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City of The Dead Tour (Edinburgh)

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5 Reviews

Address: 10 Thirlestane Lane / Edinburgh EH9 1AJ/ Scotland / Telephone: ++44 131 225 9044

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    5 Reviews
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      08.02.2014 11:36
      Very helpful



      a disappointment of a tour

      ===A weekend off===

      In January of this year we (my partner Allan and I) had decided to take a short weekend break in Edinburgh. We also dragged Allan's cousin Sloan along for good measure. As part of my drive to try new things, I decided it might be fun to do a couple of the tours that are everywhere in Edinburgh. Everything was booked and off we went, eager to see the dark side of the beautiful city's history.

      === Double up or you'll die===

      After a good search online we decided on a two different tours. One of them was from City of the Dead tours and looked to be offering the best tour in the form of the Double Dead Walk. They do tours to both the South Bridge Vaults and to Greyfriar's Graveyard but the Double Dead Walk includes them both as well as the company having the keys for the Covenanters Prison section of the graveyard. At time of writing, unfortunately their website (www.cityofthedeadtours.com) is somewhat lacking in updates since around about 2011 but you can still book tickets through it. Oddly, the site says you don't get a booking confirmation email, but I did. I did overhear someone else on the night of the tour saying they didn't get a confirmation email though, so the system must be a little touch and go. All they require for the tour, however, is the booking reference so as long as you have a pen and paper you'll be fine.

      ===Getting there===

      The Double Dead Walk has two time slots; 7:30pm and 9:30pm. We went for the earlier one as we'd knew we'd be exploring the city from about dinner time onwards. As it was January it was full dark before the tour began. The tour starts off from the side of St Giles Cathedral on The Royal Mile, right across from another main attraction "The Real Mary King Close" which we went to see earlier in the day. Busses and taxi's will happily take you to princes street which is about a ten minute walk away from the Cathedral and if you plan a little more you can probably get a lot closer via public transport. You might even be able to find a parking space nearby if you don't want to walk too far, but that would be complete luck if you did. Also if you can't handle a bit of walking I'd say this is not the tour for you.

      ===Tickets Please===

      There wasn't any particular order to proceedings and no queues to deal with tickets. We spotted a frantic looking woman with short curly black hair in a leather trench coat taking codes from people and assumed we should be near her. Looking around I could see other tours from other companies nearby where the guides were in fancy dress so I was a little disappointed that our guide was in her normal clothes. Eventually she shouted out to see if there was anyone who she'd missed and went from there. We were all given a laminated playing card with the island of Corfu on the back as a ticket which was a little odd. Top tip: don't put it away somewhere you'll have to rake for as you don't keep them. You'll be asked for them later in the tour, I assume as a way to prove you should actually be on the tour and are not just tagging along for free as a couple of people tried to do! I hadn't realised and had shoved it between the million other cards in my wallet and Sloan's was floating around her bag. Joy.

      ===Run for your life===

      The tour began with the tour guide introducing herself (Rebecca if I recall correctly) and then telling us a little bit about people who had left the tour with scratches and reeling off a few disclaimers about attacks by ghosts then being quite flippant about taking them to court over a ghost attack if we wanted to be laughed at. An interesting but eye roll worthy way to begin I thought. We were all shuffled off to an area round the back of the Cathedral where we were given a few bare bones of history, with the mention that the car park next to us was also a graveyard. We'd been on a tour with another company earlier in the day who gave a lot more information, some of it really interesting and gory that wasn't even touched on. Mostly Rebecca talked more about previous tours who had people come out scratched. Joy.

      After about two minutes, Rebecca pulled out a starter's pistol and started a race. At least that's what it felt like. The south vaults are about a five minute brisk walk from the cathedral and Rebecca urged everyone to please keep up before running off down a side street. Sloan, Allan and I are all 30 and under and we found it hard to keep up. After finding myself whistling the theme tune from The Crystal Maze all the way down the street, I actually felt really terrible for the older people in the group who were genuinely almost left behind to a point where they showed up behind us about 3 minutes into Rebecca's next bit of spiel about the vaults. Instantly I'm taking a star off for that, as those people paid just as much money as we did for the tour and they really should have been looked after better than that.

