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City of the Dead Graveyard Tour, Edinburgh

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  • 5.0 star rating

    Brilliantly terrifying and at the same time educational, and didn't even need the homies to be scary.

    Left the vaults feeling as creeped out as hell but glad to be safe. And I am a cynical git through and through!

    I highly recommend this!

    Give it a shot and you won't be disappointed but those of a nervous disposition may want to consider it, there are no people jumping out at you etc etc bit in general the vaults feel creepy as hell. Literally.

  • 2.0 star rating

    This review is of the Underground City Tour which is part of the same group.

    According to their own brochure, this tour combines real history with true horror in subterranean passages and rooms beneath the Old Town of Edinburgh. In truth, there was only scant history and practically no horror. Even more disappointing, only about a third of the time was spent actually underground.

    Much of the 'horror' consisted of anecdotal events that occurred during previous tours. Men were known commonly to faint while 'everything else' happened to women. One woman had a nosebleed that left so much blood on her face it looked as though she'd bitten the head off a rat; a young girl became 'possessed' acting in a manner that her mother claimed she would never do normally.

  • 4.0 star rating

    I did the double dead tour, too.

    It's hard to write a review about the City of the Dead tour when we didn't go on any others. I really think it would be more effective to compare the tours since there seems to be hundreds in Edinburgh.

    I'm easily scared and love this kind of stuff so I'm also kind of biased. I like to feel scared (sucker for Silent Hill and Resident Evil) so I went into it with a positive, I-bet-something's-gonna-happen attitude.

    I rate four stars because I think the tour guide was completely perfect in that regard. He didn't do or say anything cheesy and definitely accentuated the feeling of fear, which I think was a nice touch. His passion and "I believe this stuff is real" perspective was also nice. Clearly, not an actor. Much like the ghost hunters on TV, he is 100% sure that the places we went are haunted. That made it all much more authentic actually.

    The reason it does not get five stars is because the vault this particular tour enters is near a bar. At night, there will be sounds of the party, which kind of kills the mood. It didn't completely destroy our experience though. Give it a try if you like this kind of stuff -- don't expect it to convert a non-believer though. :D

  • 2.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    We tried the underground tour for their last showing at 830pm. I wish we did the double dead your due to the reviews but we only has time for the underground.

    My overall experience with it when we were done was disappointing and honestly, kind of lame. The girls that were scared on the tour made it more entertaining and the Indian guy who kept deep breathing but other than that, I don't know if it was due to my jet lag from the us but I was literally falling asleep standing up. When the tour guide mentioned a story or experience about being possessed, I first considered if I was possessed by the paranormal activity going on in the caves but nope, it was my jetlag.

    I'll never know if our tourists stories were true or not, it sounded like voodoo hoodoo junk. It sure made it entertaining for her getting the audience to image that in their minds as she described her experiences with paranormal activity.

    Anyways don't waste your money on the underground tour.

  • 5.0 star rating

    I went on this with my mother and we absolutely loved the Graveyard tour. I can't remember out tour guide's name, but he was fabulous. I was enthralled and couldn't stop listening! He was very informative about what we were seeing as we walked around town and shared info about the history- both accurate and kind of disturbing... This town has some haunted history.

    Tour guide even showed us some extra fun stuff after the tour was over- their school that inspired JK Rowling for her vision of Hogwarts and the grave of Thomas Riddle in Greyfriars.

    I'd absolutely recommend this tour to anyone wanting to learn some history and like the darker side of it. Much better than the Real Mary King's Close tour... After this tour, the close just seemed awful and hokey.

  • 5.0 star rating

    We did the Double Dead tour (includes both the Underground City and Graveyard tours) with Gerry as our guide. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and will probably go back to do the individual tours next time we are in Edinburgh. The Double Dead tour is a bit rushed, so you don't get as many stories or time in each place, but it was still a great tour and I would highly recommend it if you're pressed for time and want to do both!

    Gerry was a great guide. While we were walking, he was singing a little song about the plague...it wasn't loud enough for the whole group to hear, so if you get him as your guide, try to walk close to him and listen to the words. It was very clever!

    No paranormal activity on our tour, but still very interesting and worth the price of admission. See you next time!

  • 4.0 star rating

    Very interesting and entertaining!!!

    We did the Underground City Tour during our recent trip to Edinburgh.  Our tour guide was Dave and he was full of information.  He also had that dead pan kind of humor which works well with this type of tour.  

    Let me begin with, these vaults are HOT!!!  No ventilation, so wear layers and undress the further you go.  Dave said people have passed out on these tours from hauntings...I'd be willing to bet it was from heat stroke!

