All aboard the Dublin GhostBus Tour – if you dare!!

By Niamh Byrne

With Halloween creeping in and the evenings getting darker, I find myself looking to do some spooky things in my spare time for fun with some friends. As a lover of Halloween it has always been tradition in my house to put up the Halloween decorations on the first of October to get the ball rolling. However this year I started early as I came across Dublin’s original GhostBus Tour doing night shifts around some of Dublin’s spookiest places and thought, sure it’s never too early to start getting excited for Halloween.

Back in 1995 Dan O’Donohue created and scripted Dublin’s first GhostBus Tour for Dublin Bus. This is a double decker bus containing a specifically designed mobile ghost theatre on the upper deck, with a museum of all things macabre on the lower deck (also containing a spooky corridor!) Back then there were already ghost bus tours existing internationally, however, the buses were not exclusively designed as haunted houses on wheels and didn’t include storytelling and drama! Dan who lives and works in Co. Mayo, reinvented the concept. He now collects and relives local ghost stories by performing them around his local Mayo.  

To start the tour off the bus driver, who’s also part of the experience, lets you on in pairs. When you pass behind the heavy curtain at the front of the bus you find yourself in pitch darkness, you literally can’t see a hand in front of you! Something startling happens before you go through another curtain to get upstairs where the tour officially begins. But you’ll have to do the tour to find out what it is!

The bus is decorated with old fashioned curtains and a lamp on one of the tables making it feel like you’re not in this century. However, you can peel back the curtains and peep out the windows if you wish. The tour guide stands on a platform in the middle of the bus telling ghost stories that are true Irish legends, while playing Halloween type music, including Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ which makes it feel extra spooky and adds more fun! She got people from all different parts of the world laughing and mixing together and made the experience come alive.

Passing well known Irish landmarks such as Trinity College, she regales us with stories of past students who partied a little too hard, and about an angry member of staff who tried to stop them and ended up getting murdered! At the bus pit stop we learn that his ghost has been sighted and still roams the College to the present day.  Stopping at what used to be a grave near Dublin Castle, we were brought into what is now a park, but which still has ancient headstones dating back to the 1800’s. Next into a locked part of the grounds where we came upon an open coffin. At this stage those dare-devils on the tour who wanted to push their luck were offered a chance to get into the coffin, with the tour guide joking “it’ll be the only time you’ll get in a coffin and be able to walk back out!” 

The GhostBus Tour experience is the perfect night out for everyone who enjoys a thrill. Although not suitable for under 14’s because of its irreverent humour, it’s perfect for adults, even those who are scared of their own shadow! The tour was very interactive with many more hair-raising moments and spooky stories combined with fun and great laughs that shouldn’t be missed.  

The Dublin GhostBus Tour departs from the Dublin Bus Headquarters, 59 Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin 1. at 19.00 and 21.30. The tour takes approximately two hours. People are advised to arrive 15 minutes before departure.  

To apply online, go to Dublin GhostBus Tour where you can enjoy a special discount by adding the code newsfourghost
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