Thursday, 19 May 2011

Easter - Edinburgh Ghost and Torture Tour

I will start with an admission... While I don't necessarily believe that the life in people merely turns off after death, I do not believe 99.9% of ghost stories. People's imaginations are perfectly capable of creating 100% of the stories we hear. So why did I, of all people, want to go on a ghost tour?

The simple answer is that I had never been on one and my daughter wanted to go. It also suited our timetable as my wife was going off gallivanting with a Facebook friend. We gathered at the Tron Kirk and were told some of the stories of witches of Edinburgh and learned a little of the history of Princes Street, which had originally been a Loch. This introduction set the tone for much of the tour and we were introduced to some of Edinburgh's unique history as well as period history that applied to much of the UK.

We visited several locations around Edinburgh and were told some of it's stories before visiting the "torture chamber". In this room is housed a collection of devices designed to extract confessions from the guilty and innocent alike. Some very gruesome explanations were given as to how they were used and I was once again amazed (and by now I should no longer be) at how man can be so inhumane to man.
The South Bridge from outside

From the torture chamber we entered the South Bridge. "Entered" sounds like the wrong word but that is exactly what we did. Constructed within the bridges were "wynds" with chambers on either side. Constructed as secure storage they were not used for long as they were not up to the task but, because a law was passed to make it illegal to be homeless in Edinburgh, they became homes to many of the homeless. Because of the nature of the construction incidents occurred that caused many deaths and it was here we were informed that many 'ghosts' had been seen. Certainly if you wanted to find a 'spooky' atmosphere you wouldn't have found a better location.

We left the bridge to collect a free whisky and shortbread (well no whisky for children obviously) and the on to the Wash Bar to meet the wife.

All in all a very entertaining and informative evening - even for the most sceptical!

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