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The Vaults (Edinburgh)

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Niddry Street, Edinburgh.

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    2 Reviews
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      17.01.2010 10:49
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      The best vaults in the city with historical and paranormal wealth

      You cannot go to edinburgh and not visit the niddry street vaults, as these are the most spectacular of vaults in the city and paranormally the most prolific.

      To vist the vaults you must book through auld reekie tours based in niddry street or alternatively at st giles cathedral where they have a stand. This is a specific walking and ghost tour where you can get to visit the vaults at the end however there are other ways to visit them through ghost hunts. The best ghost hunt in edinburgh is through the north west spirit seekers, who can have private access to the vaults for an overnight period and this gives you the most exquisite experience to view them in details and of course possibly encounter some paranormal activity.

      The vaults are centuries old and are part of the underground edinburgh which was built on top of in the 16th century due to over population of the city and to rid it of the black death. The vaults form the south side of the bridge and are set in between surrounding buildings and niddry street vaults actually have a incredible history alongside blair street vaults.

      These particular vaults were founded by a student who was renting one of the rooms surrounding them and with an inquisitive mind he realised that there was a vast cavity between certain walls and hence one day decided to investigate. He knocked down a section of a wall and to his horror found the vaults behind it, little did he know that they continued far furthur than originally beleived, and even now there are continual excavations being undertaken to search through other found vaults.

      An incredible find, however one with a gruesome and dark history of perished families, murderers, body snatchers and torture.

      Niddry street vaults are known to be the most haunted in the area and have since been featured on most haunted television series and throughout various paranormal documentaries. The vault is home to one significant poltergeist named 'the watcher' who is a dark encounter and evil one at that. He is thought to roam the vaults and attack people who enter, this albeit bizarre to beleive has in fact happened to many a people with evidence of scratches, falls and bruises.

      The vaults are individual rooms joined by a corridoor, however be warned because they are dark, slippery, damp and oppresive. Be sure to take a torch, however there is emergency lighting, a cushion if you are on an all night vigil, and gripped shoes. The first vault you come to is the witches worship room used by a local covern today and has ornate but frightening mystical objects within it. This is however a white witchcraft setting. You cannot enter this vault but can look through the barred gate and windows.

      Furthur along is the stone circle vault which is beleived to be the most haunted and evil happenings have taken place here. The circle was built by the witches to contain the poltergeist as they felt his presence to be of such a destructive nature, those who dare to walk inside the circle are beleived to have bad luck cast upon them.

      The furthur vaults are empty but each have their own atmousphere and gruesome past. The essence of paranormal presence is very apparent in my view. My husband who is a particular skeptic even had a paranormal experience himself and felt exhausted and emotional.

      They are the best haunted location to visit on your trip to edinburgh but be warned because danger is involved and albeit many will think of it to be a story made up attacks have occured in these vaults many a time, so enter with caution!

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        21.04.2008 19:40
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        Visit to Edinburgh Vaults..

        Our trip to Edinburgh's dark side!
        My partner and I decided to go on a trip (yeah again. We are never in!)

        We decided on Edinburgh for the day. It is only 100 miles from where we live (best not walk then.) Edinburgh is easy to drive to but we decided to let the train take the strain.. (Good saying or what?)
        We booked our tickets online and they were the reader offer ones where you save tickets up in our local newspaper and therefore it is greatly reduced in price, some of the tickets for that day were as much as 200quid however ours came to a staggering £20.. And that wasn't each either so in this instance it was a lot cheaper to go this way than to put petrol into the car (mine or his, we never can decide anyway?)

        Off we go, I would tell you about going into Asda to buy 18 evening chronicles but you would think me mad.
        Edinburgh as I'm sure everyone knows has a castle and that was our first port of call and was very good as well as interesting informative a totally steeped in history.

        We then decided to go to the Edinburgh Vaults to scare the **** out of ourselves...WE DID JUST THIS LOL.
        The tour Itself that we went on was with a company called "Auld Reekie tours" They meet half past every other hour at the Tron kirk* on the royal mile.

        We decided to go to the 3.30pm tour, it was drizzling and we stood in it awaiting our tour, our guide turned up ahead of time and explained to us this..
        If anyone was of a nervous disposition or had heart problems than not to go any further! This is me quaking in my booties, Then she went on to tell us where we were going and what we would find when we got there.
        Off we went to a street called Niddry Street. We went into a small shop and paid our entrance fee of £6.50 each.
        Then we had to go out of the shop to a type of gate next to the shop. Fiona our guide let us into the gate/door and we had to go up a humongous step.

        We did this and found ourselves in a small stony room about 15 feet square with nothing in it but another doorway and steps. Our guide then told us a bit about the vaults themselves. This is how it goes.
        Apparently a student lived in this room we were in in the 1980`s and being a student was curious, he decided to see if he could make his one room a wee bit bigger (see I speak Scottish too almost as good as Geordie) and so he would try to knock through a wall, well what was he to find but the vaults that had been blocked up for over 150 years. Wow what a surprise he got. He got officials in to find out what was happening and why they were there and this is how it goes..

