I’m in Edinburgh for a couple of days – one of my favourite cities – and despite the fact I’ve been here loads of times there are always places I’ve never visited before. One of them was Greyfriars Kirkyard which has been described as the most haunted cemetery in the world.
Burials have taken place here since the 16th Century and some notable Edinburgh figures are buried in the cemetery.
It was a nice sunny morning when I visited and the cemetery was as pleasant as a cemetery can be.
However Greyfriars Kirkyard is haunted by the story of the Mackenzie Poltergeist.
This is the Mausoleum which contains the body of one George Mackenzie who, in 1677, became the Lord Advocate (Chief Legal Officer for the Scottish Government). He earned the nickname “Bloody Mackenzie” due to his persecution of Presbyterian Covenanters during this period. He died in 1691.
In 1999 a homeless person broke into the Mausoleum one night and since then there has been a whole range of strange incidents from people being scratched and suffering cuts and bruises, to actually passing out. The theory is that when this person broke in he disturbed something which should have been left alone. Of course this is only a theory because, as yet, no-one can actually prove the existence of ghosts! It’s quite a compelling story however with hundreds of people reporting having had an “unexplained” experience in the cemetery.
A ghost tour runs through the graveyard at night so maybe I will be very brave one day and decide to go on it. During the day it is a pleasant enough place to visit but I’m sure after dark it takes on a new and less welcoming atmosphere!