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Spooky Edinburgh

Destination(s): Edinburgh

Known as one of the most haunted cities in Europe, Edinburgh's haunted taverns, frightening closes and mysterious history will give you chills. Celebrate the lead up to Halloween by scaring yourself silly. read more about Spooky Edinburgh

Greyfriars Kirk

Greyfriars Kirk

  • Greyfriars Place
  • Greyfriars Place
  • tel:+44 131 226 5429
  • Visit website
  • Edinburgh, EH1 2QQ

Greyfriars Kirk (Church) sits just outside the Old City near the Grassmarket. It is one of the oldest surviving buildings from the 1600s, and is famous for two legends associated with its kirkyard (graveyard): Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye terrier from the 19th century that supposedly sat loyally next to its master's grave for 14 years, and the infamous Mackenzie poltergeist. George Mackenzie was a Scottish lawyer from the 17th century, who brutally murdered approximately 18,000 covenanters - individuals who revolted against the English monarchy's interference in the Church of Scotland. When he died, Mackenzie was buried in a black mausoleum in Greyfriars Kirkyard.

In 1998, a homeless man broke into Mackenzie's tomb to find shelter during a storm and supposedly disturbed the malicious lawyers' remains. Since the incident, violent paranormal activity is said to have occurred in the graveyard and visitors have reported being bruised, scratched, cut and even knocked out by some unseen force either near Mackenzie's mausoleum or in the Covenanters' Prison, an area of the kirkyard where Mackenzie is said to have tortured and killed his victims. Tourists can try their luck with the poltergeist on a nighttime ghost tour through the kirkyard (including the Covenanters' Prison), organized by the City of the Dead tours. It meets in front of St. Giles Cathedral on Royal Mile at 8:30pm and 10:00pm from Easter to Halloween, and at 8:30pm from Halloween to Easter. The tour costs 9.50 or 7.50 concession. read more about Greyfriars Kirk

The Real Mary King's Close

The Real Mary King's Close

  • 2 Warriston's Close
  • High St
  • tel:0845 070 6244
  • Visit website
  • Edinburgh, EH1 1

The Real Mary King's Close is an incredible tour of the long-forgotten underground streets of Edinburgh dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, which were paved over as the city grew. Guides dressed in period costumes walk you through these long-forgotten closes, buildings and streets while describing what life may have been like for the residents, particularly during the plague. The closes are thought to be haunted as well, and tourists can take either a normal walking tour or a supernatural history tour. read more about The Real Mary King's Close

The 3D Loch Ness Experience in Edinburgh

The 3D Loch Ness Experience in Edinburgh

  • 1A Parliament Square, High Street
  • tel:441312252291
  • Visit website
  • City of Edinburgh, EH1 1RE
Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel

  • Rosslyn Chapel Trust
  • tel:+44 131 440 2159
  • Visit website
  • Edinburgh, EH25 9PU

Rosslyn Chapel is the mysterious Masonic chapel made famous by the DaVinci code (part of the Tom Hanks movie was filmed here in 2005). Located in the village of Roslin, a short bus ride from Edinburgh, it was founded in 1446 by Sir William St. Clair the third prince of Orkney.

Stretching 21 metres (69 feet) in length and standing nearly 13 metres (42 feet) high, practically every surface of Rosslyn Chapel is carved in an outstanding display of craftsmanship. There are literally hundreds of individual figures and scenes carved around you. Be on the look out for the Apprentice Pillar, the Green Man, the Nativity Star, the Music Cubs and even a carving of lucifer as an upside down angel. On a tour of the chapel, learn all about the Masonic history of the chapel and the secret symbolism throughout it.

The cool gift shop sells pagan and new age souvenirs in addition to traditional castle trinkets.

Open virtually every day except major holidays, admission for adults is 7.70.

An external masonic guide can give your group a tour of the Chapel from 12:45pm-2pm.

Explore the grounds around the chapel to see the ruined Roslin Castle.



read more about Rosslyn Chapel

Mercat Tours

Mercat Tours

  • Royal Mile
  • Next to St Giles Cathedral
  • tel:+44 131 225 5445
  • Visit website
  • Edinburgh, EH1 1NS

Join Mercat Tours on a journey through the dark narrow closes of the Old Town of Edinburgh and prepare to be terrified by tales of the City's ghostly and gory past. Descend into the Vaults beneath the South Bridge and hear stories of those who once occupied these dark chambers and perhaps still do… Tours run from noon till midnight and tickets can be bought online, at the Mercat Tours office, or at the Mercat Cross in the Royal Mile. read more about Mercat Tours

Tantallon Castle

Tantallon Castle

Information from Historic Scotland.

