Fright Night On Killarney Ghost Bus

I stopped and double checked he was talking to me, slightly surprised that I had been chosen as the protector.

I may have looked ok, but I was bricking it as much as anyone else as we made our way down the pitch dark pathway.

Our guide said, “I’m gonna need you to stand behind and protect these folks from the back, hold this torch and shine a light for us in front”.

What is he on about? Does he think I was born yesterday?

Why did he choose me? The person with the torch walking at the back of the crowd is always first to be picked off in the horror movies.
Of course the ghosts are going to take out the handsome guy with the torch first, that always happens!

How we ended up on this terrifying and humorous storytelling ghost tour.

It had been a long day, jam-packed full of adventures, my first time visiting County Kerry.
We had set off at 5 am that morning from home, to take a scenic rail tour excursion from Dublin to Killarney (the gateway to the ring of Kerry).

The Ring of Kerry trip was one we had been wanting to do for a while, 100 miles of spectacular scenery through mountains and the wild Atlantic coastline, finishing up through Killarney National Park.

The purpose of our trip was to explore more of Ireland, whilst also timing our visit to Kerry to coincide with the TBEX European travel media conference.

A relaxing few days spent exploring more new places, and learning new skills from the travel media experts for the new Fitness World Explorer site.

It was this conference, and Killarney’s hospitality as a town to the conference attendees, that lead us to the terrifying ghost bus trip.

After an incredible day tour around the ring and its spectacular scenery, we finished back at our hotel in Killarney.
It was then time for a quick change, jump into a taxi to Killarney town and pick up our registration for the conference starting the next day.

At registration, we were informed a variety of special welcoming activities were taking place in Killarney that night for all of the attendees, some of whom had travelled from as far as Australia, America, Africa, New Zealand, Finland, Malaysia, South Africa and Dublin.

Locally brewed craft beer sampling, whiskey tasting tours, classical music, traditional Irish music, storytelling, singing and dancing, food tasting, Guinness pouring tutorials and of course to finish the night in style….. the Ghost bus tour.

We had no idea these welcome activities would be taking place, but being stood in the pitch dark at Muckross Abbey was about to add a great surprise to the end of an incredible day.

It’s a good job we chose to attend the perfect pint of Guinness demonstrations beforehand, a small tipple to calm the nerves.

Anyway, that’s how we ended up on the ghost bus tour, I will continue with the story of our hair-raising experience.

All Aboard the Killarney Ghost Tour

The Ghost Bus was about to leave

All aboard or perhaps, quick they’re leaving without us!

After a long day, we had been dithering a bit, taking our time from the pint pouring demonstration and had stopped off for some water.

We ran down the street rushing to board the bus, it was already 9 pm and the ghost bus engines were firing up to leave.
I’m sure many people would run away at the thought of such a thing, but we were running towards it!

Last onto the bus we made our way through the thick smoke, weaving through the seats past skulls, skeletons, cobwebs and our fellow ghost hunters, to our two seats near the back.

Once we were uncomfortably settled surrounded by ghoulish decorations, the tour began.

First of all, a tall intimidating man entered the bus snarling, face covered, with what looked like a potato sack.

After he had paced up and down the bus aisle a few times he began to share some interesting true folklore stories about the local area, which peaked with a terrifying finish and many people jumping out of their seats.

Legendary stories, myths, and tales continued as the bus moved slowly through Killarney towards our stop off points.

Inside the Ghost Bus

First stop

Haunted Hotel Ruins & Lake

Once outside, our guide told us more ancient stories (no spoilers) also mentioning it had been an especially good few days for sighting orbs.
Orbs are potentially paranormal beings or potential dust particles or reflections that your camera picks up.

Anyway, even though the tour doesn’t try and convince you ghosts do or don’t exist, we were told the last two days had the highest amount of Orb sightings for a while.
Orbs do exist, but what they are is debatable from what he said, then all of a sudden just as he was midway through another spooky tale, somebody shouted “What was that? A light, look!”

When we all turned to look I also got the glimpse of a light which quickly disappeared into what had been pitch black, it re-appeared and came towards us….aaaaaaaargh
Was it a ghost sighting? Or these mysterious lights he had told us about in the story?

I saw it, maybe because I was slightly tired my mind was playing tricks on me?, maybe it was the pint of Guinness made extra strong for County Kerry? or maybe it was because my single day use contact lenses had been in since 5 am?

It turned out to be a flash of a car’s headlights driving up the road and around a corner in the distance. It was heading towards us, towards the hotel at the end of the road, as we stood on a narrow road looking into the lake.

Our guides confirmed it was a car, we were told to keep in and off of the road by the lads.
It was perfect timing with the story being told, very true and very funny, we were quickly reassured they didn’t have the budget for special effects and it was indeed a car coming towards us.

It was at this point I knew they cared, and wanted to keep us safe, they ushered us away from the phantom ghost car, they didn’t really want us to get picked off one by one by the local ghosts, chased or slimed in ectoplasm.

So I didn’t see any other mysterious lights, Orbs, or ghostly spirits myself but I did see some fantastic lights and spectacular views above in the night sky.

The stars that night were incredible! It was a crisp autumn night at the start of October. I would have been just as pleased with the result if it was an organised stargazing tour.

After this quick visit, some fresh Irish air, a small fright, lots of laughter and some star gazing it was back on the ghost bus.