        Years ago Edinburgh was overpopulated and so tenement buildings were built on top of the existing buildings and they were made out of wood.
        The poor people of the town had nowhere to live and so they were sort of banished to the vaults that were under the buildings and had been used as storage rooms for the businesses above.
        People used to just throw there scraps down there and there was all sorts of crimes committed, taverns and other businesses where also in use down in these vaults.
        Edinburgh then had a great fire similar to the great fire of London, The tenement buildings then caught on fire as they were made from wood, the town people decided to go down into the vaults to be protected from the fire as the vaults were made from stone and as everyone knows stone doesn't burn...
        however what they didn't realise was that stone does get very very hot and they ended up trapped under the ground because of the fire and so perished, the vaults were then blocked up.
        In actual fact hundreds of people actually got cooked in these vaults and fused together as was to be found out when they were re-opened by that student.

        Our tour.. We were guided into the vaults with very little light, there was no natural light only the light from our guides torch, she did keep shining it onto our feet though as the ground was very uneven. We looked through the window of the first vault (just an opening rather than a window) to find an active witches temple.
        We weren't allowed into that vault but the next one was empty and so in we went. Just to add, the atmosphere in the vaults was oppressive and although I thought they would feel cold and damp, they were in fact very hot and humid.
        The second vault.. This one, for me had a very eerie feel to it, it was dry however it had a wet feel to it (I don't know what I mean but I sort of do..) It was oppressive and eerie but didn't really have a tale to go with it apart from the townspeople dying in it and therefore it carried the aura of a place of this type.
        The next vault was very wet..The ceiling and floor was soaking in fact the guide was standing in a pool of water, my partner leaned on a wall then the guide went on to tell us that the wall had a sticky yellow substance oozing from it..yuk Tom had leaned on it.

        The guide told us that the wetness of the vault was unexplainable as it had an active business above it, and shouldn't have any water running into it and also they couldn't explain the sticky stuff..oooh Scary tuff eh? Fiona the guide then told us why the vault had a stone circle within it this was apparently because the witch at the head of the temple had to banish a spirit into the stone circle he created in order to trap it there as it was an angry entity, when the witches moved into it to use it as there temple they felt this presence and that was when the vault started to become wet.
        It was as if the ghost didn't want them in there and so that is why they moved into the first vault and they never had any problems in that one.
        The guide asked us if anyone wanted to step into the stone circle but no one took her up on her offer, She told us that bad luck follows those who dare.

        The last vault we went into was very different, heroes why. The guide told us we would have to split up and all the women were to go to one side of the vault and the men to the other and although we were allowed to take photos in all of the other vaults we were to switch our cameras and phones off in this vault and she would explain when we got in there, in we go.. Eeuuw this vault had an awful atmosphere.
        I went to the side with the other ladies and Tom was at the other side, the hairs are up on the back of my neck now writing this, Fiona explained to us that the entity in this, the most haunted category three vault, doesn't in fact like women and has been known to attack women if they were with partners thus why we had to split up, this vault is the scariest by far the spirit within it is angry against women and the feeling in here was awful I couldn't wait to get out,
        in this the last vault to visit the guide told us more of the spooky story of the great fire and why the vaults carry the spirits of so many people she then went on to trick us as if it wasn't spooky enough by turning the very poor light of her torch off!! We were plunged into darkness something then happened but I am not going to tell you what as if you ever go on this tour it would spoil it but all I will say is ive never felt fear like this in my life and hope I never will again!
        The camera and phone thing was that due to the activity in this vault lots of people have complained in the past of the memories on there phones being wiped and other things going wrong and so its not worth risking it.


        At the end of the tour you are taken to another vault this time it is full of torture implements and a scary figure wearing a witches robe full of items from history belonging to the owner of the tours, we were then left to eat our complementary shortbread and whiskey.
        The tours are run by several companies and id like to try another one just to compare, also there are more vaults under the south bridge not far from where we were and id equally like to do that tour those vaults have been on the telly when the most haunted team did a programme there and found all sorts of phenomena.

        Our experience of the Edinburgh Vaults was fascinating it's a part of Edinburgh and is very exciting to visit, id recommend it to any adult to try.
        The only thing I would say is leave the kids at home unless you want sleepless nights for the rest of your lives?eeh we had fun tho..

        And so to our next journey and another review to follow.London Friday the 13thOctober (yeah we are mad!) and we are going to walk in the footsteps of jack the ripper.. Another tour another day, watch this space...
        The title of the review is "With a ring of fire around her neck.. "well, this is when we looked at our digital photos at the end of our day and we found that the torch light coming from fiona`s torch in fact looks like a flame and it trails around her neck instead of going straight up.

        When you think that it is because of fire that the place is haunted well i think it speaks volumes.
        All of this account is from our own experience and there is none of the content copied from any source.
        Link to auld reekie website..http://www.auldreekietours.com/

        * Tron Kirk, this is a very old church on the royal mile, that itself got burned down during the fire and had to be rebuilt, it has an eerie feel also.
        .
        Also posted on ciao as cabsookie.

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