The Bleeding Horse

20 Nov

Each and every week day, while walking to class, I pass a pub on upper Camden Street. It stands in a big two story building with green awnings and a brick façade. This pub has become a favorite meeting spot for our group, and on many occasions, a few of our “study-abroaders” have participated in its open mic night. I am, of course, speaking of The Bleeding Horse, a well known and popular spot on the South side of Dublin.

While researching The Bleeding Horse’s history, I came across a book by Brian J. Showers called “The Bleeding Horse and Other Ghost Stories.” According to the book, during the Battle of Rathmines in 1649, an Irishman on horseback was shot and killed and the horse was severely wounded. The horse fled the battlegrounds and wandered through the streets of Dublin city in unbearable pain, looking for a place to peacefully lie down for a final time. The horse wandered all the way to St. Kevin’s Port (now Camden Street). The doors of a pub, not yet called The Bleeding Horse, were standing open to welcome patrons. During a busy afternoon, the horse stumbled into the pub, causing great commotion and creating lots of noise, attracting the attention of the patrons. The horse collapsed in the pub, died, and bled all over the floor of the pub, leaving a large stain. Legend says that the stain is still on the floor below the bar that currently sits on the first floor. Showers also reports that the owner of The Bleeding Horse believes that the  pub is haunted by the horse’s spirit—it is said that, after hours, loud noises and commotion can be heard from the front room, yet nothing is causing the ruckus.

The Bleeding Horse sits on an interesting area of land. Looking at a map of old Dublin, the pub would be situated between Charlotte Street and Camden Street. These streets have since disappeared due to renovations in the 1990s, and now a large hotel called The Camden Court Hotel sits on that intersection. The Bleeding Horse was opened in the 17th century and is featured in Joyce’s “Ulysses”.

“I saw him a few times in the Bleeding Horse in Camden street with Boylan the billsticker. You might put in a good word for us to get me taken on there.”


This Pub is one of my favorites and, after a bit more research, I like it even more now that I know some of The Bleeding Horse’s rich history!


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