Edinburgh has a grim and gruesome past. And this explains why we tell so many ghost stories across our city. Join one of Edinburgh’s spooky tours to hear all about the spirits that haunt our streets!
Here are some of Edinburgh’s spookiest experiences. Please note, some of these ghost tours and attractions are not suitable for children and have limited access for wheelchair users. Please check with the individual tour operators before booking.
Walking Ghost Tours
The ancient, narrow streets of the Old Town are the perfect setting to hear some of Edinburgh’s great ghost stories. Burke and Hare, Deacon Brodie, Half Hangit Maggie, Bloody MacKenzie, The Ghostly Piper. These are just some of the characters you might hear about on a walking tour around the city.
Beneath Edinburgh’s South Bridge, within the arches of the bridge, lies a series of spooky, underground chambers. From the late 18th century neighbouring businesses used them for storage. But, they became damp and unsuitable. Hidden away from prying eyes, criminals began to use them for illegal activities. Eventually the authorities boarded them up and they remained closed for around 200 years. Some city ghost walks will now take you down into these chambers on an underground tour. Here, you’ll hear tales of the horrors that took place there hundreds of years ago.
The Ghost Bus
Climb onboard the Ghost Bus for a creepy guided tour around the darker side of Edinburgh. Described as a ‘comedy horror show’, this tour is very theatrical. It’s a light-hearted way to hear the tales of a haunted city. The creepy conductor will show you where crimes, tortures and executions took place, and tell stories of witches, thieves and murderers. The classic 1960s Routemaster was once a funeral bus. So, be prepared for a few ghostly surprises along the way.
Edinburgh Dungeons is a walk-through attraction. It’ll take you on a chilling journey through history with live shows and scary rides. Visitors come face-to-face with a whole host of horrible characters from over 1000 years of Scotland’s past. Shows and rides include The Labrinth of Lost Souls, The Cave Of Cannibals and the Torture Chamber.
Mary King’s Close
Mary King’s Close is an old Edinburgh street which was buried under the Royal Mile and closed off to the public for 250 years. It became the subject of ghost and crime stories and tales of plague victims being boarded up and left to die. When archaeologists re-opened it in 2003, they revealed several shops, houses and artefacts they had discovered from its 17th century residents. Led by one of the Close’s past residents, this is mainly a historical tour. But, with a couple of ghost stories thrown in for good measure.