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Some say the best thing about Aberdeen is the train going south to Edinburgh. Not me. I think Aberdeen's great, but I've already written about it, so I think I will just hop on that train (hoping there are no leaves on the line) and trundle down to Auld Reekie for a look-see.
What better way to celebrate Halloween* than with a tour in the spookiest, ghostliest, most haunted city on the planet - Edinburgh.
* No, I haven't been waiting since October for dooyoo to add this, I just haven't got round to posting it till now.
Edinburgh pioneered 'Ghost Tours' and there are a multitude of companies plying their trade in the Capital but this review concerns the CITY of the DEAD tour from BLACKHART.
The tour starts at Old Fishmarket Close, near St. Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile, and proceeds through some of the tight, narrow closes of the Old Town to Greyfriars Kirkyard. On the way, the guide regales the party with tales of Edinburgh's darker side.
In the graveyard of Greyfriars the guide tells of the infamous Burke & Hare, the notorious resurrectionists who began by digging up bodies to sell to the School of Anatomy for dissection, but when digging seemed like too much hard work, they took the simpler option and began murdering people.
For more about the body-snatchers:
Apparently, there are so many bodies stacked on top of each other in the cemetery that in extremely wet weather, bones can rise to the surface.
Also visited on the tour is the Covenenter's Prison. King Charles (a man with his finger on the pulse of public opinion) tried to ali
gn the Scottish Kirk with the English system of worship, but the Scottish Presbyterians rejected this and signed a 'National Covenent'.
Many were held here awaiting trial for treason and were in due course sentenced to death by Black MacKenzie, who is buried nearby.
The prison is lined with tombs and vaults and one of these, the Black Mausoleum has been associated with an unprecedented amount of paranormal activity.
This is Edinburgh's most haunted site and indeed, it is home to the most well-documented poltergeist activities anywhere in the world.
There have been reports of all kind of strange phenomenae recorded here. In a span of three years, 72 people undertaking this tour have collapsed and over 200 have claimed to be affected by all sorts of creepiness. People have reported feeling chilled to the marrow, then hot to the point of passing out; nausea, dizzy spells, numbness, hearing strange noises and weird smells. Some have even complained of finding unexplained scratches and bruises on leaving.
Funnily enough, nobody complained of anything when I was there, but it is very uncomfortable as it's a tiny, cramped, extremely dark, claustrophobic room. It's cold, damp and airless...who needs anything paranormal.
The tour ends at Greyfriars Bobby's statue. You know the story of the wee dug, don't you? No?
In 1858, a man named....oh, just go to the website:
If after your tour you feel the need for some refreshment, the statue stands outside Greyfriars Bobby Bar. Or, in keeping with the spooky theme of the evening, take a walk just a few yards along the road to the aptly named Frankensteins Pub on George IV Bridge where you will most likely get a fright, their prices are shocking! <
br>Personally, I would nash doon the brae for a pint at The Last Drop (site of the last public executions in the Grassmarket).
Imagine stepping up to the bar and they had no beer....now THAT really would be scary!!!!!
Time: 8.30pm and 10pm seven days a week. On Halloween, tours depart every half hour from 7pm till midnight.
Prices: £6 and £5 for concessions
Phone: 0131 225 9044
Thanks for reading and pleasant dreams.......