The Best Ghost tours in Edinburgh

best ghost tours in edinburgh

The Best Ghost tours in Edinburgh

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Edinburgh is one of the beautiful cities of Europe. It has old cobbled streets making it the perfect backdrop for any horror film but I believe that a city as old as edinburgh is definately going to have its own resident ghosts.

Is Edinburgh haunted?

There has been so many report of ghost sighting’s throughout the city of Edinburgh that there must be something spooky going on. But even if you are not a believer in ghosts then even the stories will be interesting as they are a part of Edinburgh history.

Even if you are not a believer you will find it interesting to d a ghost tour I Edinburgh as you are seeing Edinburgh local sites that you might miss on a everyday walk through the city. For example at one point we went down a alley which didnt look like a common route but the information we were given was fascinating.

I think it is best to do a Edinburgh ghost walking tour when it is dark as it gives that extra errie feeling , not that it matters when you are in the blair street vaults as when the torches are switched off it is pitch black.

There are a number of Edinburgh ghost tours I think it is because it is such a old city which has so much history some of which is gruesome.

Think about what ghost tries may be of interest to you to help you chose the right ghost tour in Edinburgh. There are Edinburgh historical ghost tours, Edinburgh walking ghost tours and even a bus ghost tour in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle

Any castle is going to have its fair share of ghost tales. The royal castle in Edinburgh dates back to the 12th century.
There are reports of a ghostly piper and some people have reported hearing bagpipes playing if I heard that I would probably run straight out of the castle.

The castle has its own dungeons which of course would have help some sinister characters throughout the centuries.

One story is of a prisoner who tried to escape in a wheelbarrow of manure and now there have been reports of a bad smell followed by people getting a feeling of being pushed. Imagine walking through the castle feeling you are pushed and then seeing no one around again I would quickly vacate

Ghost tours in Edinburgh

Burke and Hare

Now the story that stands out to me the most is about Burke and Hare they were body snatchers during 1827 and 1829. The city was trying out new medical procedures and needed corpses to practice on and Burke and Hare were supplying these bodies.

However there was such a demand that these 2 collected their own corpses from their own victims. Pick a tour around the west port area to find out more.

The Edinburgh Dungeons

I have done a number of dungeon tours they are more theatrical but such a interesting way to find out the history of the city. Each dungeon tours is similar in principle but they tell you about specific tales of the city. 

The Edinburgh dungeon tours has special effects and you walk round a number of rooms as a group to meet characters that act out historical scenes. These tours are great for children as it is done but in a funny entertaining way.

One of the things that will get your heart racing in the Edinburgh Dungeons is the drop dead ride where you get to experience what it may be like being hung. I did it at the london dungeon and oh my god did I scream.

Underground vault ghost tour

One of my favourite was the Evening of ghosts and ghouls by Mercat Tours. It was an Edinburgh Vaults tour and was quite spooky I would definitely recommend.

Before this tour I didn’t even realise there were vaults under the city of Edinburgh never mind the ghosts that might be residing there. There are a number of ghost tours in Edinburgh but this was my favourite. It send chills down my spine and that’s what makes a good ghost story.

As usual I don’t want to give too much away about the tour so I don’t ruin it for people and really think you should go and try this one out for yourself. So here is a brief description of what we did on this Edinburgh underground ghost tour

This spooky ghost tour is excellent value for money it was Β£16 for an adult. It is 3 times daily so you should definitely be able to get a place but recommend booking in advance as this is a ghost tour in Edinburgh you don’t really want to miss.

We met at the Mercat Cross on the high street to begin the ghost tour, which was an easy starting point to find at 7pm. It was October so in the cold I was starting to regret booking this Edinburgh city tour when I could have been tucked up in my nice warm hotel but in the end it was well worth the cold.

is this the best ghost tour in edinburgh? This is a image of the Mercat Cross in the centre of Edinburgh
Mercat Cross

Our guide also called Jenny (great name) was informative as we began our walking tour of the city and she started to explain some of the local ghost’s stories. I have been on a number of ghost tours in different cities and any place with as much history as Edinburgh is bound to have its fare share of ghostly visitors and Jenny was a great story teller. 

After a brief walk around the city down some dark alleys and past some interesting buildings we went to the underground vaults which I believe used to be Edinburgh underground city.

Mercat underground vault in edinburgh, is it haunted? This image is a candlelite vault with a green light in the corner which could be something paranormal
photo credit : Mercat Tours Blair Street underground Vaults

There is so many interesting things to do in Edinburgh I need to go back to find out more about these vaults and the rest of the history of the city. I can not believe I reached the age of 36 before visiting Edinburgh, anyway back to this tour…..

Where did we visit on this ghost tour in Edinburgh

When we entered the Blair Street underground vaults it already had a spooky feeling. I was getting scared especially when the candle lights got blown out and we were stood there in the pitch black. This is my only picture of inside the vaults as I was a bit too scared to take pictures in case I managed to capture something.

is this the best ghost tour in edinburgh
Look really closely and you will spot the candle just before it was blown out

We explored the vaults as Jenny explained about recent sightings and some more stories to get us in the spooky mood.

I kept a close hand on my mums arm as you really didn’t know if something else was going to brush past you, at least I hope I was holding onto my mum as it was pretty dark so it could have been anyone.

There were a few children on the tour that were over 10 years of age and I think I was more scared than them. They seemed to have as much fun as the adults so it is a great thing to do with your kids in Edinburgh.

