Photo Edinburgh: I Dared Explore Scotland's Shadow Side Tourists Never See

Edinburgh: I Dared Explore Scotland’s Shadow Side Tourists Never See

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is known for its rich history and stunning architecture. However, beneath its picturesque facade lies a dark and haunted past that has earned it the reputation as one of the most haunted cities in the world. From its ancient castles to its underground vaults, Edinburgh is filled with tales of ghosts, witches, and notorious criminals. In this article, we will delve into the dark history of Edinburgh, uncovering its secrets and exploring its haunted sites. So, brace yourself for a journey into the eerie and mysterious side of this fascinating city.

Key Takeaways

  • Edinburgh has a dark history with secrets waiting to be uncovered.
  • Ghostly encounters are common in Edinburgh’s haunted sites.
  • The Royal Mile has a darker side that can be explored through a walking tour.
  • Edinburgh has had its fair share of infamous criminals, from Burke and Hare to Deacon Brodie.
  • The witch trials in Edinburgh are a dark chapter in Scottish history that should not be forgotten.

Edinburgh’s Dark History: Uncovering the City’s Secrets

Edinburgh’s history dates back thousands of years, with evidence of human settlement in the area as early as the Bronze Age. Over the centuries, the city has witnessed numerous wars, invasions, and political upheavals, leaving behind a legacy of bloodshed and tragedy. One of the most notable events in Edinburgh’s history is the infamous Scottish Wars of Independence in the 13th and 14th centuries, which saw fierce battles between the Scots and the English.

Another dark chapter in Edinburgh’s history is the period known as the Scottish Enlightenment in the 18th century. While this era is often celebrated for its intellectual and cultural achievements, it also had a darker side. The city became a hub for medical research, with anatomists and surgeons in need of bodies for dissection. This led to a rise in grave robbing and even murder to supply fresh cadavers. The most notorious criminals of this time were Burke and Hare, who murdered unsuspecting victims to sell their bodies to medical schools.

Ghostly Encounters: Exploring Edinburgh’s Haunted Sites

Edinburgh is home to numerous haunted sites that have attracted ghost hunters and paranormal enthusiasts from around the world. One such location is Edinburgh Castle, which sits atop Castle Rock and has a history dating back over 1,000 years. Visitors and staff have reported seeing apparitions, hearing strange noises, and feeling a chilling presence within the castle walls.

Another haunted site in Edinburgh is Mary King’s Close, an underground street that was once part of the city’s bustling Old Town. Legend has it that the close was sealed off during an outbreak of the plague in the 17th century, trapping its inhabitants inside. Today, visitors claim to have encountered ghostly figures and heard disembodied voices while exploring the narrow, winding streets.

The Darker Side of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile: A Walking Tour

A walking tour of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is a must for those seeking to uncover the city’s dark history. The Royal Mile is a historic street that stretches from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, passing through the heart of the Old Town. Along this route, you will find numerous historical sites and hear stories of murder, betrayal, and witchcraft.

One highlight of the tour is St Giles’ Cathedral, a stunning medieval church that has witnessed its fair share of dark events. It was here that Protestant reformer George Wishart was executed in 1546, sparking a series of events that would lead to the Scottish Reformation. Visitors have reported feeling a sense of unease and even seeing apparitions within the cathedral.

Edinburgh’s Infamous Criminals: From Burke and Hare to Deacon Brodie

Edinburgh has been home to some of Scotland’s most notorious criminals throughout history. Perhaps the most infamous are William Burke and William Hare, who terrorized the city in the early 19th century. The duo murdered unsuspecting victims and sold their bodies to medical schools for dissection. Their crimes were eventually discovered, and Burke was hanged for his crimes.

Another notorious criminal from Edinburgh’s past is Deacon Brodie, a respected cabinetmaker by day and a burglar by night. Brodie’s double life inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous novel, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Brodie was eventually caught and hanged, but his story lives on as a cautionary tale of the duality of human nature.

The Witch Trials of Edinburgh: A Dark Chapter in Scottish History

The witch trials that swept across Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries also left their mark on Edinburgh. During this time, hundreds of men and women were accused of witchcraft and subjected to horrific trials and executions. One of the most infamous cases was that of Agnes Sampson, a midwife who was accused of using witchcraft to cause the death of King James VI’s wife.

Sampson was tortured until she confessed to her crimes and was subsequently burned at the stake. Her case is just one example of the hysteria and paranoia that gripped Edinburgh during this dark period in history. Today, visitors can learn about these tragic events at the Museum of Edinburgh, which houses a collection of artifacts related to the witch trials.

The Underground Vaults of Edinburgh: A Secret World Beneath the City

Beneath the bustling streets of Edinburgh lies a hidden world of underground vaults that were once used for storage and housing in the 18th century. Over time, these vaults fell into disrepair and became a haven for criminals, prostitutes, and the destitute. Today, they are believed to be haunted by the spirits of those who once lived there.