      ===Scary Stockroom===

      The entrance to the vaults is, quite unfortunately, right behind a pub. The pub also has a door and a corridor that they use in the vaults. This means that you can hear the music from the pub and smell the food. We were even lucky enough to be stood right next to the door they use when a staff member needed out. Clearly the vaults were so scary that the staff from the pub... walk around in them. Unharmed. Hmm. A bit of atmosphere ruined there but not so much the tour companies fault.

      One thing that DID ruin the atmosphere was the sheer amount of people they had booked for the tour. There must have been about 30 to 40 people on our tour which meant that we were simply crowded into the vaults and left to stand while Rebecca regaled us of yet more tales about how people had left the tours with scratches. At this point I was getting really bored of this story. Thanks to the sheer amount of people that were packed in, you couldn't really get a decent look at the vaults. As well as that, the constant camera flashes lit the place up quite regularly, totally draining any spooky atmosphere that there might otherwise have been. I have to take a star off for this overcrowding as I really couldn't see much at all for all the people. Tour groups of smaller numbers would easily make the whole experience more fun as you can't really feel worried in the middle of a tight packed group for thirty/upwards people.

      ===Do you believe in Santa Claws?===

      Something else that really detracted from the tour of the vaults was that they had a few really tacky decorations kicking about hiding in corners. A couple of giant fake looking rats peeked out from gaps in the bricks but worst of all was the fake skeleton huddled under a set of stairs. It simply wasn't required. Throw in that it was dressed as Santa at the end of January and it just made the tour laughable.

      ===Bright Lights and Chaos===

      Another area of the vaults and the stories of scratches were still being told, though now a new element was brought in with people (from the tours) being knocked out or passing out. There were jokes about how the tour guides love having knockouts on the tours but again this told me not to take anything seriously and totally flattened any atmosphere that had built. Rebecca in an effort to scare occasionally shouted or stamped her feet but mostly it was all expected. She also had a bit of a habit of playing with a candle under her face and blowing it out and re-lighting it which was quite distracting.

      Talking of lighting, I would suggest having something to hand that can help you see in the dark. Both the vaults and the graveyard are quite dark, uneven and slippy so walking around without a torch is treacherous. I'd also suggest turning it off if you aren't moving from place to place as lighting up the place while you're on a ghost tour is ridiculous. I used the light on my phone when moving between places but that became a bit annoying due to wearing gloves and having to unlock my phone to turn it on and off. Unlike other tours we went on, the guide didn't really point out any uneven or slippy areas and didn't hold a torch on it for those who didn't have anything to light their way which was a bit poor. It really was everyone for themselves! I have to take a star off for this as it should be really easy to make sure everyone gets in and out safely.

      ===Prison Transfer===

      Once we were done with the vaults, there was another bit of a dash up to the graveyard, though this one wasn't quite as fast. We arrived at the gates and Rebecca told us about how the boss got the keys to the place and made out like we'd be the only tour with access to the graveyard. That isn't really the case as the graveyard is open to the public. We just managed to get in through a locked gate at the back. We were given a short bit of history on the graveyard and told stories about how tour groups have regularly found bones poking up through the mud, which I had to roll my eyes at. These tours are apparently quite eventful when I'm not on them! Another traipse through the graveyard and we were told a little about the Covenanters Prison though if I'm being honest it wasn't really explained all too greatly with Rebecca, instead of focusing on the clearly already gory history, focusing on the scratches and knockouts of recent tour groups. She also mentioned the "Mackenzie poltergeist" which is supposedly the ghost of a terrible man who was responsible for the mistreatment and death of thousands of Covenanters. It was implied we'd be going inside his tomb when we entered the next set of locked gates that the company are the only ones to hold the keys to.

