The Paranormal Database

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

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Lothian Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Plague Victims

Location: Edinburgh - Mary King's Close, currently buried under the City Chambers
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2010s
Further Comments: A whole host of spectres haunt this area; women, children, old men and even animals have been reported haunting the site over the past 350 years. More recently, there have been reports of a ghostly little girl and an 'impish' young boy. The last occupant of the close was forced to move out in 1898 to make way for the City Chambers extension, which now stands over the area.

Death List

Location: Edinburgh - Mercat Cross, High Street
Type: Other
Date / Time: 08 September 1513
Further Comments: The voice of the Devil (or a demon named Plotcock, Platcock or Potcock) could be heard in the area of the cross calling out all the names of men who would die in the Battle of Flodden, which would occur the following day. Richard Lawson, upon hearing his own name, threw a coin against the cross, and appealed against the judgement in the name of God and Jesus - Lawson was the only named person to survive.


Location: Edinburgh - Museum of Childhood, 42 High Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Laughing, crying and whispering are all said to have been heard coming from empty rooms within the building, and phantom footsteps walk on the upper floors.


Location: Edinburgh - York Place
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late
Further Comments: While working in one of the offices here, a witness could hear a young child humming a tune in the basement. The witness investigated but could find no one there.

Long Haired Man

Location: Edinburgh - Yew tree at the Manse, Colinton
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This pallid spirit can sometimes be seen hiding behind the large tree.

Naked Lady Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh

Location: Edinburgh - Woodhouse Lee (or Woodhouslee) ruins and meadow, on the outskirts of the city
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Weather Dependent: Snowy nights
Further Comments: After her husband's castle was taken by force, Lady Hamilton was banished into the cold winter night without clothing - needless to say, she froze to death soon after. Her naked shade has been reported in the area, though it never leaves any prints in the fresh snow. Some say she holds the body of her dead child.


Location: Edinburgh - Wardie Steps, Granton Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1960s-1981
Further Comments: A shadowy figure is reputed to haunt the steps, occasionally ringing the bars at the top.

Woman in White

Location: Edinburgh - Royal Circus Hotel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early 1970s
Further Comments: At least three night porters reported seeing this tall, beautiful woman in white with long black hair move quickly down the corridors. Workers demanded to work in pairs until the ghost had been exorcised.


Location: Edinburgh - Royal Botanic Garden
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: 1960s
Further Comments: Robert Ogilvie Crombie claimed to have encountered several mystical creatures here, including a centaur, a faun named Kurmos, and Pan.


Location: Edinburgh - RAF Turnhouse (no longer operational)
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 1974, 1982-1997
Further Comments: During the 1980s and 1990s, workers at the MOD transport section would say 'hello' to Fred, the resident ghost. It was said that if Fred were not acknowledged, the phantom would open lockers and move things around. It was thought that Fred was a worker at the site during the Second World War; he died after walking into a propeller. The ghost of a young man in a grey RAF uniform was encountered in 1974, as it walked over to a witness and touched their forehead before vanishing.

Most Haunted House in Edinburgh?

Location: Edinburgh - Quaker Meeting House, Victoria Terrace
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Around 1780
Further Comments: Formally owned by Major Thomas Weir who confessed to witchcraft prior to being executed, this house was considered extremely haunted (one occupier fled after only one night, having encountered a phantom calf) and was thought to have been demolished. However, in 2014 it was discovered that it had been modified and incorporated into a new building.


Location: Edinburgh - Property along Waterloo Place
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Circa 1997
Further Comments: A workman in an empty building heard footsteps running on the floor above. He investigated and found no one. Returning to work, he heard the footsteps again a short time later. Other workers reported disappearing keys and knocking on a toilet door.


Location: Edinburgh - Private residence, Restalrig Crescent
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1988-1996
Further Comments: Eight years of cold spots, taps turning off and items being moved unaided, and a feeling of perpetual dread resulted in the family moving out of their home on Boxing Day.

Lady in White

Location: Edinburgh - Lymphoy House, Currie
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This property was said to be haunted by a woman in white, a soldier's wife who died on the steps of his parents' house after they refused to let her in. A ghostly bagpiper is also said hang around the site, after entering a tunnel beneath the house and never returning.

Vanishing Children

Location: Edinburgh - Private residence, Comely Bank
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2017
Further Comments: A couple standing outside of their home had a conversation with a young boy and girl who vanished before their eyes.

Little Girl

Location: Edinburgh - Sheep's Heid Inn, Duddingston
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2006
Further Comments: After building work restored the inn to its former glory, a visiting medium reported the ghost of a young girl close to the skittle alley. A former landlord who was known as 'The Major' is reputed to haunt the bar area.

Lurking Man

Location: Edinburgh - Private residence along Glenlee Avenue
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: A member of the family living in this house reported, on more than one occasion, seeing a man lurking in the kitchen doorway. On the day the family moved out, they were told that a former owner hanged himself from a wooden beam the cellar, directly under the kitchen door.


Location: Edinburgh - Private flat, Bruntsfield area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2003-2008
Further Comments: Disembodied footsteps were heard by members of the family at night and in the early hours of the morning.

Shadowy Figures

Location: Edinburgh - Private flat in Bruntsfield Place
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2004
Further Comments: Several entities reportedly haunt this building, including cats, a dog, and possibly several people who were mistaken as 'real' by one witness.


Location: Edinburgh - Old Fish Inn (no longer standing), Murrayfield
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1945-1957
Further Comments: This building was said to be the haunt of a gang of bandits, one figure was seen in the bar, while the sound of fighting could occasionally be heard in the evening.

Chimney Sweep

Location: Edinburgh - Nicol Edwards public house, Niddry Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This young lad managed to trap himself behind the old chimney stacks in the area and suffocated. He has been reported by members of the public not aware of the story or history.


Location: Edinburgh - Mitre Public House, Royal Mile
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Archbishop Spottiswode is reported to haunt the building where he concealed his episcopal chair, even though the haunting takes the form of poltergeist activity.

Bearded Man

Location: Edinburgh - Private residence, Leith
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 2007-2008
Further Comments: After one of the occupants spotted a large, bearded man in an overcoat standing by the kitchen door, the flat experienced a period of poltergeist disturbances that including running footsteps, bangs, rustling bags and finding family photographs placed face down in the kitchen. Guests to the property reported feeling as if they were being watched.


Location: Edinburgh - Theatre Royal, Waterloo Place (no longer standing)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Nineteenth century
Further Comments: Various people heard talking and pacing in the theatre when it stood, even though it would be devoid of human life.


Location: Edinburgh - Victorian house along Garscube Terrace
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 1955
Further Comments: A painter working in the bathroom heard footsteps and was suddenly struck by an electrical shock. He staggered towards the door, which opened itself to let him out. After he left the room, he burst into tears, not understanding why. A short time later he discovered that a young girl had committed suicide in the bathroom only three weeks earlier.

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