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Edinburgh’s Most Haunted


Edinburgh is known to have a colourful history but much of that is still believed to haunt its street and buildings. We’ve been taking a look at some of the scariest of all.

So, whether you are looking to seek out some ghosts or ghouls, or simply avoid them all together, here is some of Edinburgh Most Haunted…

The Edinburgh Vaults

In the 18th century, Edinburgh was a place experiences a huge grown in popularity and as such, a shortage of space. To help accommodate the growth, two bridges were built to extend access around the city and both bridges still stand tall today – North Bridge and South Bridge. It is South Bridge that had its arches enclosed around by Tenement flats and within the enclosed arches the Edinburgh vaults were born. Initially a place for commercial use, their poor conditions (damp, unsanitary, no daylight etc) meant that businesses soon fled the vaults and in their place, they became an area that bred unsavoury activities such as brothels, alcoholism and homelessness. It’s also said to be where the infamous Burke & Hare would search for victims and store those they had already obtained. Those who visit the vaults often report hearing voices and feeling a cold presence all around.

Greyfriars Kirkyard

Perhaps best known as the place that homed a loyal little dog called Bobby, the Greyfriars Kirkyard has a reputation of being a pretty spooky place. From the ghost of Bobby being spotted & heard, to the poltergeist of George McKenzie, a barrister who sent hundreds of Covenanters to nasty deaths in the Covenanters Prison within Greyfriars Kirk in the 17th Century. Mackenzie was buried at Greyfriars Kirkyard following his death in 1691 in a mausoleum which still stands today, just around from the Covenanters Prison. It’s said that people who visit with the Covenanters Prison can feel a strange sensation or be physically attacked – some believe it’s McKenzie showing his dissatisfaction at being laid to rest so near to where he had hundreds killed, or that it’s the prisoners that were left there lashing out.

Mary Kings Close

A place that hides the dark past of Edinburgh. Mary Kings Close is a series of streets which are buried beneath Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. What was once a real, fully functioning area of historical Edinburgh, existed in the ideal place for building the Royal Exchange. As opposed to knocking it down and rebuilding in its place, the buildings of Mary Kings Close were instead used as the foundations and buried underground. Now a popular tourist attraction, The Real Mary Kings Close is accessible for tours, with areas set up as they would have been in a plague-ridden Edinburgh of the 17th century. Despite now being a tourist attraction, Mary Kings Close still maintains its reputation of being haunted. The most well-known story perhaps being that of the little girl who still resides there. It is said she is upset and often heard crying, due to the loss of her Dolly. Visitors to the Close often leave toys as a way to please her and upon visiting you will find a shrine of toys people have left behind in the room where she is said to be.

Edinburgh Castle

It’s really no surprise that a place that has stood tall for many hundreds of years would have a reputation of being haunted. Edinburgh Castle has areas which date as far back as 900 years and as such, the collection of ghosts and ghouls it houses is quite varied. From prisoners to pipers and the many witches that were burned at the stake on the grounds, Edinburgh castles colourful history certainly lends itself well to being a place of eternal unrest. Many people have taken to studying what has been named one of Scotland’s most haunted places and most have found some form of unusual activity, form seeing shadowy figures, feelings of being watch, sudden drops in temperature and a sensation of being touched.

So if you are looking to be spooked this Halloween, Edinburgh is definitely a good place to be. Many of these places are only accessible by tours, either on site or one of Edinburgh’s many ghost tours, so be sure to book as opposed to just turning up in look of a scare.

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