The Hidden And Haunted Tour of Edinburgh

Posted on 17. May, 2013 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, Press Trips, United Kingdom

haunted tour edinburgh

You know what they say, right? When in Rome… do as the Romans do.

In Paris, go up the Eiffel Tower. In London, take a silly pose with Big Ben. In Pisa, hold the leaning tower. You get the gist. And in Edinburgh, the touristy thing to do, outside the obvious, is go on a haunted tour.

But why in Edinburgh, specifically?

It just so happens that Edinburgh is one of the most haunted cities in the world. Because of the city’s layout, two bridges were constructed in the late 1700s for expansion purposes over the Cowgate gorge between the Royal Mile and the University. The gorge was so deep that the bridges were over 19 stories high, and contained several dozens of vaults that served multiple purposes over the years.

haunted tour edinburgh

And of course, human nature being what it is, some of the things that went down in these vaults were definitely not meant to be done in broad daylight! Prostitution, black markets and, also, corpse disposal.

Come again?

The reason why these vaults are so heavily haunted is because many grave diggers stored the bodies of their victims in there, away from the hustle of the high street. Medical experiments were performed, valuable trinkets wore robbed and obscure events were held in these vaults, which certainly make for a spooky atmosphere.

haunted tour edinburgh

haunted tour edinburgh

My thoughts on the tour?

Well, it’s a guided tour. Any themed guided tour will be cheesy, regardless of how eerie it’s meant to be. But you have to take it for what it is, let your cerebral side go for a few hours and simply enjoy the stories of the talented guide.

To be honest, I was completely taken over by the atmosphere. I’m not one to let go of my left brain without a fight, always trying to find a rational explanation to everything. I don’t believe in aliens, UFOs or ghosts and spirits. But the guide on this tour, Linda, was so good that only then did I understand the true power of good storytelling.

For all I knew, I was surrounded by the spirits of a little boy, or a mean  cobbler, or a murdered inn owner. I was utterly, entirely, effectively petrified, and more than once did I surprise my ever so calm self by having goosebumps, and yes,  even shrieking a few times. That’s how good Linda was, and how lost I got in her stories.

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haunted tour edinburgh

haunted tour edinburgh

If you are looking for a fun, slightly unnerving experience in one of the most haunted city on the planet, I strongly recommend going on a haunted tour of Edinburgh. I was thoroughly entertained, and I got to learn a ton on Edinburgh’s history. It’s touristy, it’s cheesy, and believe me when I say I am the first one surprised, but also a lot of fun.

But the question remains…

Would you survive the South Bridge Vaults?

Disclaimer: I  was a guest of Mercat Tours. As always, all the petrified opinions are my own.

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10 Responses to “The Hidden And Haunted Tour of Edinburgh”

  1. Michelle

    17. May, 2013

    This sounds fabulous - I missed that tour the last time I was in Edinburgh, but I did do The Real Mary King’s Close, which was fascinating. Have you been there?

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      28. May, 2013

      Yes, it was the Mary King’s Close, and it was ultra spooky! :P

      Reply to this comment
  2. Jemma

    18. May, 2013

    Can you go to the gorge without a travel guide? I would like to have some spooky vacation for a change… :)

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      28. May, 2013

      I don’t think you can. And plus, having a guide is a huuuge part of the experience. I don’t think it’s quite the same without the stories!

      Reply to this comment
      • World Traveller

        29. Aug, 2013

        The guides do a great job of making the story come to life. Last time I was in Edinburgh I visited The Real Mary King’s Close and the walkabout above ground afterwards - both absolutely fascinating!

        Reply to this comment
        • Marie-Eve Vallieres

          01. Sep, 2013

          Glad you enjoyed the tour as well! It really is all about the guide! Plus Scottish accents = win.

          Reply to this comment
  3. Andrea

    19. May, 2013

    We did one of these too and enjoyed it - cold at night though!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Abby

    26. May, 2013

    We were just talking about doing something similar here in Vegas… (With the mob, etc, there are a lot of tours.) FUN! And I’ve always wanted to go to Edinburgh!

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      28. May, 2013

      That would be SO cool. I would totally go on that tour! :)

      Reply to this comment

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