Disturbing photos show the haunted secret rooms of the Cork City pub as staff speak of a ghost soldier who lives there

This Leeside pub is one of the oldest in town – but their regulars might not know that the place is actually haunted. Staff have reported sightings of ghosts lurking, usually at night when the doors are locked and the place is closed.

The Oval bar opened in 1918 when the Spanish Flu was raging, but the building itself has been around for nearly 200 years. It was old apartments – and a family lived above it before it was abandoned in the 1940s.

Manager Oisin explained how the top floor can be unsettling and feel a little weird.

He told CorkBeo: ‘There is no light on the top floor – and we keep our stock on the second floor.

He added that their resident ghost is friendly, which is a relief, and former workers agreed that it can be playful.

The Oval Bar on Tuckey Street

The pub pays an ode to a traditional Irish pub from the early days, with a fireplace and small cubes surrounding the bar. It gives a feeling of wholesome comfort – however, it’s when you’re climbing the stairs that things go awry.

We went up to the first floor, where the toilets are, to the second – which is hidden behind a door. Each time we climbed we could feel the air getting colder and colder – even though the sun was shining and the wind was lacking outside.

Oisin guided us to where they keep their stock – it was not somewhere you would want to be after daylight. We continued and progressed. That’s when we felt a cold breeze but also dead silence.

The reserve on the first floor
The reserve on the first floor

We were shown the old rooms which have not been touched since the family moved. Recently however, they found secret doors that led to small chambers with fireplaces.

There were tattered shoes, pictures and clothes through the hidden door – and the wallpaper looked moldy and burnt. That’s when we ran for the stairs in fear.

The secret bedroom door
The secret bedroom door

It was weird, and former workers shared their experiences with hauntings.

One said: “We were locked in – the door locked – and there were only three of us in the building. One was in the office, the other in the storeroom upstairs, and I was near the landing near the toilets.

“I heard a noise – and I looked down the stairs, but no one was there. The next thing I see is a person running towards a locked door. I opened the door, and he there was no one.”

Another person remembered a story that a friend of his had told him.

“The pub was locked – she was sitting outside waiting for the other person – who was in the office. She then heard someone say hello, three times before someone walked directly past her face. She was really scared and ran all the way upstairs and wouldn’t come down until the other person finished.”

Many said that the one they see regularly is a soldier. He appears in the middle of the bar, in uniform with a gun, walks towards the fireplace – sits on a sofa before disappearing.

It is believed that there is more than one ghost in the building and they want to alert of their presence.

It certainly scared a few of us off, but it doesn’t seem to terrify many regulars or people who would like to visit the pub.

Maybe it’s something you’d like to see for yourself – if the pictures don’t do it justice and you’d like to actually feel the haunting presence in the building. So don’t go in during the day – but wait until night time to maybe see the soldier or the other mysterious things going on there.

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