Situated by the sea, mighty Tantallon Castle was built in the 1350s by a nobleman at the height of his power. In 1354, William Douglas came into possession of all his father's lands, as well as those of his uncle, 'the Good Sir James of Douglas', a close friend of King Robert Bruce. The estates included the barony of North Berwick. In 1358 William was created Earl of Douglas, by which date the builders may already have begun to build his new stronghold. In the 1380s the dynastic house of Douglas split into two branches, known as the 'Black' and the 'Red'. Tantallon passed to the junior line, the 'Red Douglases', Earls of Angus. For the next 300 years, the earls of Angus held sway at the castle, acting out their role as one of the most powerful baronial families in Scotland. During that time it endured three great sieges, in 1491, 1528 and 1651. The last, by Oliver Cromwell's army, resulted in such devastating destruction that the mighty medieval fortress was abandoned to the birds.

Tantallon was the last truly great castle built in Scotland. Its architecture harked back to the mighty stone castles of enclosure of the 13th century, such as Bothwell Castle. These were characterized by enormously thick and high stone walls enclosing large closes, or courtyards. Lofty stone towers projected from the great curtain, wherein the noble life was lived.

Tantallon's plan differs from most great 13th-century enclosure castles only because of its situation, at the edge of a promontory. Although the curtain wall enclosed the entire site, the castle only needed formidable defenses along the landward side. That great curtain wall of red sandstone still stands remarkably entire, as do the three towers in which the mighty earls of Angus and their henchmen lived their lives.

Visitors can enjoy wild flowers in season and touch the replica cannon. Refreshments are available in the visitor center.

The castle is haunted as well - a ghost was snapped in a tourist's picture here in May 2008!

Opening hours:

1 April - 30 September, Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat. Sun, 9.30 am to 5.30 pm

1 October - 31 October, Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat. Sun, 9.30 am to 4.30 pm

1 November - 31 March, Mon Tue Wed Sat Sun, 9.30 am to 4.30 pm

Tickets:

Adult 4.70, Child 2.80, Concession 3.80

read more about Tantallon Castle

City of the Dead Tour

City of the Dead Tour

The City of the Dead tour  - approximately 1.5 hours long - is a walking tour that explores the gruesome past of Edinburgh's Old Town. The tour's most frightening stop is at Greyfriars Kirkyard, the site of the infamous Mackenzie Poltergeist.

George Mackenzie was a Scottish lawyer from the 17th century, who brutally murdered approximately 18,000 covenanters - individuals who revolted against the English monarchy's interference in the Church of Scotland. When he died, Mackenzie was buried in a black mausoleum in Greyfriars Kirkyard.

 In 1998, a homeless man broke into Mackenzie's tomb to find shelter during a storm and supposedly disturbed the malicious lawyers' remains. Since the incident, violent paranormal activity is said to have occurred in the graveyard and visitors have reported being bruised, scratched, cut and even knocked out by some unseen force either near Mackenzie's mausoleum or in the Covenanters Prison, an area of the kirkyard where Mackenzie is said to have tortured and killed his victims.

Tourists can try their luck with the poltergeist on a nighttime ghost tour of the kirkyard. It meets in front of St. Giles Cathedral on Royal Mile at 8:30pm and 10:00pm from Easter to Halloween, and at 8:30pm from Halloween to Easter. The tour costs 9.50 or 7.50 concession.

WARNING: The Mackenzie Poltergeist can cause genuine physical and mental distress. Join the tour at your own risk. Visit the City of the Dead website to read accounts of actual/alleged attacks by the poltergeist.

read more about City of the Dead Tour

Greyfriars Bobby's Bar

Greyfriars Bobby's Bar

  • 34A Candlemaker Row
  • tel:44 131 225 8328
  • Visit website
  • Edinburgh, EH1 2QE

This theme pub is named after the legendary skye terrier, who allegedly was so loyal to his master that after he died the pooch stood vigil at his grave in the adjacent Greyfriars Kirkyard for 14 years.  Boasting a black wooden exterior, it's interior is designed in a fauxVictorian style. The pub serves a good variety of ales and whiskies, but is also a fun bar to bring the kids, who can buy t-shirts with Bobby's image. Be sure to take a picture with the statue of the brave canine in front of the pub.
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Deacon Brodie's Tavern

Deacon Brodie's Tavern

  • 435 Lawnmarket
  • tel:0131/225-6531
  • Edinburgh

Deacon Brodie's Tavern is named after the 18th century William Brodie, who apparently was a good citizen by day but a robber by night. He may have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson's fictional Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. A traditional pub, it is popular with tourists on the Royal Mile and members of the legal fraternity.

