Marty's Blog: 7 Spooky Things In Edinburgh To Get You In The Halloween Spirit
So the leaves are falling, Starbucks have their pumpkin spice lattes out again and everyone is suddenly like 8 layers which can only mean one thing… IT’S ALMOST HALLOWEEN! So, to get you in the festive “spirit” (see what I did there?) here is 7 things you can do in Edinburgh to get your spook on:
Arguably the most touristy place on my list, you can explore Scotland’s grizzly past with the likes of William Wallace and the awful cannibal Sawney Bean. It’s basically a live action Horrible Histories where you get to interact with the characters of some of Scotland’s most gruesome events. If you do go, make sure don’t get too lost in the mirror maze… you wouldn’t want to be getting lost down there.
If you prefer a less *ahem* lively time and want a wander through the past, you should check out Greyfriars Kirkyard. Open 24 hours a day, you can walk among the likes of Greyfriars Bobby (Edinburgh’s most beloved Terrier), William McGonagall (arguably Scotland’s worst poet) and the grave that gave JK Rowling inspiration for her villain Tom Riddle.
To go from graveyards to grave robbers you could explore the haunting tale of Burke and Hare. Probably the most obscure item on this list why not check out The Cadies and Witchery Tours shop that has on display a small box made from the real skin of the notorious body snatcher William Burke.
If that realm of real life gore is what sparks your interest you should definitely check out The Surgeons Halls. It’s a museum that looks at the history of Scotland’s connection with the surgical field throughout history, with rows and rows of organs and body parts with abnormalities in glass vials. Beware this is not for the faint of heart (or weak of stomach).
Have you ever wondered why Edinburgh has so many levels, closes and sections? Then The Real Mary King’s Close might be fore you. In this educational experience you walk back in time to see what Edinburgh was like many years ago. It looks into the plague victims of Edinburgh that were left to rot in some of the closes in Edinburgh, as they started building on top of them.
If you’re a major potter-head like me it might be worth having a look at some of the Harry Potter shops popping up all around Edinburgh. With Museum Context being the leading shop for magical items, movie memorabilia and interesting muggle contraptions it’s like your own mini room of requirement. There is also the famed Elephant House café where Rowling first penned the The Philosopher’s Stone. (Little word of advice I’d recommend going mid-day during the week to avoid the tourist rush but it’s basically never not busy.)
To finish off your day of ghost hunting and Halloween prep why not go for a pint with a ghost? Arguably one of Edinburgh’s most haunted pubs (and pretty cheap prices) Banshees is the place to be! Slap bang in the middle of old town and once the underground hangout for some of Edinburgh’s most unsavoury characters, now it’s a popular haunt for students hosting a ton of events from karaoke to movie screenings.
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