Caledonian Sleeper’s Spooky Guide to Halloween in Scotland

Copyright: Finlay McWalter/Creative Commons

Scotland has long been known as a country of myths, monsters and spooky stories.

From haunted castles and chilling graveyards to notorious criminals and ghostly pipers, those in search of a scary tale or two don’t have to look far for a fright.

With Halloween just around the corner, Caledonian Sleeper has listed some of Scotland’s historic locations and attractions with a ghostly connection for those curious about the country’s dark past.

From apparitions and eerie sounds, these haunted hotspots will no doubt give you the chills. Read on if you dare…

The Real Mary King’s Close, Edinburgh

With a long history of bloodthirsty monarchs and grisly grave-robbers, it’s no surprise that Edinburgh is well-known as one of the UK’s most haunted locations. 

Inhabited for thousands of years and just a stroll from Caledonian Sleeper’s arrival point of Waverley Station, the city features a warren of underground spaces including the narrow streets of Mary King’s Close.

Dating back to the 1600’s, this close was at the heart of Edinburgh’s busiest and most vibrant streets, bustling with traders selling their wares. But after being partially demolished and buried under the Royal Exchange, the complex became shrouded in myths and ghostly tales.

Now open to the public, visitors can discover the true history of the close with a costumed tour guide based on a one time resident. Explore the underground site whilst listening to fascinating stories and imagine how people once lived in this eerie space.

Caledonian Sleeper guests travelling northbound from London to Edinburgh on Tuesday 24 October can also enjoy a night of terror as storytellers from the Real Mary King’s Close climb on board to tell the spooky tales of Burke and Hare. 

Eden Court Theatre, Inverness

Located a short walk from Inverness Railway Station, Eden Court Theatre in Inverness not only boasts a great calendar of plays, festivals and performances but also offers visitors signs of a haunting past.

Look out for the most commonly seen ghost, the Green Lady, whilst enjoying a concert or stage play. Often spotted visiting the theatre and the older areas of the building, this ghostly figure is rumoured to be the wife of one of the Bishops who lived in the city’s ‘Bishop’s Palace’ which dates from 1878. 

Believed to be one of Scotland’s most paranormal areas, Inverness also possesses the ghost of a young girl who haunts the gardens of the theatre, as well as the ghost of King Duncan who can be seen walking the banks of the River Ness.

Stirling Ghostwalk, Stirling

A popular tourist attraction in the Old Town of Stirling for over twenty five years, the Stirling Ghostwalk offers a distinctive mix of comedy, drama and storytelling for all ages to enjoy. 

Full of fear, fun and frights, the tour provides an insight into the city’s historic past, exploring the origins of some of the area’s most gruesome characters and their terrifying ghostly tales. 

Whilst on the walk look out for the ghosts of Stirling Castle, the most common being the Highland ghost who can often be seen wearing a kilt.

The tour starts at St John Street which is located a short walk from Stirling Railway Station. 

Scotland Street School Museum, Glasgow

Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1903, Scotland Street School in Glasgow was first opened in 1906, accommodating up to 1,250 pupils and generations of children over more than 70 years.

With only 89 pupils remaining in 1979, the school was closed and is now a museum showcasing what school days were like in the reign of Queen Victoria, during World War II and in the 1950s.

Visitors can not only enjoy the reconstructed classrooms and opportunity to dress up as a school pupil from the past, but also listen out for ghostly footsteps and whispers from the staff and children that once walked the corridors. 

Sightings are notorious on the first and third floors and objects have been known to move from place to place.  Explore the museum this months as part of the Glasgow Mackintosh Festival.  Throughout October the Mackintosh Festival is celebrating the life of Charles Rennie Mackintosh through a series of exhibitions, events and workshops.

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