The Hell Fire Club is the common name given to the ruined building on top of Montpelier Hill in County Dublin. In the 1700s it was home to the Irish Hell Fire Club however after numerous reports of paranormal activity and haunted goings-on, the group relocated away from the lodge and it was left abandoned. Today it remains accessible to the public and is maintained by the Irish forestry board Coillte.
The building was constructed in 1725 as a hunting lodge by William Connolly who was the speaker of the Irish parliament. The lodge was quite luxurious with a hall and reception rooms on the first floor and this is where the entrance was, reached by stairs which are now missing. The servants quarters and kitchens were on the ground floor.
The Irish Hell Fire Club was founded in the late 1730s and not much is known about the secret organisation however it certainly included many wealthy and important men amongst its membership. The Hell Fire Club disbanded in the 1760s and the building fell into disrepair.
The building has been the subject of urban legends and ghost stories for hundreds of years. One such tale recalls the visit from the Devil himself. What’s interesting is that there is a similar story to the one told about Loftus Hall in Wexford and coincidentally, the Loftus family also owned the nearby Dolly Mount. The story suggests the devil appeared during a game of cards and upon being discovered, rose up through a hole in the ceiling.
Today the building is open to the public and maintained by the Irish forestry service Coillte. It remains a favourite for the country’s urban explorers and those interested in ghosts and the paranormal.
The following extract about ghosts at the Hell Fire club is from the site of a company offering tours to the building which can be booked here – http://www.hellfireclubdublin.com
The area around The Hellfire Club is one of the most notorious haunted locations in Ireland. There are many ghosts in the building, one of whom likes to tug at jewellery worn around the neck, in particular religious symbols, such as crucifixes. Several people on Dublin walking tours have reported their necklaces being pulled by invisible hands, and in one case the chain was actually broken.
The ghost of a woman screaming in anguish has also been reported. It is believed that she was murdered by being trapped in a barrel, which was then set alight and rolled down the hill by the laughing young aristocrats who frequented the club.
Famously, The Hellfire Club and nearby Killakee House are said to be haunted by the spirit of a young man, a dwarf, who was brutally murdered in the Eighteenth century, during a ritual at The Hellfire Club. In 1971, the body of a dwarf was found buried under the kitchen of Killakee House. It is no surprise that this poor soul is unable to rest in peace – his killers buried his body with a grotesque effigy of a demon.
The infamous Black Cat of Killakee has also been known to stalk the area. This is not the spirit of a cat, but rather a terrifying elemental spirit, the size of a Dalmatian. Those who have encountered it report that it is capable of speech, and has a face that can only be described as disturbingly humanoid…
And of course, the best known supernatural visitor to The Hellfire Club is none other than The Devil himself. He is said to have appeared during a card game, and vanished when a man spotted that he had cloven hooves instead of feet. The Hellfire Club burned down in 1740, and is now a mere shell. Could it be that Satan himself had a hand in this? What we know for sure is that the old hunting lodge still smells of brimstone, leading some to suggest that perhaps he still makes an occasional appearance…!
Location: Dublin, Ireland