Visitors to the underground vaults have reported hearing disembodied voices, feeling sudden drops in temperature, and even being touched by unseen hands. One particularly eerie story involves a tour guide who claims to have been pushed by an invisible force while leading a group through the vaults. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, a visit to the underground vaults is sure to send shivers down your spine.

Haunted Edinburgh: The Most Spooky Places to Visit

In addition to the castle, Mary King’s Close, and the underground vaults, Edinburgh is home to several other haunted locations that are worth a visit. One such place is Greyfriars Kirkyard, a historic cemetery that is said to be haunted by the spirit of George Mackenzie, a notorious persecutor of Covenanters in the 17th century. Visitors have reported feeling a sense of unease and even being physically attacked while exploring the cemetery.

Another spooky spot in Edinburgh is the Real Mary King’s Close, an underground warren of narrow streets and hidden rooms that was once part of the city’s bustling Old Town. Visitors have reported seeing apparitions, hearing strange noises, and feeling a chilling presence while exploring this eerie underground world.

Edinburgh’s Graveyards: A Journey Through the City’s Past

Edinburgh is home to several historic graveyards that offer a glimpse into the city’s past. One such cemetery is Greyfriars Kirkyard, which dates back to the 16th century and is the final resting place of many notable figures, including poet Allan Ramsay and economist Adam Smith. The cemetery is also known for its connection to the infamous Mackenzie Poltergeist, which is said to haunt the area.

Another notable graveyard in Edinburgh is Canongate Kirkyard, located near the Palace of Holyroodhouse. This cemetery is the final resting place of several prominent figures, including economist John Law and poet Robert Fergusson. Visitors can wander among the tombstones and soak in the history and atmosphere of this ancient burial ground.

The Supernatural Side of Edinburgh: A Tour of the Paranormal

For those seeking a more immersive experience into Edinburgh’s supernatural side, there are several paranormal tours available in the city. These tours take visitors to some of the most haunted locations in Edinburgh and offer the chance to experience ghostly encounters firsthand.

One popular tour is the Edinburgh Ghost Tour, which takes visitors through the city’s dark alleyways and hidden closes. Along the way, guides share chilling tales of murder, witchcraft, and paranormal activity. Another option is the City of the Dead Haunted Graveyard Tour, which explores the eerie Greyfriars Kirkyard and its resident spirits.

Edinburgh’s Dark Literature: Discovering the Haunting Tales of Scottish Authors

Scotland has a rich literary tradition, with many authors known for their dark and haunting tales. One such author is Sir Walter Scott, whose novel “The Heart of Midlothian” is set in Edinburgh and tells the story of a young woman accused of infanticide. The novel explores themes of justice, morality, and the power of forgiveness.

Another Scottish author known for his dark literature is Robert Louis Stevenson, whose novella “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” is set in Edinburgh. The story follows a respected doctor who creates a potion that transforms him into a murderous alter ego. Stevenson’s tale explores the duality of human nature and the consequences of suppressing one’s darker impulses.

Edinburgh’s dark history and reputation as a haunted city make it a fascinating destination for those seeking thrills and chills. From its ancient castles to its underground vaults, the city is filled with stories of ghosts, witches, and notorious criminals. Whether you choose to explore its haunted sites on your own or join a paranormal tour, Edinburgh offers a unique and spine-tingling experience that is sure to leave you with lasting memories. So, pack your bags and prepare to uncover the secrets of this haunted city.

If you’re planning a trip to Edinburgh, you might be interested in exploring the city’s hidden secrets and lesser-known attractions. But have you ever wondered about the shadow side of Scotland that tourists rarely see? In a fascinating article titled “I Dared Explore Scotland’s Shadow Side Tourists Never See,” you can uncover the mysterious and eerie aspects of this enchanting country. From haunted castles to ancient legends, this article takes you on a thrilling journey through Scotland’s darker side. Discover the untold stories and spine-chilling tales that lie beneath the surface of Edinburgh’s historic streets. To read more about this intriguing topic, click here.


What is the article about?

The article is about exploring the darker side of Edinburgh, Scotland that tourists usually don’t see.

What are some of the places mentioned in the article?

The article mentions places such as Greyfriars Kirkyard, the Edinburgh Vaults, and Mary King’s Close.

What is Greyfriars Kirkyard?

Greyfriars Kirkyard is a cemetery in Edinburgh that is known for its ghost stories and haunted history.

What are the Edinburgh Vaults?

The Edinburgh Vaults are a series of underground chambers and tunnels beneath the city that were used for various purposes throughout history, including as storage spaces and as homes for the poor.

What is Mary King’s Close?

Mary King’s Close is a narrow street in Edinburgh that was once a bustling marketplace but is now a tourist attraction that offers a glimpse into the city’s past.

What is the history behind Edinburgh’s darker side?

Edinburgh has a long and often violent history, with many stories of murder, plague, and other tragedies. The city’s darker side is often associated with its past as a center of witchcraft and other occult practices.

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