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“Underground City of the Dead Ghost Tour”

City of the Dead Tours
Ranked #33 of 202 Tours in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Type: City Tours, Tours
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: These walks are designed by best selling historical author and award winning novelist J A Henderson. "The best of Edinburgh’s ghost tours" – Lonely Planet Guide. Combining history, humour and horror, the walk ends inside the Covenanter’s Prison in a locked section of a 16th century cemetery. This is the lair of the "McKenzie Poltergeist," the best-documented paranormal case in history. "Puts the city's other ghost tours in the shade"- Edinburgh Evening News
Falkirk, United Kingdom
1 review
“Underground City of the Dead Ghost Tour”
Reviewed 15 May 2014

We were looking for something a little different to do on a night out in Edinburgh so we took a gamble and booked the Underground City of the Dead Ghost Tour.
Fantastic hour and 20 mins spent learning about the dark side of Edinburgh and things that went on in the past. Loads of info about what went on in the Vaults and surrounding area made the time fly by.
We had a fantastic time and were well looked after and entertained by Cara ( sorry if it's spelt Kara ) who was a fantastic guide.
All in all a great nights entertainment and totally recommended.
The Virgin Media guys loved it!!

Visited May 2014
Thank Gordon1812
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Perfect way to learn about the dark side of Edinburghs history”
Reviewed 14 May 2014

After spending three nights in Edinburgh we decided to do the double city of the dark your. Myself and my partner are both sceptics about paranormal activity and ghosts. All I can say is WOW. My views have changed and Edinburgh is the perfect way to change your views on this subject. We started the tour visiting the south bank vaults. The history behind this is incredible and the tour guide had a wealth of knowledge to help make the tour worth while. The history behind the vaults is amazing the uses of the vaults is a real eye opener. Something I won't say as you'll find that out your self. After the vaults we head to grey friars kirk. And walked down the dark cowgate. Again full of dark History. Grey friars kirk was amazing that is all I will say because there is so much you'll learn about. The tour guide jordana was full of knowledge on this dark side. And she answered every question put to her. I strongly recommend this tour for any visit to Edinburgh. It's the best tour in the city. If I return I will do it again because it is spine chilling

Visited May 2014
Thank Tilj2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Not bad!”
Reviewed 13 May 2014

I've been on this tour twice now, and enjoyed the tour both times. I'm a Scottish native, but even so, I enjoy going on such tours because since moving to Edinburgh 4 years ago, I've found it a beautiful city with lots of dark history to explore.

The double dead tour comprises a tour of the underground vaults of South Bridge and a tour of the Greyfriar's Cemetery with lots of interesting tales and anecdotes told along the way. The tour guides don leather and big boots and try to creep you out as much as they possibly can, both with history and with tales of the paranormal.

While this tour was not the scariest (even the 'surprise' towards the end), it is filled with interesting history told in a dramatic way on site, to awaken your interest in Edinburgh's past. I appreciate a walk in the old town that bit more knowing some of the stories that have taken place underfoot.

Visited April 2014
Thank Jasmine-Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City
Level Contributor
73 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 788 helpful votes
“Things that go bump in the Night”
Reviewed 12 May 2014

On the night that I took City of the Dead's tour of Greyfriar's Cemetery in Edinburgh, it was raining, cold, and windy, with a fog of a pea soup consistency. In other words it was a perfect night to go tromping around a cemetery in the dark.

Our tour guide was Kara and she couldn't have been better. She was an engaging raconteur and possessed a wicked sense of humor. I liked her style from the get go when she sympathetically told an obnoxious drunk that regrettably the tour that evening was sold out and then the moment he turned the corner she showed us the unsold tickets in her pocket.

Prior to entering the churchyard, Kara acquainted us with some of the more gruesome aspects of Edinburgh's grim past. This included methods of torture that were commonly used. One such method was placing a hungry rat (is there any other kind?) on a victim's abdomen and trapping it under a burning bucket. Now I am pretty rodent phobic and it doesn't take too much to get me going so for the rest of the night I imagined that every movement I saw out of the corner of my eye and every rustling that I heard was a rat eager to feast on human flesh.

Once we were in Greyfriar's, Kara told us that although it appeared as if the cemetery had been built on a hill it was actually the over abundance of buried bodies that explained the topography. She added that the graveyard was literally bursting at the seams and that from time to time remains kept popping out of the ground. So now, besides errant rodents, I started worrying about tripping over a stray femur in the dark and breaking my own. Lovely.

We were then taken around to select graves of both the distinguished and the notorious. We heard about riots and executions, resurrectionists and people accidentally buried alive, murder and mayhem....the good old days. And then the grand finale: The Covenanters' Prison.

The Covenanters were devout Presbyterians who protested against royal attempts to force Episcopalianism on Scotland in the 17th century. Twelve hundred of these men were captured and imprisoned in a section of Greyfriar's churchyard under shockingly inhumane conditions.

Today, the Covenanters' Prison is padlocked and off limits to the general public unless you're on a City of the Dead tour. It is also an area of reputedly heavy poltergeist activity. Visitors to Greyfriars' have reported everything from feeling sick to getting physically assaulted and they the bruises to show for it.

The poltergeist who allegedly has been causing all the trouble is George MacKenzie. He was the Lord Advocate of Scotland and he fervently persecuted the Covenanters with great cruelty. When Kara brought up his name, one of our party proudly mentioned that she was a Mackenzie. Ah, a family reunion.

As Kara herded us into the particular tomb where the most paranormal activity was reported, she warned us about all the harm that could befall us. At that point, I was so wet and cold that I was happy to get some shelter from the elements and I didn't care if ten poltergeists were inside.

She then conspiratorially lowered her voice, slowed down her speech and started telling us the history of the MacKenzie Poltergeist. Immediately, it brought me back to my younger days of going to camp, sitting around a fire and listening to counselors tell ghost stories. Of course there was always the payoff at the end of the story; something occurring that would make us scream and jump.

I won't say any more because I don't want to give anything away but to sum it up, this tour was loads of fun, had great atmosphere and is not for the squeamish! I highly recommend it and I'd like to thank our friend Debbie who found out about City of the Dead and booked the tour for us.

Visited April 2014
12 Thank Suzanne P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
88 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Low numbers so good”
Reviewed 11 May 2014

There seem to be a lot of these tours available from different providers and we stumbled upon this one. I haven't been on the others so can't compare but we thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it was good value for money. However, there was only 6 on our tour and I think that made it better. I reckon with higher numbers it wouldn't be as good. Maybe best to ask in advance what the numbers are before going on a tour. Also wear good clothing and shoes as it can be cold and uneven walking.

Visited March 2014
Thank thep0stman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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