Edinburgh is said to be one of the world’s most haunted cities.
Its mist-laden hills, cobbled streets, ancient buildings and subterranean vaults are a wonderful place to explore – during the day or after dark.
And as you explore and learn more of the fascinating and at times gruesome history of this place, you can also keep your eyes peeled for any ghostly visitors that might still haunt the Old Town.
You could definitely simply take matters into your own hands, and explore areas of the city where a haunting might occur. But to gain the most from visiting these spooky locations, you might want to consider taking one of these 5 Edinburgh ghost tours:
- 5 Edinburgh Ghost Tours You Won't Want to Miss
- Other Top Rated Ghost Tours in Edinburgh that are not included in this list:
5 Edinburgh Ghost Tours You Won’t Want to Miss
This historically fascinating ghost-hunting tour will take you to two of the city’s most haunted locations – the shadow-shrouded subterranean world of Blair Street, and Canongate Kirkyard.
Blair Street Underground Vaults is a labyrinthine network of chambers below the South Bridge with a storied and at times horrific past. This is the place for an Edinburgh underground tour.
Here, in 19 arches below the bridge, workshops, storage spaces and drinking establishments were abandoned and the seedy underbelly of the city moved in.
Brothels, gambling dens and moonshine distilleries were housed here, and it is believed that body-snatchers even used the dark spaces to store the corpses they stole.
The rooms also housed some 2,000-3,000 of the city’s poorest residents – conditions were squalid and disease ran rife – until the city sealed off the vaults and they remained forgotten until the 1980s.
After touring these eerie vaults you will weave your way to Canongate Kirkyard – a huge cemetery where you can keep your eyes peeled for spectres and ghouls wondering through the darkness.
As you explore these two locations your guide will regale you with a commentary filled with gruesome tales of cannibalism, torture and witchcraft and you can find the final resting places – or not – of a number of famous Scots.
This Edinburgh Walking Tour is one of the best ghost tours in the city! And the most popular on our list.
- Duration: 75 minutes
- Free Cancellation: Yes!
- Meeting Point: Tourist information police box across the road from Brodie’s tavern
- Where to Book: Viator.com
Starting at the tourist information police box across the road from Brodie’s tavern, this terrifying adults-only tour will take you on a 75 minute tour of Edinburgh’s Old Town after dark, culminating in a visit to the gruesome Torture museum, for which entry is included in the price.
As on the tour above you will enter the notorious city vaults, see St Giles cathedral by night, and hear of the Tolbooth Prison and the troubled souls who were held there, with your professional guide.
The Old Tolbooth was a mediaeval structure that has served a number of different purposes over the centuries. It was the main jail here where not only incarceration but also physical punishments and torture were routinely conducted, and from 1785, this was the site of public executions. The buildings were demolished in 1817 but who is to say whether or not some ghosts or ghouls may linger here on this site…
Then you will have the opportunity to enter the terrifying Torture Museum.
Is your stomach strong enough to handle the tales of brutal torture in times gone by and to learn how the devices you will see were used?
This popular Ghost and Gore Walking Tour is perfect if you are looking for an early evening tour that is a bit more family friendly then this is one of the Edinburgh ghost tours might be a fun option to consider.
Light-hearted yet informative, this 80 minute walking tour of the historic Royal Mile is full of fun and frolics.
Meeting outside the Witchery restaurant just before 7pm, you will be guided by a former city cemetery director, mr Alexander Clapperton (deceased) and will meet a number of infamous apparitions along the way such as the mad monk of Cowgate, a witch called Agnes Fynnie, and bloody Highlander Rhuari McLeod. The tour includes a copy of ‘The Witchery Tales’ by Adam Lyal.
Enjoy a fiendishly funny outing that will be enjoyed by the whole family as you walk the cobbled streets and courtyards of Edinburgh’s old town and are jumped out at by a host of different characters (typically played by the same person).
Back on the more serious side, this almost two hour long ghost tour starts and ends on High Street, Edinburgh. This is one of many Edinburgh walking tours that will allow you to explore the Old Town and learn more about its dark yet fascinating history.
Beginning at 6pm, it will lead you through Edinburgh’s Old Town where you can explore hidden closes and find out about the gruesome things that have gone on there over the centuries.
During this tour you will have the experienced narrative from your informative guide to help you navigate the history and wynds of this old part of the city.
You will also have the opportunity to visit Old Calton Burial Ground – where the Scottish philosopher David Hume as well as several other notable Scots are buried. Atop Calton Hill, to the north east of the city centre, this burial ground was opened in 1718 and offers not only ghost-watching opportunities but also panoramic views over the city.
Another option for adults who want to explore and go ghost hunting around the Old Town is this well-organised example, with stops in the Greyfriars cemetery as well as the underground vaults mentioned above.
If you are looking for an Edinburgh vaults tour with something a little extra this is one of many options to consider.
Burials have been taking place at Greyfriars Kirkyard since the late 16th Century. A number of notable Edinburgh residents are buried there.
Greyfriars takes its name from a Franciscan friary which used to be on the site. The graveyard is best known for Greyfriar’s bobby, a loyal dog who guarded his master’s grave, sleeping there for 14 years.
This tour will take you to this haunted graveyard, then on through many wynds above the ground and the vaults below, in the presence of a theatrical and entertaining guide who will be dressed in appropriate costume for the evening.
Even if you don’t actually see any ghosts on one of the Edinburgh walking tours above, you should still have a wonderful time.
Other Top Rated Ghost Tours in Edinburgh that are not included in this list:
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