Haunting in The Shelbourne Hotel

Four days after Halloween, my boyfriend Shane and I stayed in The Shelbourne Hotel. We were going to see WWE in the 3Arena that night so he decided to surprise me by booking a five-star hotel for the night. The hotel is a landmark in Dublin. It’s known for being the location where the Irish Constitution was first drafted and having some very famous guests including Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor, John Wayne, JFK, Keith Richards, Charlize Theron and now us – I’m kidding, I swear. The Shelbourne has been around since 1824 so  it’s bound to have some stories.

When we went to check in we knew we felt very out of place. It goes without saying that it’s by far the fanciest place I have ever stayed in. I felt like I was inside the Titanic with its late 19th Century decor. When we were in line to check in we were behind Shane Filan from Westlife who was checking out so we knew that we were slightly out of our depth.

We were staying in room 373, a Queen room with a painting of Charlie Chaplin on the wall. I’m still not sure if that meant that that was the room that he stayed in when he was there, but I’m going to say that it was. Since it was an old-fashioned hotel we kept saying things like, “haha, bet it’s haunted“. Our stay there was great – the staff were more than lovely and we had no complaints about the room we were staying in. That was up until the early hours of the next morning.

Our room The Shelbourne Hotel - No. 373 - Along with the painting of Charlie Chaplin
Our room The Shelbourne Hotel – No. 373 – Along with the painting of Charlie Chaplin

It was about 6:50am when the first incident happened. Shane and I were fast asleep having just seen Seth Rollins injuring his knee in the ring the night before which would lead to him having to vacate his WWE title. We had no problems with anything in the hotel up to this point. However, before going to sleep, we were both a bit unsettled about the hotel room at night. Neither of us really said anything to each other but we both knew that we were both a little freaked out and we weren’t really sure why. The only thing we said to each other at that point was, “let’s leave the bathroom light on“.

Just for context, Shane and I recently got back from a week long stay in Berlin where every morning the housekeeper would knock on our door and say “housekeeping?” long before we were ready to wake up. She had a tiny, high-pitched voice which made her almost sound like a child. So when I heard a tiny little voice and a knock on the door of our room in The Shelbourne that morning, I woke up thinking that I was still in Berlin. I’m not entirely sure what the voice said but at that point I just assumed she said “housekeeping?” so I said “no, sorry” while still half asleep.

Whoever it was kept knocking and kept saying something in a little voice which I couldn’t hear properly. The only thing that I could really make out was that she was saying a lot of words starting with an ‘S‘. I also think that I heard her ask for someone, which made me think that she was looking for someone but it was very hard to make out what she was saying. At this point, I decided to wake up Shane because I had to idea what to do. Of course it took longer than usual for him to wake up and during this entire time the person kept knocking on the door. It seemed like it was going on forever. Eventually he woke up and having heard the person knocking and saying something, he walked over to the door and said “hello?“. The person behind the tiny little voice then said something that we both think sounded like “okay, sorry” and left. Our door had a peep hole but we didn’t think of looking through it at the time and now I’m glad we didn’t. At that point I didn’t realise what time it was and still thought it was housekeeping so I thought nothing of it and went back to sleep.

Ten minutes later at 7:00am, the phone started ringing. Since one of the phones was on Shane’s bedside table he answered it and said “hello?” but there was no one on the other line. We assumed that we were accidentally put on the wake up call list even though we asked for no wake up call. We tried to go back to sleep for the second time but we barely got a chance to as just ten minutes later the phone rang again. Again, Shane answered the phone but there was no sound coming from the other side.

At this point we were just getting really annoyed. I suggested that we ring reception and ask them to take us off the wake up call list but Shane was so annoyed that we wanted to go down and say it to them. So we did. They checked the list and confirmed that we weren’t on it. They asked if we knew anyone else in the hotel who may be trying to contact us but we didn’t. They obviously couldn’t do anything to help us so we just went back to bed.

We managed to sleep until 9am and after some struggle I eventually rolled out of bed half an hour later to go to breakfast. After completely raiding the buffet we went back to the room about an hour later. Of course, for the third time, the phone rang. The same thing happened again – Shane answered the phone, said “hello?” and there was no answer. We weren’t really sure what was happening. Surely if someone was looking to contact someone in a room near us they would have realised after the first phone call that it wasn’t us or they would have at least said something. Even if they were trying to prank us, surely they would have said something on the phone. We didn’t know if it was the same person who was knocking at the door earlier and we still weren’t really sure what that person was saying.

We checked out soon after and being the paranoid person that I am, while on the way home I decided to google if The Shelbourne was haunted. It was the only answer that made sense of the whole situation and unsurprisingly, it supposedly is.

The story is that a seven year old girl called Mary Masters haunts the hotel. She used to live in one of the buildings which The Shelbourne was built over. She died from a cholera outbreak in 1791. She’s usually seen or heard on the sixth floor and the basement. Even though we were on the third floor, it still made sense of the tiny child-like voice at the other side of the door. There has been numerous reports of Mary haunting guests of the hotel, including actress Lily Collins in 2013 – she described the haunting while on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. She described hearing the little girl “giggling” and she hearing fire doors slamming. There have also been reports of guests hearing Mary crying during the night*.

That’s not what scared me the most. While researching Mary Masters I found out that she had an older sister named Sophie and there have been reports of Mary asking for Sophie. This is of course very creepy since my name is Sophie and I kept hearing her say a lot of words starting with an ‘S‘.

Of course this could all be coincidental, or it might not be. I know that Shane was very freaked out by all of this when it was happening but once I found out about Mary Masters he started denying it all. It could have been someone trying to mess with us but the story seems to fit. It could have been Mary Masters haunting The Shelbourne, but who knows?

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