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Examining folkloric, paranormal & cryptozoological locations in the UK and beyond

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Edinburgh Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Ann Street, Edinburgh.

Mr Swan

Location: Edinburgh - 12 Ann Street - private residence
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: Late nineteenth century
Further Comments: As he drowned at sea hundreds of miles away, Mr Swan appeared to his family at the house and took the opportunity to wave goodbye before disappearing into thin air. Some report that he still returns once every few years to have a quick look in.

Curse of the Mummy

Location: Edinburgh - 15 Learmonth Gardens
Type: Curse
Date / Time: 1930s
Further Comments: The figure of an ancient priest was seen in the building after the family returned from a trip to Egypt - it was said that the ghost had accompanied a bone that had been illegally removed from a tomb by a family member. When the piece of skeleton was destroyed, the haunting stopped.

Yellow Eyes

Location: Edinburgh - 25a Regent Terrace
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1979
Further Comments: The strange events which occurred in this shared flat included a voice which asked 'yes?', the sounds of a baby crying and heavy footsteps, the disappearance and reappearance of personal items, and the brief glimpse of a pair of narrow yellow eyes in the darkness.

Female Form

Location: Edinburgh - 36 Rutland Street
Type: Post-Mortem Manifestation
Date / Time: 24 December 1887, 07:30h
Further Comments: A doctor who lived her reported seeing the apparition of a female patient he had seen the previous night. The doctor later found out the woman had died at the exact moment of his encounter.


Location: Edinburgh - 5 Hazeldean Terrace
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 1957
Further Comments: The ghost of a Prestonpans soldier was said to haunt this site and performed various poltergeist tricks to obtain attention from the media.


Location: Edinburgh - 5 Rothesay Place
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1950s
Further Comments: This phantom appeared shortly after the family purchased furniture which belonged to a recently deceased sailor. Another version of the story names the phantom as Merry Jack Tar.

Old Lorry

Location: Edinburgh - A7 towards Stow
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Mid-twentieth century to early twenty-first century
Further Comments: A phantom lorry has been blamed for causing a few accidents along this part of the A7. Other sources state phantom cars have also been encountered, including an orange Austin in 2010.

Old Man

Location: Edinburgh - Area of Muirhouse Gardens
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century?
Further Comments: A local paper reported that this area was haunted by an evil looking old man, with wild looking eyes and long matted hair.

White Woman

Location: Edinburgh - Area where sycamore tree once stood, Dovecote Road, Corstorphine
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This white lady stabbed her lover to death by the tree, while fending off his attack. She was executed for the crime, but her ghost holding a sword would return to the tree where the crime was committed. Another version of the story says that she was murdered here.

Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh.

Resting Giant

Location: Edinburgh - Arthur's Seat
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The rocky outcrop known as Arthur's Seat was once used as a resting place for a passing giant. In 1836 a group of schoolboys discovered seventeen tiny coffins hidden in the area, each containing a small carved figure inside. Their purpose is unknown.

Burning Light

Location: Edinburgh - Baberton House (aka Kilbaberton house)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: One former occupant of the house reported that the Green Room was haunted, as lights would always be lit by something unseen. Another occupant, aged four at the time, had to be moved from their bedroom after they complained about the girl at the bottom of the bed.

Cold Spot

Location: Edinburgh - Bank of Scotland, George Street
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: Circa January 1994
Further Comments: Two cleaners working alone in this building left the site after encountering disembodied footsteps, the sound of doors opening and closing, and an unnaturally cold room that enabled one witness to see their breath. A door that only the cleaners could access to had been deadbolted, even though none of the crew had touched it. One of the cleaners would later talk to a member of staff who said strange things happen on the site at night.

The Banshee bar, Edinburgh.


Location: Edinburgh - Banshee public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Rosie was a prostitute who walked in the vaults beneath this pub and is now said to scratch and mark male members of staff. Another phantom, 'Six Finger Bill', sits under tables and grabs customer's ankles.

Howling Hound

Location: Edinburgh - Barnbougle Castle, Cramond
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: Prior to death of the local laird
Further Comments: This dog accompanied his master to the Crusades; the howling was first heard when his owner died on the battlefield.


Location: Edinburgh - Beehive Public House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 16 July 2012, around 16:00h
Further Comments: Someone drinking at the pub felt a firm nudge on their left leg, as if a dog had pushed against them, although no canine was present.

Bell's Wynd, Edinburgh.

Mrs Guthrie

Location: Edinburgh - Bell's Wynd - building no longer stands
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Eighteenth Century
Further Comments: The body of Mrs Guthrie lay undiscovered in a room along this wynd for 21 years. Her ghost manifested itself to a locksmith who broke in, curious to know why the flat was not being used. Guthrie's ghost appeared along the Wynd for many years after her body was removed.

Woman Holding Baby

Location: Edinburgh - Bruntsfield Links, private house (no longer standing)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Nineteenth century
Further Comments: Reported by a servant who finally quit after seeing the apparition too many times, this phantom lady holding a young child had no head.


Location: Edinburgh - Building along Waterloo Place
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Circa 1997
Further Comments: A heating engineer reported several incidents while working on this site, including hearing footsteps after everyone else had left, keys removed from their hooks, cold spots, and objects which would disappear and reappear.


Location: Edinburgh - Building on Leith Docks
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2009
Further Comments: A ghostly security guard is reputed to haunt this site. A painter working alone heard a door opening and footsteps walking through the building - when investigated, no one could be found.

Calton Hill, Edinburgh.


Location: Edinburgh - Calton Hill
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Seventeenth century
Further Comments: According to one story, dating back to the Seventeenth Century, a magical fairy gateway leading to France, Holland, and the fairy kingdom opened on the hill, thought which though only those with second sight could see and use the mythical entrance. A young lad claimed to have access to the gate and would act as a drummer to the many fairies who used the portal. The lad claimed to be needed on a certain date by the little people, and despite all physical efforts to force him to miss the meeting, the lad slipped away from his wardens and was never seen again.

Canongate, Edinburgh.

Figure in Black

Location: Edinburgh - Canongate
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1980s
Further Comments: Standing tall, this figure in black was spotted by a witness as they walked towards each other. It vanished when they reached touching distance.

Young Boy

Location: Edinburgh - Canongate area, Queensberry House (no longer standing)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This building was said to be haunted by the ghost of a young boy murdered (and partially eaten) at the site.

Lady Royston

Location: Edinburgh - Caroline Park House (also known as Royston)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1976 (babysitter's encounter)
Further Comments: This green tinted ghost is said to rise from the ground somewhere in the garden and drift slowly towards the front door before disappearing. Loud banging is sometimes heard coming from one of the rooms and is thought to be a cannon ball bouncing around - its motivation is unclear. A babysitter working here heard furniture being flung around in the room above her, although the following morning it was discovered that nothing had been moved.

Castle Hill and The Royal Mile, Edinburgh.

Deacon Brodie

Location: Edinburgh - Castle Hill and Royal Mile
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Brodie is reputed to walk this area, carrying a lantern. A coach pulled by a team of black horses (which sometimes breath fire) s also said to start its journey here before travelling along the royal mile. The coach is filled with people in black garb. Another phantom, General Dalzell, rides the same route, but this time on a white horse.


Location: Edinburgh - Cathedral
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: Circa early twentieth century?
Further Comments: A woman visiting the cathedral felt three sharp blows to the back of her neck but was unable to see anything which may have caused the strikes. She spoke to a worker at the cathedral who told her that the blows had been reported previously, and that the person had later received bad news. Sure enough, the woman later discovered that her son had died in an accident which had occurred at the same time as the blows had been felt.

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