    Anyway, the vaults are very interesting and creepy.  The amount of information you are given will kind of blow your mind, but it is given in an interesting manner which helps you to retain a lot of it.  One vault is said to be the most haunted and that the ghost could begin showing signs of haunting you anywhere from 10-12 days after your visit.  Let me just say, about 6 days later we were in London finishing up our vacation when I had the strangest dream of a man hovering over our hotel bed.  Later that day, my husband noticed tons of fingerprint sized bruises all up and down my right leg.  Things that make you go hmmmmmm.

    So, I would highly recommend this tour.  Not so much for the scariness, but for the history of it.  Oh, and for the chance to be haunted and get all bruised up.

  • 3.0 star rating

    I went on the tour of the underground vaults with my husband. I'm kind of torn on how I feel about it: as a historical tour, I loved it. As a haunted, ghostly tour, it felt a bit contrived. I loves our guide's passion in wanting to teach us about this forgotten piece of history, and I was fascinated hearing about who used the vaults. However, I was disappointed that so much of our time was spent standing and listening. It was cool hearing about the spirits who haunt the spaces, but whenever the guide mentioned people have passed out regularly on the tour, all I could think was maybe it was because they'd locked their knees and stood for too long. I wish they'd had us moving around a bit more, especially if it were possible to show us a few more of the vaults. Glad I did it, but may not necessarily do it again.

  • 4.0 star rating

    We did the Underground City of the Dead tour. Is it hokey? Yes. Are the vaults actually haunted? Yes. Will the tour guide most likely annoy the crap out of you? Probably. I do not enjoy people jumping out at you or trying to make things purposely scary. Guess what, bitches? There is no need and you are ruining it.

    Anyhow. It's a cool area with a lot of history. There is a reasonable amount of walking but most people should be able to handle it. I should warn you that some areas are unstable and people were sliding (be sure to use the handles and railing).

    I thought the length of the tour was about right and upon my return I would possibly consider one of the others, but I don't think I'd re-do this one. If you like a little spook with your tourism, I don't see the harm in giving it a go.

  • 5.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    Gerri with a G is a fun and informative guide! Unfortunately we did not experience any paranormal activity, but we did learn a good amount of Edinburgh history. Thank you Gerri with a G!

  • 3.0 star rating

    I decided to go on the Double Dead tour for the access to the vaults and the covenanter's prison. This tour was the only one that I heard of that led you into the covenanter's prison that was once ruled over by George Mackenzie, a horrible devil of a man and now a horrible devil of a poltergeist. Supposedly. The tour guide was humorous and a joy to listen too, but it loses a star for being a huge group, which wasn't scary at all, and for the SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!

    masked man that jumps out at the end. Sorry if I ruined it for you, but that's what ruined it for me.
    I didn't experience any scratches or paranormal activity on my physical self, but when we were in the vaults my phone that was off started to ring and then turned dead off.... bizarre.

  • 5.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    Highly entertaining tour with a fantastically enthusiastic guide (Gerry with a G), definitely recommended! We were lucky with the weather as the majority of the tour is outdoors (we did the double dead tour so saw the vaults too), and it is highly advisable to book online in advance (the tour sells out well in advance). Great historical information, although it is to be kept in mind that it is an entertainment tour first and foremost, having been designed and written by noted novelist J. A. Henderson.

  • 4.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    A good tour depends as much on the personality of the tour guide as it does on the subject matter at hand. On that count, our tour was good. Our guide was funny and personable, good at storytelling. As he himself said: he's a storyteller, not a historian.

    Our tour was the "double dead" tour that went into the vaults and also into the graveyard. The tour itself wasn't that scary as others have said. It also wasn't that informative about the history. There was a brief overview of what the vaults were, but most of the vault tour consisted of the guide trying to warn us of what a supernatural encounter would be like and trying to impress upon us the number of times other tours had suffered an attack.

    To a skeptic like me, this was not all that interesting. Especially when, as expected, the tour group went through and found that nothing happened. There's something a little strange to me about a tour that talks almost entirely about "encounters" that have happened to previous tour groups. If ghosts were real, I'd be more interested in hearing about hauntings that happened before tour groups started traipsing through the area.

    In the end I think I would have been more interested in an actual history tour than a "haunted" tour. I found myself wanting to know more about the vaults and what life was like for people in there. I found the horror of the covenanters prison to be much scarier (and much more interesting) than the supposed Mackenzie Poltergeist.

    Even though the substance of the tour wasn't really what I would like (and it's my own fault for going on a ghost tour rather than a history tour) - I think the guide did a good job with the material. If you're the type of person who loves those ghost hunting TV shows, you'll probably really like this tour.