      The tomb we went into, it later transpired, wasn't that of George MacKenzie. In fact, we were left a little baffled as to what it was. We decided that it was probably the Covenanters Prison and we had simply not had it explained very clearly.

      There was a bit of a fright set up in that area which was good: finally I felt scared if only for a split second. A few more stories of scratches and knock outs and cold spots (oh my) and then we left and were led to the actual tomb of George MacKenzie where a lot of people looked round at each other muttering "I thought that's where we just were??". This tomb is in the main graveyard area and we stopped there for no more than one minute before being led round to the Greyfriar's Bobby memorial stone which ended the tour on far too light a note to leave you feeling scared by anything.

      ===Time for your close-up===

      Any good tour should leave you with plenty photo opportunities. Alas due to being so jam packed I was almost glad I left my camera at home. Even when everyone was done in the area you were in, you couldn't hang around to take photos or you'd get separated from the group. That didn't stop people trying, however. So many other people were taking flash photos right in the guide's face which on top of killing the atmosphere was quite rude. I don't imagine it's easy to keep your concentration in a dark room with people pointing flashbulbs at you. Give Rebecca her due though, she didn't seem phased by it at all.

      ===The Price===

      For the Double Dead Walk you'll pay £13 each and £9 for children. For the amount of actual information you get, it's not really that good at all. In fact, there are free walking tours situated on the Royal Mile that give you a lot more information about the gory history of the place. If you're going in for the scares then you'll probably be completely disappointed. I was looking forward to having the absolute pants scared off of me but a relaxing cup of tea would have probably scared me more than this tour. I don't think it was worth it at all and it's £13 that I'd quite like to get back.

      ===The Verdict===

      After running about and almost losing the group only to be in the worlds most boring episode of Most Haunted and not even getting to meet Yvette Fielding, I was less than impressed. Allan and Sloan felt the exact same. The guide, while nice enough, didn't really have enough material passed "have I told you about the people who left with scratches or who got knocked out" to make it interesting or scary. I've actually read other reviews where people were told about witch trials and other things that weren't even mentioned on our tour. Let's count up then. One star off for dashing off. Another off for overcrowding. Yet another for not being very safety conscious. The confusion between the tombs takes another star off leaving one star. I'm also taking a star off for the price of the tour vs. the quality of the tour. The locations themselves were great and it would be worth it if the presentation was up to scratch with enough room to look around. It's just a shame that it wasn't. Zero stars out of five (though obviously I have to mark it as 1 star to post the review) from all three of us and I'd recommend going with a different tour.


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      • More +
        16.07.2012 21:25
        Very helpful



        be prepared to walk...a lot!

        *Please note that I am reviewing the Double Dead Tour by Blackhart (City of the Dead) - dooyoo have asked that I put my review here as a variation rather than in a new category*

        Black Hart Entertainment was founded in Edinburgh in 1999. They offer 'City of the Dead' tours around Edinburgh. They offer a few different tours in and around Edinburgh including Gilmerton Coves, children's tours and murder tours. The most popular tours offered are the 'Underground City of the Dead' and the 'Haunted Graveyard'. They have won awards for their tours and have had excellent feedback.

        ~Double Dead~

        The Double Dead tour combines both the Underground and Graveyard tours into one tour. It also includes a tour of Covenanters Prison. You will visit the South Bridge Vaults followed by Greyfriars Graveyard and the prison. Your tour guide will tell stories of living conditions, murderers and prisoners during the tour. The Mackenzie Poltergeist will also be discussed and further information about this entity can be found on www.blackhart.uk.com. The tours were researched by novelist J. A. Henderson.

        Double Dead departs from outside St Giles Cathedral which is located on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Buses/taxis stop nearby and it isn't too far from Waverley train station. This particular tour is a night time tour. During the Summer months, the tours run at 8pm and 10pm. Winter tours depart 7.30pm and 9pm. The tour takes approx 1hr 45mins and it is recommended that you wear sensible footgear. Due to the nature of the tours, it is not suitable for wheelchair users.