We finished off in the Meggets Cellar for a complimentary whiskey or Iron Bru. I had a glass of Iron Bru as I loved this soft drink when I was a kid and I am not a fan of whiskey although a little nip would have definitely warmed me up. We discussed our own past ghostly experiences. The cellar was cosy and a great way to finish off the evening.

is this the best ghost tour in edinburgh
Enjoying my Iron Bru in the underground vault bar

Even though the tour was a total of 2 hours it didn’t involve too much walking so it was not a challenger to someone with mobility problems apart from one hill which we took slowly.

There are however a few stairs to get into the underground vaults but it was all slowly paced so easy accessible for me with my limitations. You can read more in the Mercat Tour access statement for detailed information.

Real Mary Kings Close

Mary Kings is a underground close which dates back to pre 1800. These tours are by costumers guides and tell the stories of living in Real Mary Kings Close where there were murders crimes and plague killing the residents off.

Off the Royal Mile Rea Mary Kings Close had plague victims left to due in the streets which were then built over and abandoned for many years. When it was later returned to their were reported ghostly sightings and reports of hearing voices. We stood in the one room that felt very errie we all had to be quiet as we listened to hear voices all I could hear was my heartbeat but it was definately a chilling experience. Sometimes its more scary to anticipate what ghosts you might hear or see.

Greyfriars Kirkyard

Greyfriars Kirkyard has over 500 recorded incidents of poltergeists. Now I love a ghost tour but I am not sure what I would actually do if I saw a real ghost. I like the stories you get on the ghost town which are normally about people that were came to a horrible death or they committed a gruesome crime so they can not actually pass over. I have always had a interest in the paranormal. You can do a tour of here with city of dead tours.

Reports are much later in history as reports of beong attacked by somethibg ghostly are from 1990 to 2006. Visotor report unexplained scraches cuts and bruises after visiting why not go along abd see what you come away with.

Further articles that may be of interest

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  1. This reminds me a little bit of the subterranean tour I took in Naples recently. I’m not a big fan of ghosts and ghost tours, but I hear Edinburgh is quite famous for them so when I finally make it to Edinburgh, I will have to add this to my list!

  2. This tour looks pretty cool! I would do it too especially with a little whiskey at the end. I would love to hear more on the history of the vaults, looks very intriguing.

  3. Irn Bru is a bit of an acquired taste! Made from rusty girders, Highland rain, and sugar.

    I did a tour of Mary King’s Close in Edinburgh a couple of years back. Underground rooms that used to be where people lived, now buried far below street level. Black and narrow and low. Must have been horrendous to live in, particularly during a cold wet Scottish winter.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences – sounds like an atmospheric tour!

  4. Hi Pete
    I love Irn Bru but agree it is an acquired taste lol. I also visited Mary Kings Close it was good but not as spooky as this tour.

  5. So scary!! No wonders why you kept your mother’s arm. I think I wouldn’t even stand a few minutes there. At the same time, I am really curious about such places. They are so myesterious and make me wonder what their detailed history looks like.

  6. I will be honest, ghost tours creep me out! In fact, scary rides at theme parks freak me out. Ok… dark rides in general! So I may give this tour a miss when we head up north but thanks for sharing, was an interesting read! πŸ™‚

  7. Ugh why didn’t I know about this when I was in Scotland?! I loved Edinburgh, but this would’ve been the icing on the cake! Bookmarking for whenever I make it back over there next.

  8. This would have been great to know about before….I was in Edinburgh just last month! Bummed I missed out on it but sounds like you had a fantastic time! Will have to add to my list for the next time I’m there!

  9. I’m such a wimp when it comes to ghostly/dark quarters! I’m scared to walk too slowly up my basement staircase with the light turned out behind me! This does look like a neat tour to take, though! If I ever find myself in Edinburgh I’ll see if I can conquer my irrational fear of the dark!

  10. I took this tour about 15 years ago, not sure if it’s the same company, but it was the vaults, stories of Mr. Boots and all, complete with the pint at the end. It was the first ghost tour I had ever done and was quite good–I would gladly return.

  11. This is so spooky! I don’t know if I would dare. I have this fear from childhood that if I go to places known for ghosts they would then follow me for my entire life lol

  12. I am not fan of ghost tour but I liked to read your story, a little bit scaring too!! Anyway the city is on my bucket list and I had few chance to visit it when I went to Uk or Ireland in the past! Congrats for your blog and thanks for sharing it πŸ˜€

  13. Shiver, shiver…looks scary! A cousin of mine had told me about the ghost tours in Edinburg and I have always been wondering about them. Your post gives me a good idea. Not sure I would have the courage to sign up for one of these πŸ™‚

  14. Although ghost stories fascinate me, I can’t deal with the fear factor. I hardly ever watch horror or read any of it. But this Edinburgh tour looks amazing, even if being the Blair Street underground vaults at night would have me screaming my heart out in fear πŸ˜€

  15. I wanted to go on a ghost tour so badly when I was in Edinburgh. Unfortunately i had no time, as I was there on a day trip.! πŸ™ I went to the real Mary king’s close though!

  16. A unique kind of tour that I would not dare to participate. Am not afraid of ghosts, am more afraid of my security in the dark. Plus the possible dangerous zone.

  17. What fun! I would love to do this one and explore those underground vaults. Would love to know more stories associated with this place. I know that would make it even more interesting.

  18. I think they are silly and fun at the same time πŸ˜€ I don’t know if I could have lasted that long

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