Monday, August 9, 2010

Besides Halloween

I have this other distraction going.  Our trip back to the UK right after we take down the display. 

And for me, it is not possible for me to head over there and not go to my someday home of Edinburgh.  I LOVE this city for many reasons, but one the the top reasons is the ghost tours.  I could go on a ghost tour every day - I am not kidding....every day.

So I thought I would do a repost of some of my old Edinburgh ghost tour adventure posts from our trip in 2007. 

If you ever get to Edinburgh....go on all the ghost tours....twice.  Seriously - they are just that much fun.  So we are taking the time machine back to a post in Jaunary 2009.  Enjoy:

I tried to bring a ghost home
from the Edingburgh vaults, in my purse.

I was going to lump all the other Edinburgh ghost tours together...but, this one is too famous and needs its own space. And I just plain write too much.

Today, boys and girls, I will tell the tale of the Mercat Tour tours of the famous Edinburgh Vaults.

These vaults are creepy and the history just adds to the ambiance. These tours are worth every penny (if you are not claustrophobic :)


This 18th century the built South Bridge, a large bridge that spanned over 1,000 feet and had 19 arches for support, was cursed from its first crossing. The story goes that the lady that was promised to be the first person to cross the bridge died days before the opening. Because of the promise the powers that be decided that she would be the first "body" to cross the bridge, and she was, in a coffin.

This caused the locals to swear that the bridge was cursed and they did not use it for many years.

After a while, walking down and around the bridge wore them down and they started crossing. It because a popular place with shops along the top and tenement houses along both sides. They built floors and ceilings in the arches and used the space for workshops and the underground areas for storage.

As years passed the poor construction of the bridge became apparent and with water leaking in and the walls deteriorating. The shops abandoned the space and it then became home to squatters. After several years the bridge spaces became unusable and the everyone was evacuated and the bridge openings were filled with rubble.

In 1988 during and excavation project the remains of this bridge and the vaults underneath it were found. The already thriving Edinburgh ghost tour business now had a new main attraction.

What better place to tell ghost stories than in an dark, candle lit underground labyrinth?

These tours are worth the price just to see the history. But if you want ghost stories, they have plenty! Mr. Boots - named so because of the loud clomping he makes. There is also the ghost of a small boy. The tour guides are great, they tell you stories and warn you not to stand in certain places....which is where I B-line to and then for the rest of the tour, the group, somehow, does not seem to want to stand too close to me.

Cowards! :)

I was a bit creeped out being down there in candle light with a lot of scared (scary) people. That whole collective energy thing is quite powerful.

The coolest part about these tours is that they give you ghost hunting gear. Ghost hunting gear! Woohoo!!! Count me in!! Oh, knobs, lights and gauges, oh my!. (shake, shake, is this thing on?) I have to admit I had a lot of fun with the handheld ghost detectors (EM devise) they give you.

BTW - I got the biggest reading from the machine when I pointed it at my purse. Looks like I found a ghost that was in neeed of loose change....or breath mints. Eitherway, I thought ....hummmmm, if I don't tell anyone, maybe I can take this ghost home?! Oh, my very own Scotish ghost!!! (Then I do you get a ghost through customs? Is there VAT or duty on ghosts?) Well, you can imagine my disappointment when I got out of the vaults and did not find a ghost in my purse. :(

Important note. It is worth it to go on these tours more than once. (Actually I am just trying to validate to my husband why we have to go on a ghost tour every single night we are in town.) They have many tour guides and they all present the tour differently, that makes for unique experiences. One night you will get the "scary, spooky" guide who talks in a low voice and takes the whole tour VERY seriously. The next night you might get a guide that has a great sense of humor and knows just when to take it dead pan and scare the crap out of you.

Mercat offers other tours....but this one is my favorite.

Ah, I really need to start saving for my next trip :)


  1. I really really really want to go over there. I need money thou.... HEY... your in Marketing!! Find me a sugar daddy! Yeah...thats my new angle for money, Chris is my Marketing'er person.

    I love the ghost stories, history stuff. Keep it coming!

  2. That made me really look forward to our Ghost Tour of Old Town San Diego coming up soon. Edinburgh has a couple centuries more worth of ghosts, but I'll take what I can get :)

  3. LOVE that city and the 18th Century Vaults... and I look forward (if you have them) to pics and tales of Mary King's Close and the Secrets of the Royal Mile with Half-Hangit Maggie!

    So many walking ghost tours. So little time.

    And then finish with a pint at Greyfriar's Bobby's, the Last Drop, or better yet the Frankenstein pub on Geo IVth Bridge!

    Ah, Edinburgh.

  4. Mike C - is Frankensteins not the coolest bar/club. I go there several times when I visit!

    More reposts to come. So looking forward to this trip.


  5. trickortreat - never been to the ones in San Diego....will do next time I am down that way. Always LOVE a ghost tour.

    Kimbooly - I will get right on might have to move to Portland...darn ;)


  6. I had a month to boot around the UK back in the 90s and I visited Edinburgh. Continuing my travels, I lasted about 20 minutes in Glasgow before I turned around and returned there and spent a week.
    Love it.

  7. Ooh...I loved this post. And what I wouldn't do to get myself to Europe. I would choose to go to a place with history, especially spooky history, over any place, beaches you name it. I really want to go to Ireland and now you've made me decide to start saving up to make it happen!

  8. I experienced my very first ghost tour in Edinburgh 20 years ago and cannot wait to have the opportunity to visit that beautiful city again. In the meantime, I'll live vicariously through your photos and stories. :)

  9. Another place I want to travel to! This place looks awesome.

  10. OH WOW! You said you were going and you'd do some PI work for me re Mary King's Close and the "ghost" that has been appearing in their photos. I knew the trip was coming but I had no idea it was right after Halloween! Oh how fun. You're fun will just keep going. Looking forward to hearing about it when you go. (Because like a lot of the others who have commented, it'll be a while before I'll get there myself. Until then it's fun to live vicariously through you. ;)

  11. I need to add this place to my "must go" travel list.

    Thanks for sharing.

  12. Edinburgh is a great city. It's on my list of places to go back to as well. With any luck, we'll be able to meet up when you're over here in November.


  13. Ali - I hope so. I will get you dates when we get closer. Likely in September.



Blog Archive