Second Stop

Muckross Abbey

Following on from some more friendly frights the bus shuddered to a stop once more and we were greeted by our guide who told us we were at Muckross Abbey.

We were asked to remain in our seats to listen to yet another spine-tingling story that I can’t share because I would be revealing too much.

As everyone clambered off the bus, I used my girlfriend Sade in front of me as a shield from anything that might jump out., As we got closer to the front of the bus she let out an almighty scream (and a few other expletives).

The hype of the storytelling had everyone on edge in a fun way, but some kind of creature had grabbed her ankle.

I thought only two guides were accompanying us, how could one of them have grabbed her ankle? And then made it back outside to greet us off the bus so quickly? We will never know but it was very entertaining for me!

Once in the grounds of Muckross Abbey, we began a walk in the dark towards the actual Abbey.
I was at the back of the group. I was still trying to work out how they did the ankle grabbing trick as I looked back at the bus.

People started to get a little spooked when we entered the grounds and made our way down a long dark road only lit by the moon, stars and the torch of the guide.

It was at this point he kindly requested my assistance.

Our guide said, “I’m gonna need you to stand behind and protect these folks from the back, hold this torch and shine a light for us in front”.

What was he on about? Does he think I was born yesterday?

Why did he choose me? The person with the torch walking at the back of the crowd is always first to be picked off in the horror movies.

Of course the ghosts are going to take out the handsome guy with the torch first, that always happens!

I pondered for a while on what tricks could be involved with this request.

Our guide looked at me with the steely look of a man who has seen things in life.
What he’d seen I’m not sure, but I knew he had seen things by that steely look I had only ever read about.

“Well”? he said, then it dawned on me, of course, he had chosen me for a reason, he could tell I had Celtic blood, by the way he looked at me, he knew I was the protector!

If I didn’t protect them from the local ghosts news would travel fast, possibly having a negative effect, this was the wrong crowd to scare in Ireland.

If this group got spooked the whole world would know about it fast: award-winning travel authors, travel writers, journalists, tv and radio presenters, bloggers, YouTubers, champion snap chatters, Instagrammers, Twitter would probably crash!

All of these thoughts went through my head in a split second and before I knew it I had bravely snatched the torch from our guide, and smiled.

I was doing this for Ireland, I was doing this for the future of Irish tourism. After living here for 8 years I love this country and it’s people, they haven’t needed me for the Irish Rugby or football team (yet), but this was my calling. Please hold the torch and guide us.

Anyway… I agreed for the protection of my fellow travel writing friends and moved the torch around frequently at their instruction, checking if someone or something was following us down the long dark road.

If it wasn’t already creepy enough, our guide decided it was the perfect time to stop and increase our adrenaline levels a little further with another of his expertly told true stories.
Torches were turned off and we gathered in our small group.

If I had to guess, which I am, I would say the guys guiding us on the tour had an academic background in history, combined with studies and experience in professional drama.
His acting skills were certainly more Colin Farrell or Daniel Day-Lewis Hollywood blockbuster, than Fair City.
They may even be failed Hollywood actors?

Excellent stuff, their storytelling skills kept the group on edge throughout!


A mysterious light appeared in the corner of the dark ancient room, with the flick of a switch it was gone. What was it? We will never know.

We slowly walked through the grounds of the Abbey. As we entered each area more long drawn out stories were told to put the shivers up the group and build anticipation.

We had been through a few derelict rooms stopping to hear our guide’s ghost stories and ended in one very dark enclosed room. We switched off all lights and stood against the wall.

Aaaaaaaaagh, within 20 seconds all lights were back on after a scream filled the dark freezing room.
Eyes darted around the room and all ended up on one chap who thought it would be funny to tickle somebodies ear with a stick when the torches went off.
As I looked around the room and saw people’s reactions I quickly realised this was just for his own amusement, *silly man, said a few of the group.
(*not exact description used)

Our group was re-assured by our trusted guide that all was ok and they settled down, which was all the more amusing to me because this was the guide who had been trying to scare us all evening.

As we briskly walked back to the ghost bus, it was another opportunity to admire the stunning night sky lighting up the National park.

Ghostbusters

The tour was all done professionally, in good humour, with captivating storytelling throughout. An enjoyable experience.

The scary ghosts bit is not to everybody’s taste, but I’m guessing you wouldn’t sign up to a ghost bus tour if it was something you are very sensitive about.

Killarney ghost bus will definitely get the heart rate up, it looked as good as a workout for some of the group.
Enjoy the historical sites, beautiful scenery, folklore, myths and legends. It’s a great way to spend the evening.

Whether you are visiting Killarney from Dublin like us, or further afield locations like Australia, America, Africa, New Zealand, Finland, Malaysia, South Africa like our ghostbusting ghost bus gang that night, be sure to add this trip to your list.

That night in the hotel, I checked the wardrobe and under the bed (twice), ha, ha!

I haven’t given too much away about the specifics of what happens., this was your trailer.

Go and experience the full scary movie!!!!!!

The Ghostbusters

About the author
Lee Murrin
The Personal Trainer and Worldwide Traveller behind Fitness World Explorer.
He has worked in his passion as a Personal Trainer and coach for 16 years.His travels have taken him worldwide to 78 different countries on many adventures.
lee@fitnessworldexplorer.com