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Scotland’s Haunted Pubs, Inns and Taverns: Part 2

Updated on February 20, 2020

Introduction

Not all pubs and bars have only one type of spirit on offer. These are some of the most haunted hotels, inns, pubs, and taverns in Scotland. If you are visiting the locale, even if you do not meet their ghosts or ghouls, all are well worth a visit to experience their unique atmosphere.

Part 2: Contents

Edinburgh

Deacon Brodies Tavern

The Banshee Labyrinth

The Last Drop Tavern

The Learmonth Hotel

The Mitre Bar

The Star Bar

The Tolbooth Tavern

The White Hart Inn

Whistle Binkies (Live Music Bar)

Deacon Brodies Tavern

Location | 435 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2NT

History | No details.

~Narrative~

Named after a local resident ‘Deacon William Brodie’ born in 1741 who was a respected local citizen (a carpenter) by day but at night he would lead a gang of thieves and robbers. He was said to be the inspiration behind ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ by Robert Louis Stevenson.

He was eventually caught and hanged and it is reported that his angry and bitter ghost can be seen in the area carrying a lantern and if you get the chance to look closely at him you can see the rope marks around his neck.

The Banshee Labyrinth

Location | 29-35 Niddry Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1LG

History | No details.

~Narrative~

A ‘White Lady’ known as ‘Rosie’ is said to walk in the vaults beneath the pub. She has also been reported as scratching male members of staff.

Another ghost ‘Six Fingered Bill’ is said to sit under the tables and grab customer’s ankles.

Workmen in the 1970’s reported hearing a woman crying and when they went to investigate they saw a young woman who lifted her head from her hands and stared at the workmen with eyeless sockets. She was then on known as ‘The Banshee’.

The Last Drop Tavern

Location | 74-78 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2JR

History | The tavern is located next to the site of public hangings which took place in the 18th Century. The name is a reference to the last hanging that took place in the Grassmarket.

~Narrative~

Reportedly haunted by a young girl dressed in medieval clothing who has been seen in the bar and the cellar. She is said to whisper the names of the people who have seen her.

The Learmonth Hotel

Location | 18-20 Learmonth Terrace, Edinburgh, EH4 1PW

History | No details.

~Narrative~

Haunted activity such as doors opening and closing by themselves, interference with electrical devices, and whistling has been put down to the presence of a playful poltergeist.

The Mitre Bar

Location | 131-133 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SG

History | In 1615 the site of the tavern was occupied by a tenement building owned by John Spottiswood (the Bishop of St Andrews) which burnt down in 1814. The bar was then built on the site and named after a bishop’s headgear.

~Narrative~

The Bishop of St Andrews’ throne is said to be buried beneath the bar area. He is also reported to haunt the tavern.

A ghost with a love for music is said to switch songs on the jukebox if they were not to his taste.

The Star Bar

Location | 1 Northumberland Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6LQ

History | No details.

~Narrative~

According to the owners there is a clause in their lease that forbids them from removing a human skull that was found on the premises from the bar.

A previous manager who did move the skull to another local bar was said to have been shot and killed soon afterwards.

Bar fitters moved the skull and within a week their workshop burned down.

When the skull was moved to be displayed in a local brewery the brewery mysteriously flooded.

The Tolbooth Tavern

Location | 167 Canongate, Edinburgh, EH8 8BN

History | The tavern located in Edinburgh’s Canongate area dates back to the 16th Century when it was used to collect tolls from people travelling to the Canongate area. In 1820 the front of the building became a pub. It has in the past been used as a police court and prison.

~Narrative~

Locals report that its resident ghost causes drinks (usually full) to fly of the tables and pictures to fall of the walls.

The White Hart Inn

Location | 34 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2JU

History | Standing a few steps from where public hangings once took place the inn was opened in the early 16th Century. The cellar dates back to 1516. Robert burns is said to have stayed here on his last visit to Edinburgh in 1791.

~Narrative~

Locals have reported having their hair pulled and bottles being thrown at them.

In the cellar area staff reported seeing a detached pair of legs, barrels being moved, hearing loud noises, and doors slamming behind them.

The ghost is said to be responsible for the continual problems with the beer taps not working after the gas cyclinders have mysteriously become detached.

Whistle Binkies (Live Music Bar)

Location | 4-6 SouthBridge, Edinburgh, EH11 1LL

History | The name Whistle Binkie means ‘the piper of the party’ and is a collection of songs and poetry first published in 1832.

~Narrative~

One resident ghost is known as ‘The Imp’ who is said to annoy the staff by moving objects around the bar, locking people in rooms, and stopping clocks.

The other resident ghost is called ‘The Watcher’ so named because he is said to be a peaceful spirit that likes to watch people from a distance. He is said to have long black hair and has been seen wearing 17th Century style clothing with a tri-cornered hat and riding boots.

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