Welcome to the Ghostly Fictions website.

Ghost stories remain an essential part of the Irish storytelling tradition. They tell of the weight of the past on the present, of the fears and desires of their writers and readers. Women writers have produced some of the most interesting and enduring Irish ghost stories. As the critic Catherine Belsey has noted, “Traditionally, it was women who spun their yarns at winter firesides, holding their audiences rapt. The sources are constant and all-but unanimous in attributing ghost stories to women.” *

This website gives the modern reader an introduction to some of these tales. It showcases a small sample of nineteenth century ghost stories by Charlotte Riddell (1832-1906) and Rosa Mulholland (1841-1921) and further resources on the early twentieth-century gothic writing of Dorothy Macardle (1889-1958). Its aim is to further promote engagement with the ghostly fictions of these three important Irish writers.

Funding: This project is generously funded by an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship Award to Dr. Maria Mulvany in the School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin.

*Belsey, Catherine. Tales of the Troubled Dead: Ghost Stories in Cultural History. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2019. P. 115

Rosa Mulholland

(1841 – 1921)

Dorothy Macardle

(1889 – 1958)

Charlotte Riddell

(1832 – 1906)


Explore additional links to resources and work by Mulholland, Riddell and Macardle below. Please get in touch with any suggestions for peer-reviewed resources or scholarship on these writers.

Resource Images: Image of Dorothy Macardle reproduced by kind permission of UCD-OFM Partnership (© University College Dublin, National University of Ireland, P150/PH/3664/5)