Edinburgh is a city that’s very rich in associations with the past. With its many castles, museums and historical buildings, it’s no surprise that Edinburgh also has its share of epic ghost stories. With so many locations for creepy explorations, ghost tours are actually main tourist attractions in the city. If you’re planning to spend a few days in Edinburgh before travelling up to Aultguish Inn and the Highlands one of the highlights for a great evening in Edinburgh is to take a guided walking tour to some of the city’s creepiest places.
The Mercat Walking Tours
Created in 1985, the Mercat Walking Tours is the most awarded and largest walking tour company in the city. They offer both historical and ghost tours to give you a true sense of Scotland’s past. Among its many awards over the years include the Tourism Innovation Development Award in 2003 and 2005, an Edinburgh Tour Guide of the Year award in 2009 and a 5 Star Tour award by VisitScotland. The company offers 6 different ghost tours to cater to different preferences, such as the Doomed, Dead and Buried tour of the Canongate graveyard and the Blair St. Underground Vaults, the Hidden and Haunted tour of the vaults in candle-light and other specific walking tours that will surely raise the hairs at the back of your neck.
The City of the Dead Tours
Dubbed by travel site Lonely Planet as the best of Edinburgh’s ghost tours, the City of the Dead Tours walking tours are designed by JA Henderson – bestselling author and award-winning novelist of the Underground City, The Mackenzie Poltergeist and Haunted Edinburgh. Launched in 1999 and operated by Black Hart Entertainment, the tour guides are a mixture of historians and professional entertainers that combine horror, history and humor to the walking tours – giving you an exceptionally creepy time as you walk along the city’s most mysterious places. The walk ends at the Covenant’s Prison, which was the lair of the “Mackenzie Poltergeist” – the best documented paranormal event in history. A definite must for anyone who wants something out of the ordinary when visiting Edinburgh.
The Real Mary King’s Close Tours
Opened in April of 2003, The Real Mary King’s Close is a walking tour company that brings tourists to Mary King’s Close – infamous for its stories of ghosts and unexplained happenings since the 1700’s. Located underground, the Close is a warren of streets, spaces and buildings that were made during the Plague, where victims were left in the streets to die. You get to walk down the alley and enter several homes and rooms as a costumed tour guide tells you of actual mysterious and creepy stories that occurred. You can join a group tour or avail of the private evening hire for a one-on-one guided walk along the Close at night, which is the best time and way to explore the eerie place. If you want to take the tour spontaneously, you can do so as tours take place every 15 minutes starting at 10 am in the morning.
If you don’t like the idea of a group tour, you can definitely explore Edinburgh’s creepy places on your own. However, you do need to take some extra precautions as the city has indeed a reputation for having one of the scariest places on earth.