        ~Booking The Tour~

        0131 225 9044

        There is a ticket office on the Royal Mile but it is recommended that you book your tour online (www.blackhart.uk.com). This is an incredibly easy process and they accept various debit and credit cards. You can choose a time and date and will receive an email with a booking code. This can be printed off or written down and presented to your tour guide.

        Blackhart offer for 2 for 1 deals on certain midweek days but this only applies to the single tours. The Double Dead tour is priced at £13.00 per adult. Students/concessions are £11.00. Children can go if with an adult but I wouldn't recommend it!

        ~Why We Chose This Tour~

        My sister had suggested this tour after a friend recommended it. We decided to make a night of it and book in to a hotel in the city as we wanted to go to the 10pm tour. It would leave it too late for us to get a train home again. We booked this tour and also the Auld Reekie tour and hoped that we wouldn't be visiting the same part of the Vaults twice in one evening.

        My sister is very much a fan of paranomal activity - I am a little more sceptical but fairly open minded. I was a little scared of going on this tour but I will try most things once so we booked. We had some drinks in a nearby bar before heading to meet our group. At the time, several groups were standing around with different tour companies. This is the only tour company (that I know of) that allows access to the prison and that was our top priority hence booking with them! I was happy to pay the £13.00 fee.

        ~Our Tour Guide~

        Our tour guide was a brilliant friendly (but spooky at the same time) guy called Iain. We found out he was previously a psychologist before taking up a career as a ghost tour guide! We also met another man (who I cannot recall his name) and I believe he was a medium. He was with us throughout the tour and it made me feel a little at ease knowing someone was in front and behind us in the tour!

        Iain is a fantastic guide and very enthusiastic without being OTT. He knew when to 'act' and when to take a step back. He also had a comical side which felt a little sinister at times. He knew his stuff and was open to any questions. Our tour group consisted of around 30 people of various ages and he kept the group together well and kept everyone involved. Iain was aptly dressed for the tour in a long black coat. He carried on professionally at all times despite the heavy rain we were walking around in and adapted the tour slightly to ensure we got the the Vaults (and cover) a little quicker which was appreciated.

        We were very pleased with our tour guide.

        ~Part One - The Vaults~

        Our tour set off around 10.10pm on Friday night. We chose the later tour as I thought it would be better to do the tour in the dark. This wouldn't be an issue in the Winter as it would be dark anyway! I asked if the Vaults part of the tour would be the same Vaults that Auld Reekie use. Iain confirmed that there are lots of Vaults in the South Bridge shared between the various companies. We would be visiting the Vaults at the opposite end of the bridge.

        Some of this tour takes you around the same areas as the Auld Reekie tours and the stories are similar but Iain made them sound much more 'real'. We wandered down the same steep close we originally went up which was daunting as it was slippy from the awful rain. Iain kept this part of the tour to a minimum to ensure we had more time inside the Vaults but did tell us about those who used to live in the buildings and how disgusting the closes were with waste due to the lack of drainage. Edinburgh was a very smell city!

        The Underground Vaults were originally used for shop storage until the damp issue became too much. Homeless people flocked to the Vaults to seek refuge after it became illegal to be homeless in Edinburgh. The part of the Vaults which we visited are known as 'Damnation Alley' and are often stalked by the South Bridge Entity. The gates were locked once we were all in for our own safety - no way out except to go on through the Vaults.

        The first Vault we arrived in we spent a short while hearing about how many people would have lived here through desperation and about the various deaseases that would have been present. The Vaults are incredibly dark and wet but we did have a small amount of lantern light within them. They were incredibly spooky. The stairs leading up to the higher floors weren't the most secure and steady. We were able to see what remains of the highest floors - simple ruins that looked like they could give way at anytime.

