Friday 21 October 2016

Haunted houses to come alive with jobs

Malahide Castle, Co Dublin
Malahide Castle, Co Dublin

IRELAND'S age-old addiction to a good fright has led to an economic boom for haunted houses and castles nationwide.

Almost 1,000 jobs will be created this month as Irish fright fans flock to a host of Halloween attractions ranging from US-style themed spook shows to tours of Ireland's most haunted houses.

Loftus Hall in Wexford, famed as the country's most haunted building, attracts more than 40,000 people each year.

Its permanent workforce of four will expand to 35 this month to cater for the flood of "spook tourists".

"The reaction has been absolutely incredible," said a Loftus Hall spokesman.

"We will run an average of eight tours a day and this year we will have catered for around 40,000 visitors."

Legend has it that Loftus Hall was visited by the Devil in the guise of a shipwrecked young man in the 1770s.

Other haunted properties now cashing in on Ireland's obsession with the super- natural include Malahide Castle (above), Renvyle House, Kilmainham Gaol, Charles Fort and Charleville Castle.

Cork Gaol, also reputedly haunted, will be the focus of the 15th World Ghost Festival on October 30.

An American-style attraction, the Nightmare Realm "fright house" in Cork, will create 60 jobs and expects to see 40,000 visitors in the run-up to Halloween.

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