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Edinburgh Dungeon

Edinburgh Dungeon

  • 31 Market Street
  • tel:+44 (131) 240 1001
  • Visit website
  • Edinburgh, EH1 1QB

Edinburgh's gruesome and brutal past is celebrated at the Edinburgh Dungeon. Torture and sadistic methods of punishment are documented here in a macabre display of bleeding wax models, authentic pungent smells and disturbing sounds. Witness one of the Edinburgh Dungeon trials acted out by the dungeon guides and see the array of instruments for extracting confessions. Located near the main train station Edinburgh Dungeon is a great if gory start to your Edinburgh visit. read more about Edinburgh Dungeon

Maggie Dickson's

Maggie Dickson's

  • 92 Grassmarket
  • tel:44 131 225 6601
  • Edinburgh, EH1 2JR

The popular Maggie Dickson's pub is named after a fishwife from Musselburgh who was accused of being a witch. She was hung in 1728 in the market square. But astonishingly, as her body was being driven back to Musselburgh, she awoke in her coffin. Under Scottish law she was considered legally dead and thus could not be hung again!

There is a long thin bar which is packed with a lively bunch of locals and students, especially at weekends. Stick around for quiz night on Mondays! Some days feature live music.
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The Last Drop tavern

The Last Drop tavern

  • 74-78 Grassmarket
  • tel:0131 225 4851
  • Edinburgh, EH1 2

Dimly lit, the Last Drop Tavern is usually packed to the brim with students, locals and tourists alike, which is somewhat surprising considering that a ghost is rumored to haunt its cellar. Legend says that the pub was named the Last Drop because this was where those condemned to die by hanging would have their last drink!

The menu is not very extensive, but come here for some Scottish cuisine like neeps and tatties or classic fish and chips and you won't be disappointed.

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Auld Reekie Tours

Auld Reekie Tours

  • 45 Niddry Street
  • Auld Reekie Tours
  • tel:+44 131 557 4700
  • Visit website
  • Edinburgh, EH1 1LG
Beehive Inn

Beehive Inn

  • 18-20 Grassmarket
  • tel:0131 225 7171
  • Edinburgh, EH1 2

With three different rooms and a beer garden out back offering stunning views of Edinburgh Castle, the spacious Beehive Inn stands out among the other pubs that line the Grassmarket. Its family friendly approach ensures a good mix of clientele throughout the day, and there is a strong community of regulars who drink here, so themed and charity nights are frequent mid-week.

Serving a collection of real ales and malt whiskies, the pub imbues old-time charm. The Rafters Restaurant upstairs contains a door from a prison cell in Edinburgh's old Tolbooth, which might explain why the premises are said to be haunted (although the ghosts apparently like to congregate in the cellars). 
read more about Beehive Inn

Frankenstein Pub

Frankenstein Pub

  • 26 George IV Bridge
  • tel:0131 622 1818
  • Visit website
  • Edinburgh, EH1 2QG

One of the spookiest and most fun theme pubs in Edinburgh. Down shots from test tubes and watch the Rocky Horror Picture Show or the pub's very own Full Moon show during the Edinburgh Festival.
read more about Frankenstein Pub

Tolbooth Tavern

Tolbooth Tavern

The Tolbooth Tavern offers great food and drink at reasonable prices. The atmosphere is fun and chilled out. But beware...things keep getting knocked over at the Tolbooth and the resident ghost here is often blamed (even though it might not even be his fault - which seems a little unfair).

By View at edinburgh.co.uk.
read more about Tolbooth Tavern

Nicol Edwards

Nicol Edwards

  • 35 Niddry St
  • tel:0131 557 4700
  • Visit website
  • Edinburgh, H1 1LG,

A seedy bar supposedly teeming with spirits! Take the Auld Reekie haunted underground vaults tour, which ends up at this haunted pub.
read more about Nicol Edwards