        We visited a few Vaults here and I found them more interesting that the Vaults that Auld Reekie took us too. They were empty mostly but varied in size and shape. One particular Vault barely held us all in. Iain took time to explain a typical scenario. Unmarried woman were often cast out into the streets if they fell pregnant and had no option but to take refuge in the Vaults. They would be befriended by a stranger and their child taken either to be murdered (to avoid any additional population increase in the overcrowded city) by snapping their backs or necks (this made me feel ill) or selling them on to be slaves or worse - used for sexual acts. The Mother would have her throat slit after birth and left to rot.

        The largest Vault we visited was massive and very misty. I felt incredibly uneasy in this Vault and was constantly aware of a presence. Iain went on to tell us more stories and would turn any light source off to add atmosphere. He did use the odd cheap trick by scaring a few people which was rather funny - I wouldn't have liked him doing it to me though! I can say I was glad to get out of those Vaults as I founded them incredibly creepy!

        ~Part Two - The Graveyard and Prison~

        The part we were most looking forward too! The graveyard is a good 10 minute walk from the Vaults and we found ourselves heading up that way around 11.15pm. Greyfriar's Kirk is open during the day. The on site church was opened in 1620. The graveyard is most commonly remembered because of the story of the little dog who sat at the grave of his master for 14yrs. Iain informed us that although the gravestone is near the entrance of the graveyard, the story is not quite accurate. I will leave that yourselves to find out!

        I am not in the habit of frequenting graveyards late at night. I find them decidedly freaky. The actual church in the Kirk overshadows the graveyard. The exterior is stunning and beautifully lit at the front which did 'open' up the graveyard somewhat. The stainglass windows were stunning but we were not permitted entry during our tour. As we wandered around the dark and incredibly splodgy pavements, Iain gave us a little history lesson. Bars were still erected over some graves due to grave robbing in the past. He warned that we were walking across several hundreds of bodies and bones may pop up - not sure if true but we were warned not to touch as the plague never dies!

        The tomb stones of course, will be clearer during the day but in the evening and at night, they dominate the graveyard and I found myself feeling rather claustrophobic as some of stones were massive. We wandered around (me clinging to my sister) for 10 minutes or so before heading to Covenanters Prison at the far end of the graveyard.

        Covenanters Prison is under lock and key. Iain explained that those who chose not to believe in the religion dictated to them were brought to this prison which is now ruined and mainly open air. The prison extends far down a grassy hill and features various 'rooms' - some are accessible, others are not. Iain went on to tell us about the Battle of Bothwell Brig and the type of prisoners were brought here to rot or await being murdered.

        Our tour of the prison was fairly short and we did not explore everywhere. We were encouraged into a closed over room and told not to stand against the back wall. Some guy (being a smart ar*e) decided to do so and soon moved away! Here we learned of the McKenzie poltergeist who has been responsible for many injuries and fainting incidents in this very room. You can read more about him online. We took a few pictures in this room but didn't think much of it. Although no one in our group fainted, I did feel like something was taking energy from me - sounds weird I know but I didn't feel 'right'.

        It wasn't until we returned home and uploaded pictures we had took. My sister had caught something though what you choose to make of it is up to you! I have provided the picture but have been warned (by a dear friend who knows her stuff) to delete it from my mobile and computer asap as it is not as it seems. The picture was taken in pitch black on an iPhone so please have a look and let me know what you think. I was really glad to leave the prison though as I started to feel very uneasy and scared. Thankfully neither myself or my sister suffered from bruises or cuts thanks to the poltergeist.

        ~The Shop~

        Most attractions have shops these days but you do not expect them in a graveyard! 'The Creepy Wee Shop In The Graveyard' is located at the entrance and Iain let us in to his 'office' as he calls it. It is a tiny little room - half office, half shop. Most of our group had left by this point so we had room to look about. They offered little trinkets with angels and fairies, skull ornaments and various pictures. They weren't very expensive - £5.00 for a fairly large ornament for example. I actually bought three little bottles of fragrance oils (dewberry, spiced apple and vanilla) and these were priced at 3 for £2.00 or 80 odd pence each. They smell amazing and I am using the apple one in my tart burner just now!


