The darker side of Edinburgh

Venture out in Edinburgh during the evening hours and you will more than likely run into one of the city’s ghost tours. These nocturnal adventures take visitors to the scariest parts of the city, from underground vaults, to local tombs and outdoor torture theatres. With so much history running through this majestic city, the bravery of the ghost guides is something to be admired. See if you can match it.

Greyfriars cemetery

Edinburgh’s Greyfriars cemetery is home to more stories than you could possibly imagine, and has even been featured on TV shows, including Scariest Places on Earth and Extreme Ghost Stories. These shows have focused on one of the graveyard’s scariest features: the ‘Black Mausoleum’ tomb. Now under lock and key, the tomb, which houses the remains of Sir George Mackenzie, has been the scene of a number of attacks, with tourists collapsing inside and reporting scratches and bites. Perhaps the most spine-tingling occurrence was in 2002, when exorcist Colin Grant feared that the powerful forces at work in the tomb could actually kill him. He died a few weeks later of a heart attack.

The Mercat Cross

As the scene of torture and brutality that would make even the strongest stomachs weak, the Mercat Cross is a regular stop on the the city’s renowned ghost tours. Local guides will tell you all about the murderous antics of the infamous ‘Edinburgh mob’, who viewed guts and gore as entertainment.

Blair Street Vaults

For those truly interested in the allure of paranormal activity, an overnight vigil in Edinburgh’s underground vaults is a must. Built in 1788, the city’s traders quickly left these vaults as damp set in, with local vagrants replacing them. They have been featured on a number of paranormal TV shows, including Ghost Adventures, with experts claiming to have experienced spiritual encounters.

The great city of Edinburgh takes on a whole new identity during the wee hours, and with the mesmerising Edinburgh Castle looking down on the haunted streets from its clifftop perch, who knows what could happen?

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