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Things to do | Posted 21 Dec 2010

There’s a chill in the air and it’s more than just winter drawing in. Edinburgh is a city with sinister stories around every corner and down every alleyway, which are sure to send a shiver down your spine. With centuries of bloodyhistory, the city is home to some of the most prolific ghouls known to the UK; it’s no wonder there are so many ghost tours in Edinburgh.

Take a walk around the streets or vanish into vaults that were once home to thousands of people without basic sanitation or proper ventilation. Wander through one of the cities many eerie graveyards and shudder as you peer around headstones into deep and mysterious shadows.

The streets of Edinburgh are known to come alive at night and with Halloween right around the corner, here are a few of the spookiest ghost tours to watch out for.

Blair Street Underground Vaults Tour

At 8:30pm daily, the Doomed, Dead and Buried Tour meets to take on some of the most haunted sites in Edinburgh. On this tour you’ll explore the stories of real historical figures including the infamous Cannibal of Canongate. Each story delves into the unknown in its own unique way – and this is all before you’ve even entered the Blair Street Vaults.

The vaults are now carefully guarded with restricted access to the public so you’ll need a guide to escort you. Over the years, various tales have emerged from these underground passages. Even if you don’t believe that the infamous serial killers Burke and Hare used these rooms to pray on their victims, the sound of the strange voices recorded in 2010 will certainly give you the creeps.

City of the Dead Tour Through Greyfriars Kirkyard

Starting at 9pm in the Summer and 8:30pm after Hallowe’en, the City of the Dead Tour meets outside St. Giles Cathedral, on the Royal Mile, and takes you on a journey through one of the most haunted graveyards in the city. This tour will make your skin crawl, whilst also engaging a wicked sense of humour.

Greyfriars Kirkyard is just an eight-minute walk from Leonardo  Boutique Hotel Simpson Townhouse Edinburgh. Thegreat stone walls house more than a few familiar names. Perhaps you’ll recognise McGonagall and Moody? Or maybe the gravestone marked Thomas Riddell will stop you in your tracks. J.K Rowling says that she took walks around the notorious Greyfriars Kirkyard while she was writing the Harry Potter novels, we assume that she used the names she saw here as inspiration for some of her most famous characters. The Potter Trail runs through Greyfriars Kirkyard, but you can visit any time - day or night.

Watch out for the Mackenzie poltergeist, who’s said to haunt the graveyard. After more than 500 recorded incidents, there’s surely something here going bump in the night.

Visit the Edinburgh Dungeon

Inside The Dungeon it can be difficult to stay in touch with reality. Combining all the usual elements of a tour with a large cast, immersive sets and a cellar full of special effects, Edinburgh Dungeon will transport you back to the gory days of yore. Perhaps Burke and Hare are lurking in the shadows, ready to capture you in the next moment, the torturer is always ready for his next victim and women beware the witch hunters.

Keep your family close and look out! Once you enter, your life is in the hangman’s hands

Adults Only: The Terror Tour to End All Tours

At 10pm you might usually be wrapped up safely in your bed, but for now,forget it. The Terror Tour will open your mind and set your pulse racing. A simple walk through the streets on a cold, moonlit night isn’t quite scary enough for this tour. Are you prepared to head underground and through the Niddry Street Vaults? The stories of the harrowing events that have taken place here are no fairy tales: death and decay practically line the walls.

The creepiness of these vaults develops in three unique rooms, the last of which, the room with the stone circle, is the strangest of all. It is said that a ghost lives here, contained within the circle by Wiccans who still practice their witchcraft in the next room. This is no ordinary ghost, and is said to be comprised of the many souls who died underground here and are waiting to enact revenge.

Only the bravest step inside the circle hoping to feel it’s energy: dare you?

Need a Safe House?

After a long night of ghost hunting, perhaps you’re ready to settle down in one of our comfortablehotels.?

Jurys Inn & Leonardo Edinburgh Hotels are all warm, welcoming and phantom-free. For now, at least...

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