    If you're not into the ghost hunting, this tour or a similar one is worth it just to be able to see and learn about the vaults.

  • 4.0 star rating

    Fantastic tour of the vaults and the covenanter's prison with lots of tales about the horrific life of the poor and outcasts endured- you were considered lucky if you were murdered!

    The tour guide was brilliant, great at setting the mood and the scene, keeping the tour's attention for the full time.  Definitely one to go on but not for the fainted hearted- I got spooked!!

    They do student rates as well!!!

  • 3.0 star rating

    There's nothing better than a good old fright so why not pay £8.50 for the pleasure? I decided to go on The City of the Dead tour around this time last year after seeing the advertisement boards located on the Royal Mile. A walk around a graveyard? A trip to the haunted Covenanters Prison? A wee visit to the lair of the Mackenzie Poltergeist? Yes please!

    It was very interesting walking through the graveyard in the pitch black but the group we were with was huge so it was hard to feel scared with so many people around. In addition to this, although the tour guide was awesome, he was more of a comedian than a scary type and cracked jokes the whole way round, I guess this eased the tension a bit. I also remember him telling us a good bit about J.K Rowling and the Harry Potter books and while I like the books I'm not remotely interested in Potter facts. I also agree with Sam that it was a little too informative with regards to history... we want scares!

    I guess overall, this tour was probably the least scary out of the various ghost tours I've been on in Edinburgh despite the hype of being linked with "Most Haunted" and "Mystery Hunters". It was, however, very entertaining and I did enjoy myself but if you're looking for a good scare this isn't the best Edinburgh has to offer.

    • Qype User tomq8…
    • Edinburgh
    • 71 friends
    • 84 reviews
    5.0 star rating

    This tour was alot of fun if not always historically accurate. We went on a 10pm night tour. We started off at St Giles cathedral hearing tales of torture and witches! Then our guide lead us to the greyfriars graveyard and proceeded to lead us into a crypt. After the tour we were lead to a tiny shop in the graveyard where you can buy all sorts of nic nacs.
    Greyfriars is very atmospheric at night and if you want a good time and a bit of a scare go on this tour.

    • Qype User foxylo…
    • Stockton-on-Tees
    • 3 friends
    • 58 reviews
    1.0 star rating

    My husband and I visited Edinburgh in July 2006 and took the City of the Dead Tour while there. We had already taken another ghost tour in the city previous to this one, and I thought the first one was MUCH better. We were not impressed with the City of the Dead Tour at all. It started off fairly well, with some interesting stories of Edinburgh's gory history, but once we left the Royal Mile and started walking down to Greyfriar's the whole thing became a shambles. Most of this was down to the guide, an Australian girl who took off walking at such a speed that i'm sure some of the older people in the group couldn't keep up and were left behind. We were practically running just to keep up and we were in our twenties!

    The churchyard itself was very interesting, with the grave of Greyfriar's Bobby and his owner, and the history of the MacKenzie poltergeist was quite frightening. We entered the Mausoleum which was very scary, and the guide was getting us all creeped out telling us about the incidents of people being attacked by the poltergeist, so everyone was very surprised when a guy in a cheap Scream mask jumped out at everyone! My husband was the exception, he didn't even flinch! I thought this was just a cheap way to get a scare out of everyone and I wasn't impressed by it at all.

    Maybe the tour would have been better if we'd had a better guide; I don't know. all I know is that I wouldn't recommend it and won't be taking it again!

  • 3.0 star rating

    Generally a good time but a little bland. Gerry was our guide and is quite a character with great stories.  That being said, we were looking for a little more  thrill on our Double Dead tour of the underground vaults and grave yard.  The Mackenzie Poltergeist in Greyfriars graveyard was a great time (although a horrible, sad story).  I recommend the tour (very informative and you learn a great deal about Edinburgh history) but for you folks used to something more thrilling this will be a tame experience.

  • 3.0 star rating

    Sort of a disappointment. It was hokey-er than I expected. Not scary at all. Was hoping to experience something more interesting/intense. I found it mildly entertaining for the novelty of it. My mom HATED it. She is afraid of supernatural everything, but not this AT ALL.

  • 2.0 star rating
    First to Review

    As with the all the ghost tours around Edinburgh, its always more fun if you succumb to the advertisement's hype and let your imagination run wild.  Deciding it would be fun to take my girlfriend on the tour I expected my hand to be squeezed in fear, to be clung on to in desperation as she quivered at the thought of  the ghouls an frights that lay ahead. Unfortunately the more informative (compared to an entertainingly frightful) style of the tour resulted in a weak hand grip and a fairly relaxed pulse rate. There was a little too much information with regards to the history of the sights visited and not enough focus on the scary stuff.  Indeed, it may just have been the tour guide we had that night or it may well have been that the tour bruised my macho image...but at £8.50 it will have to be a one off.

