This legendary and ancient castle is home to numerous hauntings reported from visitors from all across the world. Claimed to be the most haunted location in Scotland and has even been named the most haunted spot in Europe. Visitors have reported apparitions of a Phantom Piper and a headless drummer, a ghost dog that still wanders the castles dog cemetery and spirits of prisoners including French soldiers from the Seven Years war and even American Soldiers from the Revolutionary War.
Edinburgh Castle has a long history dating back as far as 850 BC during the bronze age where archaeologist have dated evidence of a settlement beneath the castle. In 600 AD the location , then named Din Eidyn, was a fortified position under the control of King Mynyddog. In 638 AD, Din Eidyn was besieged and captured by the Angles where it received its English name of Edinburgh.
The castles present form started to take shape in the early 14th century when King David II began an ambitious defensive movement. As such the castle has a long and bloody history. Edward I of England first took the castle in 1296 in his attempt to conquer Scotland. The Earl of Moray took the castle back in 1314 in night raid using only thirty men. The English again took it back in 1335 but again were removed by Sir William Douglas n 1341 when his army disguised themselves as merchants and were let within the walls where they preceded to decapitate most of the English. The castle resisted a siege by Henry V in 1400 and it remained under Scottish control until 1603 with the Union of the Crowns. After which the castle was strengthened and Held against several more sieges including a siege by Covenanter's in 1640, again from Cromwell in 1650 and yet again by the army of William and Mary in 1689.
In addition to the long history of warfare the castle like many historical sites was home to many cruel deeds. In 1440 the castle was home to the infamous “Black Bull's Dinner” where 16 year old Earl of Douglas and his brother David were murdered in front of 10 year old King James II. The castle also houses the “Witches Well” where woman were put to death if convicted of witchcraft. It also claims an abandoned street aptly named Mary Kings Close where victims of the Black Plague were sealed away to die. And which Castle is complete without an extensive dungeon, which claimed the countless lives in its long history of warfare.
Amongst the plethora of sightings there have been consistent reports of various hauntings. The include a phantom piper, a headless drummer, a ghost dog and like any good castle a haunted dungeon.
Beneath Edinburgh lies an ancient tunnel system. Literally a labyrinth of connected pathways leading to various parts of the castle and the surrounding countryside. Several Hundred years ago the tunnel system was first discovered. A piper was commissioned to explore the tunnel network. As he advanced through out the passageways he would play his pipe so that those above could track his movement.
Suddenly the music ended. When the others went in to find out what happened they could find no trace of him. It is said the Pipers ghost still wanders the tunnels of Edinburgh still playing his pipe.
The Headless Drummer
It is said the castle is protected by the spirit of a headless drummer boy, only appearing before the castle is about to be endangered. The spirit was first reported in 1650 before Cromwell's attack. No one is quiet certain who the boy is or why he protects the castle but people can still hear his music throughout the castles vast corridors.
The Ghost Dog
Amongst the castles cemetery is a special dog cemetery. At least one phantom dog has been heard and occasionally seen.
Like most castles of the era, Edinburgh was home to its own dungeon, where prisoners were incacerated, starved, tortured and executed. The dungeon is home to numerous paranormal activity as odd sounds, unexplained movement of objects, phantom shadows, and cold spots have all been reported.
Dr. Wiseman confirmed these reports in 2001 when he conducted his famous research on Edinburgh. One woman left in the dungeon overnight with a camcorder to film the events of the night reported something touching her, low whispers from one of the corners and shortly after the test began she was literally screaming for help.
Just about anyone who visits this landmark can tell you a story of their personal haunting experience however the most famous was spread over the course of ten day study of the castles paranormal activity. Led by Dr. Richard Wiseman, a psychologist for Hertfordshire University in southeast England.
Dr. Wiseman carefully selected 240 volunteers which had no previous knowledge of the locations hauntings. Divided into groups of 10 the volunteers explored the castles extensive grounds. They were told nothing of previous reports and stories. For the next 10 days the volunteers explored the castle and almost half reported strange occurrences, and primarily in the paranormal “Hot” spots of the castle. Wiseman doesn't believe there is paranormal activity in Edinburgh castle but he does believe something is happening. He largely supports the idea of some psychological phenomenon, whether its the lighting or location he doesn't know.
The Stats – (Where applicable)
• Style of Haunting: Apparitions
• Top 100 Ranking: 1
• Location: Edinburgh, England
• Date Location Was Constructed: 1018 AD