White Lady of Kinsale


White Lady of Kinsale

​This paranormal report comes from the harbor in Kinsale in Charlesfort, Ireland. The legend of White Lady of Kinsale is one of the most famous yet tragic Irish ghost reports on record…

The Fortress

Charlesfort was a fortress built during the reign of Charles II between 1677 and 1682. It was positioned strategically so that it could defend the mainland from enemies arriving on the sea.

A designer named William Robinson is thought to have drawn up the plans for the fort. He was the man behind the design of the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham in Dublin.

The Legend

Irish legend tells us that one of the fort’s soldiers fell in love and married a local girl. The pair of them were given the gift of staying in the fort on their wedding night.

They spent the night celebrating their wedding and consuming huge amounts of alcohol. The next day the soldier had to take up a lookout post on watch duty.

Charles Fort, Kinsale, The Married Quarters
Charles Fort, Kinsale, The Married Quarters

He was a terrible mess from the night before – he had managed very little sleep and the alcohol was still running through his bloodstream. Within moments of taking up his post he fell soundly asleep.

Unfortunately for him, other soldiers in the fort found him asleep while on duty. The protocol in those days was very strict for such actions – he was shot as he slept for neglecting his watch!

When his new wife heard about his fate she was overcome with grief and shock. She made a mad dash for the fortress walls and flung herself into the dark sea below.

The White Lady of Kinsale

A few years after the demise of the soldier and his wife the White Lady of Kinsale started to put in an appearance.

For some reason she mainly concentrated on appearing in front of children in the fortress grounds. Two soldiers were packing up military equipment when one of their daughters asked who the lady standing in front of them was.

The soldiers looked up but could see nobody near them – they asked the young girl what she was going on about. The daughter replied that there was a woman in white standing not more than a couple of meters away smiling at her.

Another report happened in the fortress medical bay when a nurse walked into a ward and was shocked to see the White Lady standing there. She was looking over the bed of an injured child as if she was protecting them.

Charles Fort - Kinsale - Battery and Governor's House
Charles Fort, The Battery and Governor’s House

But the White Lady seems to have remembered what the military had done to her late husband – she is not always a friendly entity.

Over the years many high ranking captains at the fortress have been injured due to an unseen force throwing them down the stairs. They all claim that the White Lady was the culprit for their rather violent injuries.

Charlesfort was in military use for many years up until 1922 then it was left to near enough ruins. There are still many reports of the White Lady walking the ruined castle walls searching for the high ranking soldiers who ordered her husband’s execution.

She is also known to now roam the streets of nearby Kinsale where she lived as a teenage girl.

In 1973 the fortress was declared an Irish National Monument due to the part it had played in the Irish history over the years. There are now regular daily tours through it’s ruins.

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the ghost of the White Lady please leave them in the comment section below.

27 comments on “White Lady of Kinsale

  1. thank you for writing about this, it’s really interesting to learn about something I knew nothing about before. Keep it up!

    1. Hi Nic!
      Glad you enjoyed the article mate 🙂
      It’s always nice to hear from someone who enjoys our work on this site – feel free to stop by anytime!!!

  2. Hi Chris,
    What an interesting story this is. I will be honest, I am not entirely sure of my belief in ghosts since I have never personally seen one. I am open to the possibility though.
    I wonder has there been many sightings at the fort now that it is more of a tourist attraction. I for one would be quite interested in taking a peek!
    Thank you for sharing this bit of history.

    1. Hi Angela,
      Yes I believe there are sightings of the White Lady around the fort all the time. A lot is probably down to urban myth/legend but the reports are still made all the same!
      Thanks for visiting and leaving your opinion – hope to see you here again soon 🙂

  3. What a crazy story! I have a bunch of friends that love this kind of lore, will definitely be sharing! Thank you!

  4. Nice article to read. The reported appearance of the White Lady within the vicinity shows that she wants justice for the death of her husband. I heard from our late grandparents before that a ghost like this White Lady appearing somewhere relates to an accident or an injustice acts done that this ghost continues to show up until a mass is offered for the soul of that person.

    1. Hi Fernando,
      Glad you enjoyed the piece. Your grandparents sound like they really know their paranormal stuff! Thanks for stopping by and adding this to the conversation – great comment 🙂

  5. Hi

    A very interesting article! I am a big fan of unsolved mysteries like this. While I think that there is a logical explanation for everything (i.e I don’t think ghosts exist), I truly enjoy these backstories on hauntings as they can sometimes be hard to explain away!



    1. Hi Anthony,
      Glad you enjoyed the article so much. Don’t worry about being a non-believer – we’re all entitled to our own opinions 🙂

  6. That’s an interesting story, and what a tragedy!

    I wonder why the white lady only appears to children, perhaps she was hoping to start a new family since she just got married?

    Spooky that she also throws people down the stairs though, what a feisty spirit.

    I love a good ghost story so I’m glad I came across your site.

    1. I was also taken by the way she only appears to children – that’s a good theory, maybe she was interested in starting up a family as soon as she got married!!!!

  7. What a sad story!
    Pretty harsh to kill someone just for falling asleep – I’d be dead 100 times over! … hahaha

    I love these stories you come up with.
    There are quite a few “haunted” places in New England too! (where I live)

    I imagine there are a lot of ghostly places in Ireland?


    1. Hello again Joanne, nice to see you back here so soon 🙂
      Yeah it is quite a sad story but in those days there were no second chances in the military! There are many haunted Irish locations and we’ve covered a few of them here on the site ( However I’m not Irish – I’m Welsh! )

      1. Hi chris….my wife and i are planning on moving to ireland in the near future….to sligo in perticular.were definatley going to add this tour to our bucket list.

  8. Thanks so much for sharing this story! The website is also amazing. This is the EXACTLY what I need for my school project research! 😊 Thanks again!!!

    1. Hi Rebecca, nice to meet you 🙂
      Feel free to use us as a reference for your schoolwork whenever you need to! If you need help with anything use the contact form ( on the top navbar of the site ) to get hold of me. Good luck with your project 🙂

  9. This is an amazing story! Thanks! Indeed, tragic, kind, and revengeful, this ghost has all the makings of a perfect character in a movie or book. Incredible that they would shoot the poor solider just because he was drunk, and after his wedding night to boot! What bad luck.

  10. This was an interesting topic that I really love to read. I usually have fear about ghost but that doesn’t stop me from seeing movies or reading stories related to ghost. So i really look forward for more such ghost stories from you in the coming days. I really want to go in person to such places like the fortress mentioned in this story.

  11. Hi Chris, I guess I understand the White Lady’s behavior..she holds the grudge towards military and other high ranking officers because they were the one who killed her husband. But she’s ok with everybody else.. I have to tell you your writing is very captivating..I felt goosebumps and chills going down my spine several times!

  12. Great site but PLEASE, learn the difference between its and it’s. The constant misuse of it’s is appalling. If you fancy yourself a writer, then learn BASIC English.

    1. This made me laugh – you’re commenting on the most successful Mysteries-related website online…and you’re the grammar police! I never claimed to be Shakespeare 🙂
      I don’t fancy myself a writer…although I am an extremely successful blogger (as you can see!). There will be grammar mistakes everywhere on my network of sites – you are the only one that has complained so far!
      P.S. Comments are the key to websites ranking so well – the comment you just left me has actually pushed this bad grammar article up to second position in Google’s results (nice one!)

  13. Hi Chris,

    Great way to make a negative into a positive. I’ve found a few articles a bit hard to read, as I’m a bit of a grammar/spelling police kind of person myself. I won’t let it stop me enjoying the site content though. I’d be happy to proof read or edit some files if you’d like the help.


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