Haunted Tour of Edinburgh

Discovering Scotland : Auld Reekie

As I exited Edinburgh Waverley Station with my Little’s chauffeur I was astounded by the surrounding beauty. The majestic castle stood proudly on the red cliff; the stunning combination of medieval and classic architecture embellished the skyline; and the streets were full of life as gaggles of tourists walked down Scotland’s biggest shopping street and relaxed in the adjacent Princes Street Gardens. The sun shone and the lively atmosphere was almost palpable. When you consider the picture I’ve just painted of the buzzing capital city, clean and green and lively it comes as a shock to learn that Edinburgh is actually known as one of the world’s most haunted cities. Its timeline smattered with gruesome tales of murder, crime and betrayal.

On this particular day, I had come to explore some of Edinburgh’s most haunted sites and was being transported around the city by my very own Little’s chauffer for a haunted tour of Edinburgh. My first port-of-call was The Underground Vaults. The cobbled streets near south bridge may look pristine, however underneath the busy there actually lies a veritable burrow of vaults, chambers and passageways. Partaking in any of the available vault tours will learn you many a blood-curdling tale of ghosts and murders – and of plague victims enclosed and left to die. I sure learned my fair share of painful tales in this frightening experience, which at times left me feeling a little spooked.

After a tour of the vaults I headed to Greyfriar’s Kirkyard a a cemetery just off Grass Market. Since the first burial on the site in the 16th century, a number of notable people have been laid to rest here including Sir James Stirling, Allan Ramsey and Sir Harry Munro. This graveyard is also the final resting place of GreyFriar’s Bobby, a beloved dog in the city of Edinburgh, who guarded the grave of his owner for more than a decade after his owner’s death. However, perhaps the most haunting aspect of this site is the plethora of ghosts which reside there. In fact, the most famous of all the ghosts in this Kirkyard is a barrister responsible for the deaths of thousands of Covenanters. Most of the reported poltergeist activity here can be attributed to his disruptive spirit.

After my haunted morning, I head for an afternoon tea at Palm Court in The Balmoral Hotel which is located next to Waverley station. Sipping on vintage champagnes and tucking into delicious homemade pastries I momentarily forget about the darker side of the city as I was, again, immersed in the buzzing atmosphere of Edinburgh in the present day.

The next stop after lunch was Edinburgh Dungeons which brings together an amazing cast of theatrical actors, special effects, stages, scenes and rides in a truly unique and exciting walkthrough experience which you are able to see, hear, touch, smell and feel. Of course, I knew it was all an act – that all the walk-through experiences were in fact a role-play. However, being fully immersed in the storyline makes you feel like you are living and experiencing each situation in real life as the actors performed tales of infamous Edinburgh characters including murderous twosome Burke and Hare, Sawney Bean, Maggie Dixon and The Green Lady.

The final stop on my tour was the famous Edinburgh Castle. Over the castle’s 2000 years of history, there has been numerous battles and sieges which have resulted in many casualties. It is therefore no surprise to find out that there has been many a reporting of ghostly goings on. Some of which include unexplained knocking sounds, mysterious orbs and the sound of drums. I toured all the buildings and rooms of the castle which were all so rich in history. There was so much to learn and take in and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have to say, however, out of all the places I visited in Edinburgh this was definitely the least spooky. Nevertheless, I feel that under the envelope of darkness I wouldn’t be able to say that with such conviction.

I finished my haunted tour dining in Tigerlily restaurant on George Street. After several sumptuous courses, as well as a few glasses of wine, I was chauffeured back to Edinburgh Waverley Train Station in time for my train home. What a fantastic day!

To book your own haunted tour of Edinburgh contact Little’s Chauffeur Drive today on hauntededinburgh@littles.co.uk or call them on 0141 883 2111.