The infamous Hellfire Club building was built in 1725 by William Connolly, speaker of the Irish parliament in Dublin, Ireland. He chose a site on Montpelier Hill in the Dublin Mountains, with a spectacular view over the city, which is still enjoyed by hill-walkers and hikers today. The building was supposed to be a hunting lodge, but it soon took on a more sinister role as a base for the Dublin branch of The Hellfire Club – an association of young aristocrats dedicated to a life of debauchery.
The building was cursed from the start, having been built on the site of an ancient Stone Age burial cairn – rocks from the cairn were allegedly used in the construction of The Hellfire Club building. It seems that this desecration has truly damned the place; even people living in modern housing estates at the foot of the mountains report an unusually high level of paranormal activity in their houses.
The members of The Hellfire Club used the lodge for holding black masses, and it is believed that both animal and human sacrifices took place there. In particular, they were known to sacrifice cats. Legend has it that the Devil himself visited his loyal followers in this building, and even today many visitors are troubled by an odd smell of brimstone.
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…!