        I cannot really fault this tour. Going a night increases the atmosphere and the tour was fun, scary and educational at the same time. Iain and the other guy were brilliant and he really does make it more worth trekking around Edinburgh in the pouring rain! If visiting Edinburgh, I can highly recommend this tour. I am leaning more to being a 'believer' after this particular tour and it is definitely the best out of the tours I have been on. It is well worth doing the Double Dead tour if you have time.

        Highly recommended!

        Thanks for reading and feel free to leave any comments/experiences as I am very interested to hear them x

        This review was originally posted on dooyoo in June 2012.


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          21.11.2010 17:59
          Very helpful
          1 Comment



          spend your time and money elsewhere in the wonderful city of edinburgh

          We were very excited about our tour, so needless to say, it was a huge letdown.
          Our tour guide was Jimmy, who was a little more than a loud talker, screamer and a terrible actor. Our tour was slated to start at 330, but we started over 5minutes late, since Jimmy was bent on getting a bigger crowd (more money!) before starting the city of the dead tour.

          The underground seemed interesting, but was definitely NOT worth the money. It could have been a 5 or 10 minute visit in the underground, but lasted over an hour, because the guide made stops in each of the four sections (just small rooms in each sublevel, really) of the 'cave'. In each stop, the guide, Jimmy, would weave 15-20 minute long ghost stories about how previous tour-goers experienced some out of this world phenomenon, and how he himself had gotten a scratch on his hand just because he merely pointed to a section of one of the 'levels'.

          Before entering the underground 'city' (which just looked like a cellar, like a previous reviewer described -- it had some old barrels lying there too!), Jimmy spent a good amount of time in front of St. Giles, by the landing of the staircase, and in a street intersection (with cars crossing occasionally!!) near the south bridge to feed us more ghost stories and some history. The historical section was pretty interesting, but was somehow ruined by his theatrics and role playing. He kept role playing in different voices and accents which was not amusing at all; it was just plain annoying.

          Everyone in our group (about 10 of us) looked bored and disappointed and had blank faces. Jimmy kept doing his theatrics, and at several points told the group to "give him feedback" and said that "we were too quiet, he thinks that nobody is enjoying themselves" which is probably true. No one wanted to say anything at was trying to be polite, even when we just wanted the tour to end and get a refund.

          The underground tour was annoyingly long simply because of the ghost storytelling, that some people in our group were bored and wanted to leave. I think someone approached him and asked how much longer the tour was going to be! I don't blame them and was happy that somebody asked, because i was getting lightheaded from being underground so long, and just standing there listening to some ghost stories that seemed too contrived and concocted. Me and my group were so happy to be done with the tour, that when we got out into the fresh air again, we just wanted to go and have drinks.

          In summary, the city of the dead underground tour is NOT worth a single penny, and is a waste of you 1.5 to 2 hours. You could be doing much better stuff in Edinburgh. There are plenty of other things to do with your time and money that are far more worthy.

          NOT worth it at all. HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT. The only bad part of our otherwise great trip to the city.


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          • More +
            15.01.2009 18:30
            Very helpful



            This might have been ok if we'd had a better guide

            My husband and I visited Edinburgh in July 2006 and took the City of the Dead Tour while there. We had already taken another ghost tour in the city previous to this one, and I thought the first one was MUCH better. We were not impressed with the City of the Dead Tour at all. It started off fairly well, with some interesting stories of Edinburgh's gory history, but once we left the Royal Mile and started walking down to Greyfriar's the whole thing became a shambles. Most of this was down to the guide, an Australian girl who took off walking at such a speed that i'm sure some of the older people in the group couldn't keep up and were left behind. We were practically running just to keep up and we were in our twenties!

