Edinburgh – Vaults Tour – Two Ghosts

(Continued from Edinburgh vault tours – first ghost)


In the next room, there were two energies:

One was a young-ish man from England, with a haircut that I wanted to describe as “different.” In fact, he took pride in his stylish, perhaps trendsetting looks. In my notes immediately after the tour, I described him as a “lower class smart aleck.” I sensed that he’d lived in the room just briefly, soon getting into deep trouble and living elsewhere as a result.

The second energy was from an older man with a small, rounded body. He was a Bible reader, but why did he hide his Bible? (I know nothing about Edinburgh religious politics in history, as I write this.) I know that he was poor, but he took in younger men who were in even worse financial and spiritual condition, as a kind of personal ministry.

I’m not certain that he was a kindly old man. I didn’t like him.


The final residential/work room that we visited, was the most visually spectral.

Ghost in a tricorn... and a sheetI sensed a ghost who was there to be a ghost. In other words, this person knew that he was dead, knew he was a ghost, and was making the most of it. It’s as if he was dedicated to being a ghost. I could “see” someone’s outline with a tricorn-type brimmed hat and rather wide shoulders, but otherwise draped in sparkling sheet-like material. It seemed tacky and cliched, to me.

He floated slightly above the floor, as ghosts are supposed to in B-movies. But the ghost was only slightly irritated by my lack of admiration; he’s there to haunt, and that’s his driving purpose.


The rest of the room was dominated by the energy of someone who worked on shoes. I saw him–and so did two of my children–clearly outlined as a shadow on the wall (and no, this had nothing to do with the colored lights on the floor, intended to add to the “haunted” atmosphere.)

Stanley Holloway-ish ghostSoon, I could almost see him as he must have looked in life: Like Stanley Holloway (but shorter), from My Fair Lady, including the leather apron, sooty face, and a funny hat with a large brim that extended slightly down his back. He had a Stanley-Holloway type nose, too.

All through the room, I had the sense that this man–and perhaps other workers–had been very industrious, making and/or repairing shoes. I could “hear” the clang of a metal hammer, and “smell” leather. I sensed a large fire there, almost as if it had been a blacksmith’s as well.

But, I don’t know much about shoemaking, so perhaps I am mistaken on that point.

It was in that room that I began manifesting a glowing green misty substance that trailed from my feet as I walked, and then vanished after a few seconds. My children told me about this later, and I was very disappointed that I didn’t notice it.

This story continues in the next article, Edinburgh vault tour – conclusion

Edinburgh – Vaults Tour – First Ghost

(Continued from Edinburgh – Vault ghosts)


The first room was reached by a stairway from the street level. The room had little lighting, part of the “atmosphere” created for the tour.

On one wall, I saw a fireplace. It had been the center of life in that room, as it seemed to hold considerable “psychic” energy. I knew it had been a rather smoky fireplace because the lingering image was so clear.

In front of the fireplace, I “saw” a woman, in a shabby linen-like gown and a soiled, austere cap of what seemed to be coarse white linen. From her clothing, I’d guess that she lived in the early 17th century, but I could be wrong.

I knew she’d been highborn, and her father was probably a doctor. She’d married someone far beneath her, and was living in relative squalor. It embarrassed her.

She was too proud to ask her family for help yet, and they were equally uncomfortable dealing with the situation.

Edinburgh lady ghost in vaults
The woman’s husband had been a fascinating and exciting man (in a mercurial way) when they’d met, but now he was quite mad. He slept on the hard floor, fearing “vapours” which he thought were poisoning him. In his madness, he believed that his wife planned to have an affair with a neighbor. The husband continued to work for awhile, but eventually lost his job and left his wife and children.

I don’t know if he died or just deserted them.

The family had at least four children.

There was a baby in this room, and an older boy whom I call “Child #3.” The mother felt guilty about neglecting the baby, but her focus was on Child #3. She was convinced that he had a future.

For some reason — and this is why I have the sense that her father was a doctor — she insisted upon holding Child #3 up to a small window, to let the light shine on his face. In an otherwise dark existence, this was often his only exposure to sunlight, especially in the winter.

I know that she and her children stayed in this underground dwelling for awhile after she was deserted by her husband. Then they moved away. I know that, after living underground, she became obsessed with light and warmth for her family. When her family lived in this room, she spent most of her time near the fireplace.

I think that the woman swallowed her pride and–with her children–returned to her father’s home.

I have the sense that Child #3 grew up to become someone who’s in the history books. Perhaps he was a politician. I think his family history will be noted in biographies. He can be identified.

Also in the room, to the left I “saw” a closet or some niche in the wall. It was where the woman kept a secret. It was a “good” secret, but something she wanted concealed while she lived there. Perhaps she hid money from her husband.

On the other side of the room, I sense a closet or niche that had something very bad about it. It may have been a damp area, and/or something with a horrid odor. The woman was alarmed by that, but not overwhelmingly afraid. She tried to keep that closet (or niche) closed up.

This story continues in Edinburgh vault tours – two ghosts

Edinburgh – Vault Ghosts (Start Here)

Edinburgh Castle windowSpecial note from Fiona: Many people talk about their encounters with the ghost of a murdered little girl who haunts Edinburgh’s underground vaults and passageways. The following complete account has been online since mid-1996 as the original encounter with the child’s ghost from the vaults beneath the streets of Edinburgh, Scotland.

I personally guided many of the staff of Mercat Tours through the vaults shortly after they opened for tours in mid-1996. And, I provided them with the information about the ghost of the little girl.

She’s probably not the only little girl ghost beneath Edinburgh’s streets.  However, she’s the one that I encountered in the vaults, and I was among the very first people through that part of Edinburgh’s dark and ghostly underground.

The little girl ghost’s story is just one of many I shared that evening in May 1996. What follows is a summary of my experiences during that tour, and the informal ghost investigation that followed it.  Everything in this story is true.  Nothing is made-up or changed from what actually happened.

On May 6th, 1996, my family and I visited Edinburgh, Scotland, my husband’s ancestral home. For entertainment, friends said that we must take one of Edinburgh’s “ghost tours.” We chose the Mercat Tour because it was near the restaurant where we’d had dinner. We expected a light-hearted evening. Our tour guide, Judith I. Mann, provided exactly that. Her theatrical skills made the evening a delightful experience filled with mock melodrama and hilarity. I’d recommend this tour to anyone, though our evening took a surprising turn.

Most of the tour was above ground. We saw places where people had been hung, sites where people were buried beneath the pavement, and so on. Standard fare, and great fun as Ms. Mann told clearly exaggerated tales.

However, our last stop was “the vaults,” an underground area which had once provided housing and workplaces for some of Edinburgh’s poor. Our tour was among the first to explore these dark rooms and corridors, which had been closed for over a century.


From the moment I looked around the grim setting, I felt that we were not alone. Oh, we had about a dozen other tourists with us, but it was more than that. The room held a lingering sense of immense sorrow and hardship.

The sensations in the rooms became more sinister as the tour continued. I could see the outline of figures, and the rooms threatened to transform into something dark and tragic.

I was troubled and intrigued, but it was still a jovial tour so I didn’t say anything.

At the conclusion of the tour, we returned to the street level, and entered a comfortable pub where we sat around and chatted happily about the different sights we’d seen that night.

A few of the tourists left for their respective lodgings, and then the conversation turned serious as we discussed “real” ghosts. I offered to return to the underground area and see if I could “pick up” any extra information, since I have seen ghosts in the past.

Not all of the patrons were eager to return underground, but many did follow our guide Ms. Mann as she led us back underground. We were accompanied by several tour guides-in-training, who’d joined us at the pub.

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