How to participate in a guided ghost tour of Edinburgh’s Old Town?

In Edinburgh, the city of festivals, tales, and history, we have something unique for you. We invite you to immerse yourself in the eerie past of Edinburgh’s Old Town by participating in a ghost tour, a chilling journey through time that will let you explore the underground vaults and experience the town’s haunted history. But how does one book this tour and what to expect? We have all the answers for you.

Preparing for the Ghost Tour

Before embarking on your ghost tour of Edinburgh's Old Town, it's important to prepare adequately to get the most out of your experience. You will not only need to book your tour in advance, but also understand what to expect and how to dress appropriately for the experience.

Booking your Tour

Edinburgh’s haunted tours are a popular attraction, with many tourists and locals alike looking to tickle their curiosity and delve into the city’s history. It is advisable to book your tour in advance to secure your spot. There are numerous tour options available, from evening ghost walks to midnight tours of the city's underground vaults. Choose the one that suits your schedule and level of curiosity. Most tour companies, like Mercat Tours, provide an online booking option for convenience.

Remember, the key to a successful ghost tour is booking the right guide. Look for a guide who is not only knowledgeable about Edinburgh’s history but also a good storyteller who can bring the city’s ghost stories to life.

What to Expect

Expect a trip back in time as you traverse the narrow, winding streets of Old Town, led by your guide who will share fascinating tales of Edinburgh’s past, featuring bodysnatchers, witches, and infamous ghosts. The stories told are generally based on historic accounts and documented paranormal activity, lending a certain authenticity to the shivers running down your spine.

One of the key highlights of the tour will be a visit to the underground vaults. These vaults, hidden beneath the city, hold a dark and damp history. It's a unique experience that not many tours can provide.

Dressing Appropriately

Do not underestimate the Edinburgh weather, even in summer. The weather here can be unpredictable, and the temperatures in the underground vaults tend to be quite cold. So, pack warm clothes and comfortable walking shoes. A waterproof jacket may also come in handy, given the city’s frequent rains.

Exploring the Highlights of the Ghost Tour

The ghost tour of Edinburgh’s Old Town is not only an exercise in spine-chilling storytelling, but also a journey through some of the city’s oldest and most haunted sites. From the shadowy alleyways to the underground vaults, each site has its own tale to tell.

The Ghostly Alleyways

Edinburgh’s Old Town is a maze of narrow alleyways, or ‘closes’, each with a history that goes back hundreds of years. As you explore these closes, your guide will regale you with tales of the people who once lived and died here. You might even feel a chill in the air as you hear about the apparitions that have been sighted in these very alleyways.

The Haunted Underground Vaults

Your tour will likely take you into the heart of the city’s haunted history – the underground vaults. These vaults, hidden beneath the South Bridge, were once the home of the city’s destitute and criminal underbelly. The living conditions here were horrific, making the vaults a hotspot for paranormal activity. With your guide’s narration echoing off the stone walls, you'll have an unforgettable experience.

The Infamous Ghosts

Every ghost tour in Edinburgh introduces its participants to some infamous spirits. From the ghost of a headless drummer in Edinburgh Castle to the specter of Agnes Sampson, a midwife wrongly accused of witchcraft, these stories will definitely make your tour a memorable one.

Staying Overnight in the Old Town

As eerie as it might sound, staying overnight in the Old Town can elevate your ghost tour experience. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your stay.

Choosing the Right Hotel

To fully immerse yourself in the ghostly atmosphere of the Old Town, consider staying in a hotel that has its own share of ghost stories. The reputedly haunted hotels in Edinburgh include Borthwick Castle, Dalhousie Castle, and the Scotsman Hotel. Be sure to book your accommodation well in advance as these hotels are quite popular among tourists.

Exploring the Town at Night

The ghost tour doesn’t have to end with the guide’s final tale. Many guests find that exploring the town at night adds a thrilling dimension to their stay. Stroll through the deserted streets, visit the historic graveyards, or simply enjoy the gothic architecture under the moonlight. Just remember to respect the peace and privacy of the locals.

Engaging in Post-Tour Activities

The ghost tour may leave you with a desire to learn more about the darker history of Edinburgh. Luckily, the city has plenty to offer to satisfy your curiosity.

Visiting the Edinburgh Dungeons

The Edinburgh Dungeons offer a thrilling and interactive journey through the city's gruesome past. You will meet notorious characters like Burke and Hare, the infamous body snatchers, and learn about the city’s most brutal punishments.

Exploring the City’s Haunted Pubs

Edinburgh's pubs aren't just about good food and drinks. Several of the city's oldest pubs are also believed to be haunted. The Banshee Labyrinth, for example, is said to be visited by the wailing spirit of a banshee. A visit to one of these pubs could be the perfect way to end your day in Edinburgh.

Remember, the ghost tour of Edinburgh's Old Town is more than just a walk through haunted sites. It is a journey through time, exploring the city's darker history, and experiencing the tales that have shaped its reputation as one of the world's most haunted cities. It’s all about the experience. So, prepare well, explore thoroughly, and enjoy the chill!

Must-Visit Spots during the Ghost Tour

Experience the chills and thrills of Edinburgh’s haunted history by visiting some of its most eerie sites. Your ghost tour will likely include several stops that are well known for their paranormal activity.

Mary King's Close

Mary King's Close, located on the Royal Mile, is a must-visit spot during a ghost tour in Edinburgh. This network of ancient streets, which were buried beneath the city in the 18th century, is shrouded in myths and mystery. As you wander through its narrow lanes, you will be immersed in tales of plague victims, ghost sightings, and eerie happenings.

South Bridge Vaults

The South Bridge Vaults, often a highlight of the ghost tour, represent a grim part of the city's history. These dark, dank vaults once served as homes and workplaces for the city’s poorest residents. Listen closely as your guide narrates hair-raising stories of the squalor, crime, and death that occurred here, magnifying the spooky ambience of the place.

Greyfriars Kirkyard

Greyfriars Kirkyard is reputed to be one of the most haunted graveyards in the world. The resting place of many notable figures, it is also home to the infamous Mackenzie Poltergeist. Visiting this famous cemetery, particularly at dusk, will send shivers down your spine.

Remember, the ghost tour of Edinburgh's Old Town is a journey of discovery. From the confined spaces of Mary King's Close to the haunted grounds of Greyfriars Kirkyard, every spot has a tale to tell.

To fully enjoy your ghost tour of Edinburgh's Old Town, it is crucial to participate actively. Ask questions during the tour, interact with the guide and other participants, and take time to absorb the chilling atmosphere of the locations you visit.

Stay Engaged

Don't simply walk and listen. Engage in the tour by asking questions related to Edinburgh's history and its ghostly inhabitants. This will not only give you a deeper understanding of the stories but also make your tour more enjoyable and memorable.

Capture Memories

Take plenty of pictures to capture the essence of your ghost tour. However, remember to respect the rules of the tour, as some locations may not allow photography. Your photos will serve as lasting reminders of your eerie adventure through Edinburgh’s Old Town.

Share Your Experience

After your tour, consider sharing your experience with others. Write a review or testimonial for the tour company, post about your tour on social media, or simply recount your experiences to friends and family. You never know, your tales may inspire someone else to embark on their own ghostly adventure.

To sum up, a ghost tour of Edinburgh's Old Town is a unique, thrilling experience that allows you to explore the city's history in a new light. It’s not just about the chills and thrills, but about delving into the city's dark past and uncovering its enigmatic tales. So, buckle up and get ready for a night full of surprises, because, in Edinburgh’s Old Town, every corner holds a story waiting to be discovered.