With its 900 years of history, complete with royalty and bloody battles, it’s no wonder Edinburgh Castle is said to be haunted. The city of Edinburgh is actually thought to be the most haunted city in Scotland and all of Europe.
Dating back to at least 600 AD, Edinburgh Castle has been a fortress and as a battleground. The grounds around the castle were the site of many wars between the Scots and the English and the area has been the location for thousands of deaths, including both soldiers and royalty.
A castle wouldn’t be a castle without dark, creepy dungeons, and Edinburgh Castle definitely has those. Edinburgh’s dungeons housed prisoners who were incarcerated, tortured and frequently perished. Of course, like many castles these dungeons are haunted by the ghosts of these prisoners.
Some of the reported hauntings include a phantom piper, a headless drummer, the spirits of French prisoners from the Seven Years War and colonial prisoners from the American Revolutionary War, as well as the ghost of a dog wandering in the dog cemetery located on the grounds.
When the tunnels were first discovered several hundred years ago, a piper was sent to explore them. As he navigated the tunnels he played his bagpipes so that his progress could be tracked by those above. About half way down the Royal Mile the piping suddenly stopped. When a rescue party was sent, there was no trace of the piper. He had simply vanished. Search parties went into the tunnel system but no evidence of the piper was ever found.
The piper’s ghost still haunts Edinburgh today, walking endlessly along the underground tunnel beneath the Royal Mile. His music can sometimes be heard from within the castle and on the streets above the tunnels.
Many people have reported hearing the sound of ghostly drums within Edinburgh castle. Very few people have seen the drummer, however, because the drummer ghost only appears when the castle is about to be attacked, and that hasn’t happend for a while. The ghost drummer was first seen before an attack on the castle in 1650 and is reported to take the form of a headless boy. Who the boy was and why he now haunts and protects Edinburgh castle is unknown.
In April of 2001, the castle and its grounds were were the subject of one of the largest scientific investigations of the paranormal ever conducted. Dr. Rich Weisman took a group of 240 volunteers who were unaware of the castle’s past on a walk through the castle and around the grounds to see what kind of paranormal activity they would come up with. The results were quite surprising. Nearly every volunteer reported experiencing something. The reported experiences included sudden drops in temperature, shadowy figures, feelings of being watched, an unseen presence touching the face, and the feeling of something tugging at clothes.
For more information about beautiful Edinburg Castle and its fascinating history, visit the castle’s official site here.