, has he a favourite (if that’s the right word)?
“For its fear factor, I’d have to say St Kevin’s Graveyard on Camden Row. That’s where Bishop Dermot Hurley was tortured and hanged during the Reformation. With everyone packed into the tiny room where it all happened, it’s easy to get a little jittery.”
Jittery might be a bit of an understatement but compared to the next stop it’s pretty low-key. St Audeons is a functioning medieval church and dates back to the 12th century.
“Yeah, St Audeons has set the scene for some pretty grizzly dealings. Witch burnings, leper colonies and the dirty dealings of a certain Buck Whaley – a very dangerous man and head of the Hellfire Club in the Dublin mountains.”
With that lovely image of bad old Buck firmly fixed in my mind, Declan saunters off to spook out yet another group of visitors, while I’m left alone…to walk home…in the dark.
Happy Halloween, everyone!
Fancy a tour on Dublin’s Ghost Bus?
Halloween events? We’ve got plenty.