    • Qype User Little…
    • Edinburgh
    • 8 friends
    • 20 reviews
    5.0 star rating

    Many appreciate the city of Edinburgh for its history; others are interested in the ghost stories and haunted sites. If you are one amongst the latter then you may want to experience the City of the Dead Ghost Tour. This nocturnal tour starts at ST Giles Cathedral and moves around parts of old town Edinburgh.
    The guides are knowledgeable as well as enthusiastic and the tour is interesting. Please take note it is not for the faint hearted. The darkened city and echoing footsteps of your fellow peers creates an eerie atmosphere. Without giving away too much of the tours highlights and 'true' stories one can say that it is frightfully exciting to seek the presence of the Mackenzie Poltergeist. Bear in mind that he has been known to follow some people home.

    • Qype User becki…
    • Edinburgh
    • 2 friends
    • 51 reviews
    3.0 star rating

    This ghost tour was probably my least favorite of the four I went on in Edinburgh. The actor was quite over the top but he was still amusing. The historical facts were a bitsketchy but I think it was more about the spooky atmosphere with them than anything else. This tour did involve someone jumping out and shouting which I think kind of ruins it but they told us that the poltergeist feeds on fear. We started off on royal being told about witches and torture and then were taken to the greyfriars graveyard and showed the locked covenanters prison. It was interesting to go into this place that during the day is out of bounds. Nothing spectacular happened during our tour. It was a fun evening though and would probably good for a halloween evening or if you just want to have fun.

    • Qype User funtim…
    • Glasgow
    • 1 friend
    • 1 review
    5.0 star rating

    I LOVED this tour!! We went after a very busy day of performing and we wanted to do something exiting! We had a brilliant night, our guide was was great! She was a very vibrant and happy Australian Ariadne! She was clearly someone who enjoys their job and in this day and age that is a blessing  She was nothing but lovely  She did walk fast  but id rather keep up with someone than stroll and waste time. She waited for all of the group to catch up and didnt start till everyone was ready. There was a big group but she kept us all entertained and under control! It was at times very scary and a few very odd things happened. She told us loads of tales and was happy to answer any questions we had. The places you go on the tour, are selected parts of the citys underground and graveyard where no-other tours go, which is a great selling point. The stories were exiting and also at times very dark. The mood in the Vaults were very tense at times, but if it got a bit over tense, the guide would try to lighten the mood. Yes there is a scare  but apparently  im not 100% sure but that person is there ANYWAY incase extra medical attention is needed, obviously if nothing happens they just jump out to lighten the mood.its not that big a deal! Its actually funny and it lasts for 2seconds. In the Covananters prison Near the end of the tour, I didnt feel very well and fainted. The guide could not have been more helpful  and took away any embarassment I felt. She simply helped me up and took me over to a place i could sit down with my friends while she got the other members of the tour out and ended it. Overall we had a brilliant night and it was well worth the £12.50 which i think is really good. If you believe in the paranormal your in for a treat and if you DONT believewell you will once the tours over!!! We are going back next year  or this year if we get back to Edinburgh! We have also spoke to other guides and they are charming so is the manager Charlotte. Best tour we have ever done!!!


    • Qype User Phoeb…
    • Edinburgh
    • 2 friends
    • 39 reviews
    5.0 star rating

    The best ghost tour in Edinburgh!!!!!

    The tour starts outside St Giles' Cathedral on Edinburghs Royal Mile and ends in Greyfriars Cemetery inside a haunted Mausoleum. The first part of the tour is fairly light-hearted and has funny and historical tales about Edinburghs past. It slowly works its way to the Cemetery where you enter the Mausoleum and then it gets scary! The Mausoleum is said to be haunted by the 'Mackenzie Poltergeist' and there have been hundreds of reported attacks by this Poltergeist. It really is very creepy in there (in an exciting way) and quite claustrophobic. I've been on this tour many times because I can't quite believe it exists unless I am attacked, and I never have been. Who knows if the reported attacks are made up or not but it doesnt really matter as this tour is brilliant, the best of it's kind in Edinburgh. I always make a point of bringing out-of-town friends on the tour. Everyone should do this!!!!

    • Qype User leighe…
    • Edinburgh
    • 0 friends
    • 53 reviews
    4.0 star rating

    For this tour you meet outside St Giles Cathedral on the High Street. Its a very informative tour which makes the fact telling very interesting by infusing humour. Eventually end up in Greyfriars graveyard which is very interesting. Quite a bit scarier than other ghost tours. There are different tour guides who all do the tour differently.

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