4 Jul 2013
GREYFRIARS GRAVEYARD - EDINBURGH
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday
When I visited Greyfriars Kirkyard, the famous graveyard of Edinburgh, it was a sunny day and therefore looked like a very pleasant spot. It boasts a fine view of nearby Edinburgh Castle; encloses a well-preserved section of the Flodden Wall; and is surrounded by ornate and impressive mausoleums.
Historical dates at the entrance
and the graveyard
It is a popular haunt for tourists on the trail of Greyfriars Bobby, the loyal Skye terrier who stood guard over his master John Gray’s grave until he himself died. It was impossible to take a picture of the grave because there were so many tourists standing around and I don't look like a ghost so that they would all have fainted to allow me to take a picture.
Many of the monuments and mausoleums are engraved with horrid symbols of death and damnation: skeletons and skulls; crossbones and coffins; austere angels blowing judgement-trumpets; and ‘figures rising headless from the grave.’ Even the walls of the kirk are decorated with lurid symbols of mortality and decay.
The higgledy-piggledy old houses of Candlemaker Row border the east side of the churchyard. Many back directly onto Greyfriar’s gloomy mausoleums so that, only a few inches separate the living from the dead. Clearly, only those with very robust dispositions dare to live there. I personally wouldn't mind to live in such a cute house ! And what a nice place for my cats for mouse hunting !
Some of the graves were locked with iron bars, so that the "bodysnatchers" couldn't steal the body of the dead person. Our guide also told us that the family was watching over the grave of their beloved deads for 3 or 4 weeks to be sure that the body wasn't stolen. The deceased person had a little bell attached to a finger so that in case he would wake up he could ring the bell. Today we probably would use a mobile.
However, the kirkyard’s supernatural reputation is built not on ghostly tales of long-dead Covenanters, but instead on legends connected with their chief persecutor, Sir George Mackenzie.
An encounter with the poltergeist is the highlight of the tour, with hundreds of people claiming to have been attacked by the enitity. The MacKenzie Poltergeist is now regarded as the best documented supernatural case of all time and the tour has become equally famous.
And if you want to make a tour and be frightened to death you can buy your tickets at Ghost tour building. Unfortunately we had no time and the weather was not good either as it has to be misty and dark ! Ghosts don't like sunshine !
If you want to read more about the ghosts of Greyfriars it's here