Earlier this month we had the privilege of spending five days in Edinburgh, Scotland. This was during the Fringe Festival that encompasses all types of Arts which includes over three thousand separate performances. In fact it is still going on for the next few days!
One of the most interesting events that we took part in was separate from the Fringe and truly a chilling experience.
The tour we joined was created by a local historian and was not given to histrionics or gimmicks but rather relied upon the murders, brutality, and all out strange phenomena that is associated with Edinburgh throughout its’ long history.
At the beginning of our tour our guide noted the heart on the old cobblestone pavement that marked what used to be the opening of the dungeon.
We walked to Greyfriars Kirkyard which is the graveyard that surrounds Greyfriars Kirk.
Here many of the City’s poor and indigent were buried in unmarked graves.
The above picture illustrates the common practice, in earlier days, of putting a cage around your loved ones grave to prevent their remains from being robbed by persons who would sell the remains to the University of Edinburgh Medical School for their research.
William Burke and William Hare committed 16 murders in 1828. They sold the bodies to Dr. Doctor Robert Knox for his Anatomy classes. Due to measures being taken to keep graves from being robbed there became a shortage of cadavers for the purpose of dissection in Anatomy lectures. “When a lodger in Hare’s house died, he turned to his friend Burke for advice and the two decided to sell the body to Knox; they received, what was to them a generous sum seven pounds and ten shillings. A little over two months later, when Hare was concerned that a lodger suffering from fever might put others off from staying in the house, he and Burke murdered her and sold the body to Knox,” according to Wikipedia.
Burke and Hare’s Cottage Industry was going quite well until a student in an Anatomy class recognized Margaret Docherty’s corpse as one of the lodgers at Hare’s home.
Hare turned kings evidence against Burke. Burke was found guilty of one of the murders and subsequently hanged. His corpse was dissected and his skeleton displayed at the Edinburgh Medical School where it remains to this day.
Burke and Hare were two members of a well done fictionalized account of ignominious murderers throughout history in a popular Twilight Zone program entitled, The New Exhibit.
One of the truly eerie segments of the tour came at the conclusion where we went underground to the vaults that had been uncovered. Our guide said that although she had only worked for the Tour Company for less than a year…she had striven to remain neutral regarding the existence or non-existence of ghosts. She went on to recount that within the last two months three disturbing reports had been given to her by members of her various tours.
The original owner of the vault, that we were in, had two children who were tragically killed.
The first account came from a woman at the conclusion of one of our guide’s tours when she asked the guide who the little boy was that was at her side during her explanation of the vault they were in?
The second occurrence was our guide noticing that a man and woman had no more than entered the vault when they hastily turned around and exited and returned above ground. When our guide met them at the conclusion of the tour she enquired as to their rapid exit. They responded that as soon as they entered the vault they saw a little boy setting in the corner of the room. Our guide found this concerning as she had not told of the history of the room or the untimely death of the two children.
Recently yet another woman saw a little boy standing at the side of our guide during her entire presentation in the vault. This woman knew nothing of the first two occurrences.
The picture above is Jonathon…not the ghost…but is illustrates the dark, dank, environment we were in.
A fellow American from Texas took several pictures while we were down there and showed me an image that I did not recall seeing while I was there?
The last item we saw was where one of the stones had fallen from the wall and when you bent down to look in…there were bones.