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Mary Kings Close Haunted Edinburgh

Updated on April 3, 2009

Mary Kings Close

Mary Kings Close

Beneath the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Hides a three hundred years old secret, a place of legends and Ghost stories, of hauntings and it has recently been re-opened for the general public to explore, Mary Kings Close is the name and hauntings are the game.

Mary Kings Close is said to be one of the most haunted places in Britain and it has become a very popular visitors attraction as people from all over the world come in the hope of seeing a spirit as they take a stroll down the infamous close.

Black Rats Plagued Mary Kings Close

Edinburgh City Chambers

The Plague

Mary Kings Close dates back to the 16th Century, and Mary King whom the close was named after lived there in the Mid 17th century, she was the daughter of a wealthy advocate called Alexander King who was the owner of the property.

During the 1700s leith docks was a busy place and goods from all over the world were imported there, the ships brought with them black rats which began to over run in side streets such as Mary Kings Close. With the black rats came disease and finally the black plague.

In an attempt to contain the plague, the local council sealed off Mary Kings close and all of the entrances were blocked up, it is thought that some of the residents of the close were sealed in and left to die.

A few years later Mary Kings Close had to be reopened because the population of Edinburgh saw a massive increase and housing became hard to find.

The City Chambers

100 years after the plague part of Mary Kings close was demolished to make way for a new construction, The Royal Exchange was built over the site which in recent years has become the City Chambers.

Although parts of Mary Kings Close Were demolished the lower parts were left untouched and used in the foundations of the new building, The remnants of the closes were left beneath the building, dark and ancient dwellings steeped in mystery.


The Mary Kings Close Tour

A Great deal of research has gone in to Mary Kings Close, including the details of the people who once lived on the site and of course archaeologists have played a great part in uncovering some of the secrets from the past.

When you take the tour of Mary Kings Close you will get a realistic view of how people lived in the 17th Century as you wander around the authentic period housing, meet some of the people who lived there, visit the home of a 17th century grave digger who will reveal to you what exactly the town Council did to control the plague, and you also get to look around a 17th Century sawmakers workshop.

Your guide will reveal dramatic episodes and extraordinary apparitions from the past, including ghost stories over 300 years old.

Your character guide will reveal the fascinating and emotional stories of human life as you are shown around this strange, dark, underground site, a time capsule of 4 closes with real town houses, streets and rooms that date back to the 1600s.

Photography is allowed in Mary Kings Close, but don't be at all surprised if your pictures don't come out or if you find something strange in the pictures as many visitors have discovered before you.

Most Haunted Visit Mary Kings Close

Most Haunted Halloween 2007

The Most Haunted Team paid a visit to Mary kings Close in Edinburgh on Halloween night 2007, although there were many strange noises and stones thrown at Carl Evyette and the rest of the team there was little real evdence found that would prove once and for all that the close was haunted. although the show had viewers rivited to their seats from start to finish and evyette claimed that it was one if not the scariest show that she had ever made with the Most Haunted Team.


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    • Silver Fish profile image

      Silver Fish 

      7 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

      Great hub!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I went there around 4 or 5 years ago. Loved Edinburgh and can't wait to visit Mary King's Close again.

      I remember at the beginning of the tour, when we were standing in the 'poor people's' lodgings (basically a cave where many people were forced to live in close quarters), i was standing next to my then girlfriend. Our group was gathered in a sort of semi-circle around the girl showing us around. I honestly don't scare easily and so when i felt a single finger scratch on the back of my neck, i thought it was my girlfriend. I moved my head towards her to catch her in the act, but was a bit baffled when i noticed she was a couple of metres away. It wasn't her, so i looked to my left and behind me, no-one there. Loved the tour, but I'm guessing it has become a money-spinning tourist trap now.

      Try the tunnels at Dover Castle, I realise it's a bit of a walk from Edinburgh, but it's worth it.

    • profile image

      Plumbing Edinburgh 

      8 years ago

      I'm planning on visiting the close some time next year with a few friends and I really can't wait. Thank you for the information regarding the hauntings.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      we visited mary king close over the years last night went on the new tour i was always taught that these poor people with the plague where left to die when it was closed in the tour last night was all wibbly washy information i used to go down there before it was even open to public the guide last night said it ws used in war time and the sawmil shop was still open in late 1930 i have different stories now which is accurate would not go back on the tour was much better before a tourist attraction

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Just got back from Edinburgh and went to Mary King's close. You cannot take pictures down there now though. A really great place to see though and the tour is great fun. Would recommend to anyone going to Edingburgh. Good hub.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I went once and it was amazing, cant wait to go back. I didn't feel anything until myself and 2 friends stood in the little girls room, it felt so eerie and just as i was about to move to walk back out of the room, i got almost like someone quickly blew onto the back of my neck, i turned round and there was absolutely nothing there,just the wall. Very strange!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great hub. I went to the Close a few years back with my partner, and we both saw a woman in period dress standing where no one was allowed to go because it was too dangerous. She was talking to someone in a doorway - and a few seconds later they were both gone. Eerie but fantastic place to visit - I would thoroughly recommend it!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Visited Mary King's close, March 2009.

      WOW, how haunted is this, especially little Annie's room!!

    • jimmythejock profile imageAUTHOR

      James Paterson 

      10 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Donna a Close is the scottish vertion of a cul-de-sac.....jimmy

    • DonnaCSmith profile image

      Donna Campbell Smith 

      10 years ago from Central North Carolina

      I enjoyed your hub. I hate to show my ignorance, but what is a close?

    • funwithtrains profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      Nice hub! Thumbs up and a Digg!

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 

      10 years ago from San Francisco

      Terrific story! Would love to visit someday. I think Edinburgh is enchantingly beautiful, too.

      Congrats on #700!

    • Ardie profile image


      10 years ago from Neverland

      I love a good ghost story with real history behind it. One day I hope to travel the world and visit places just like the Mary Kings Close. Ive already visited many in Ohio and surrounding states, but I have a feeling I need to leave the country to find the truly good places!

    • I William profile image

      I William 

      10 years ago from United States

      Absolutely Fascinated! Thank you for such a great hub. This subject has been one that always captures my attention. Your quite a talented and eclectic writer as I have enjoyed your array of hubs. Congrats on your 700.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 

      10 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      My Sister and I would both love to visit this place, and hope we get the chance to someday Jimmy. Congrats on 700th hub too :)

    • scotslass profile image


      10 years ago

      Hi Jimmy

      When we went i was really spooked out and you know that; felt there was something but didn't know what. I cant wait till you take me again.


      p.s. congratulations on your 700th hub

    • jimmythejock profile imageAUTHOR

      James Paterson 

      10 years ago from Scotland

      Thanks for visiting Kelly, Mary Kings Close is a very spooky place to visit......jimmy

    • profile image

      Kellys Writing 

      10 years ago

      Hi there Jimmy,

      I love this article and have to get my folks to read it. I love to read about the history of places like that. The apparitions is another added bonus.

      Great hub, I loved it.

      Best Wishes,



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