            The churchyard itself was very interesting, with the grave of Greyfriar's Bobby and his owner, and the history of the MacKenzie poltergeist was quite frightening. We entered the Mausoleum which was very scary, and the guide was getting us all creeped out telling us about the incidents of people being attacked by the poltergeist, so everyone was very surprised when a guy in a cheap "Scream" mask jumped out at everyone! My husband was the exception, he didn't even flinch! I thought this was just a cheap way to get a scare out of everyone and I wasn't impressed by it at all.

            Maybe the tour would have been better if we'd had a better guide; I don't know. all I know is that I wouldn't recommend it and won't be taking it again!


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              09.02.2008 01:37
              Very helpful



              Prepare to be spooked!

              I'm a confirmed skeptic who believes that there is a rational explanation for most things paranormal. Mr Wigglylittleworm however believes in things that go bump in the night. He had read a lot about the Mackenzie poltergeist and really wanted to go on the City Of The Dead tour. After a lot of begging on his part for me to go with him, we got into the car one night to go join the tour.

              The tour is run by Black Hart entertainment who run walking tours all over the UK. They were set up by Jan-Andrew Henderson, a historian who also wrote the book The Ghost That Haunted itself which sparked Mr Wigglylittleworms interest.

              We walked up to the wonderful St Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile to join the tour and were met by our tour guide. There were around 15 people on the tour that night, mostly tourists.

              The tour starts outside the cathedral with the guide telling you stories about Edinburghs murky past. She told us a particularly gruesome account of a witchcraft trial and how a whole family were killed. She also told us some of the history of the cathedral and spooked us out a bit by telling us that the car park we were standing on was a graveyeard until the council decided to tarmac it over and that the ghosts were not happy about their bodies being moved.

              The tour then moved to Greyfriars kirkyard, around 10-15 minutes walk away. This is a lovely ancient graveyard, I've enjoyed visiting it during the day and reading all the old gravestones. It is, of course, also the setting of the story Greyfriars Bobby.

              It's at this point that the tour guide collected the admission fees for the tour (£8.50 for adults, £6.50 for concessions) and locked the graveyard gates!

              Once we were inside, the guide told us a bit about the history of the cemetery. I was shocked to learn that the hill we were standing on held as many as 500 000 bodies which were simply layered there during the days of the plague.

              Then we were taken to a dark corner of the cemetery which I had never seen before and things got decidedly spooky. The air seemed to be even chillier here than in other parts of the graveyard. Me, the hard headed skeptic, started clinging on to my other half at this point, just because I was cold you must understand.

              Then we were taken into The Covenanters Prison. This is where over 1000 Presbyterians men were imprisoned in 1679 by Bluidy (or bloody) George Mackenzie for their opposition of the Stuart kings. Many of these men perished in this open air prison. We were then taken inside a mausoleum.

              Inside this small, dark room we were treated to further tales of the dark past of the prison and the men who once inhabited it. We were told of the many manifestations of the poltergeist and that they often physically assaulted the guests, indeed sexual assaults were reported to have occured. I'd heard reports of visitors being scratched and bruised during the tour. The guide did a great job of building up a spooky atmosphere. At one point I felt something brushing against my sleeve and jumped out of my skin until I realised it was the man next to me.

              On the way out we were shown the famous Mackenzie mausoleum, the final resting place of Goerge Mackenzie, home of the Mackenzie poltergeist and reportedly one of the most haunted locations on the planet.

              I found the tour really enjoyable. Even though I knew a bit about the history of Edinburgh, I learned a lot more that night. The tour guide was lively and entertaining and built up a great atmosphere.

              I would suggest that you bring a torch so that you can see your feet when wandering around a graveyard in the pitch black. There are loads of nice little pubs in the area outside the cemetery for you to relax in afterwards. Greyfriars is also well worth a visit during the day.


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            • Product Details

              A careful blend of fascinating history and distinctive humour, culminating in a genuinely terrifying experience. Let an encounter with the poltergeist be the highlight of your tour experience.

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