Eerie music and Ghost Dog May Roam Edinburgh Castle

Ghost stories and tales of spiritual wanderings among the living are big business in Edinburgh. Thousands of tickets are sold to the curious each year for walks through the city telling tales of how victims of the Black Death were walled up below ground to prevent the spread of disease. Halloween-themed events for children welcome today’s little ghosts and goblins to Edinburgh castle’s grounds. Indeed, Edinburgh Castle is considered one of the most haunted places in Scotland. No surprise really given the centuries of wars and battles the military fortress defended.

Ghostbusters from prestigious universities have been dispatched to prove or disprove sightings, strange sounds and temperature changes, and while researchers have yet to prove the existence of past souls communicating with the present, tourists and locals alike swear that the things that go bump in the night has an unearthly source.

The city of Edinburgh has a hidden underworld including a set of tunnels that run directly underneath the castle down the Royal Mile. Discovery of these tunnels came hundreds of years ago. Like a cannery being sent into a mine to see if it was safe for people to descend, a Scottish piper was sent down to explore the underground world. Commanded to play his pipes so that those above ground could keep track of his progress, the piper vanished. A rescue party found no traces of the piper. The sound of the piper playing his music can still be heard as he walks endlessly beneath the castle.

While the identity of the lone piper can be traced, a lonely little boy drummer remains anonymous. The headless drummer, first spotted before Oliver Cromwell’s attack on the castle in 1650, only appears when the castle is under threat. Not seen for hundreds of years, the drummer is all but consigned to the past. Another nameless soul is a phantom dog, seen and heard on occasion in the dog’s cemetery on the castle grounds.

Ghostly presence is the most likely deep in the dungeons of the castle. Thousands of prisoners incarcerated from many wars including the American Revolution died underground and never saw the light of day again. A research project conducted in 2001 with 250 visitors with no previous knowledge of the castle’s inhabitants cited “feelings” of a presence in areas purported to have paranormal activity.

A tap on the shoulder, a faint sound of bagpipes or drums, a homeless dog find their way into your travel itinerary. If you are on the hunt for ghosts or simply enjoy stories passed down through the centuries, Edinburgh may just be your cup of tea.