The Paranormal Database

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

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Lothian Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

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.


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.

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 who was 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.

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.

Invisible Energy

Location: Edinburgh - Chalmers Close
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 02 March 2006, around 20:30h
Further Comments: An invisible force of energy hit a mother and son in the chest before rushing past them at the top of Chalmers Close - both were shaken by the event. A few seconds prior to this, the pair had seen a red headed girl running towards them - they stopped to let her pass, but she turned off.


Location: Edinburgh - Charlotte Square
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century
Further Comments: The tinkling of phantom ivories can sometimes be heard over the noise of traffic. In total, four apparitions have been reported from the Square - a coach, a woman in old fashioned clothing, a scruffy beggar, and a monk.

Veiled Woman

Location: Edinburgh - Chessel Court, Canongate
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1986
Further Comments: Wearing a black dress, this veiled woman is thought to be the ghost of a suicide which took place many years previous. One former occupant reported hearing heavy breathing just outside their bedroom door, while in 1986 a resident felt something climb over their bed as they lay in it. An older story relates to the original building which stood here, which was set on fire to conceal the murder of its beautiful owner. The plan worked, and several buildings were constructed as a replacement. However, when a fire broke out and devoured these newer premises, the murdered woman was seen in the flames, screaming 'Once burnt, twice burnt, the third times I'll scare you all!'.

Crying Infant

Location: Edinburgh - Corn Exchange public house, Leith
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twenty-first century
Further Comments: Heard by the staff, the spirit of the crying child also creates cold gusts of wind and flickers the lights. It is thought the child spend much of its short life locked away in a cupboard.

White Lady with Sword

Location: Edinburgh - Corstorphine Sycamore Tree (only the stump remains)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This lady, angry at being (once again) stood up by her secret lover, murdered him with his own sword. She now haunts the scene of the crime.


Location: Edinburgh - Cowgate area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Lurking near the place he was executed, this ghost has the rope burns from the hangman's rope still visible around his neck.

Lord Francis Jeffrey

Location: Edinburgh - Craigcrook Castle, Blackhall
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 1970 (poltergeist), 2013/14 (footsteps)
Further Comments: A poltergeist in the building threw small metal items at staff, including paperclips and screws. Many years later, a member of staff reported hearing footsteps in an empty room above them and the following year two other people witnessed doors opening unaided. One story says that the castle is haunted by Lord Francis Jeffrey.

Breaking Glass

Location: Edinburgh - Cramond Inn, Cramond Glebe Road
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: Like so many other public houses, The Cramond suffers from a polt which is blamed when glasses break for no reason and small items moved around.

Lady Mary Douglas

Location: Edinburgh - Dalmahoy House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Lady Mary, manifesting in the form of a white lady, is said to wander along the corridors, looking into the original rooms. Her presence is reported to be calming.

Johnny One Arm

Location: Edinburgh - Dalry area, in particular West End Place
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1979
Further Comments: John Chiesly's ghost haunted the area for 300 years, running around with a bloody stump where his arm should have been, screaming and cackling. When a one armed skeleton was found hidden under the floorboards of a local house and removed for burial in 1965, the entity was thought to have vanished forever; however more sightings were reported between 1976 and 1979, and poltergeist-like occurrences in the mid-1980s.

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.

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