Spooky reasons to visit Edinburgh at Halloween
Let’s be bold: no city has a Halloween pedigree quite like Edinburgh’s.
The capital’s history is blood-soaked and populated with a gruesome cast of ghosts, ghouls, body snatchers and the occasional cannibal. From the dark wynds of the Old Town to the depths of the city’s underground vaults, there’s no better place to experience Halloween.
And there’s no shortage of ways to experience it either: book your off-peak ticket and take the train to Edinburgh, where you can scare yourself silly at some great attractions such as The Edinburgh Dungeon and Edinburgh Ghost Bus Tours. Then there are the walking tours with costumed guides – pick one that you think you can handle, and prepare for spooks and thrills.
Here’s our roundup of the best things to do in Edinburgh for Halloween this year.
The Edinburgh Dungeon
The first place to start is the darkest of the lot: the Edinburgh Dungeon. It’s quite an experience, with a host of theatrical actors, special effects, stages, scenes and two underground rides. It’s an 80-minute journey through centuries of gore. It's a great place to visit for laughs, thrills, and screams galore.
The Ghost Bus Tour Edinburgh
Board a classic 1960s Routemaster bus for a theatrical sightseeing tour of Edinburgh. Your conductor will point out the city’s most famous sights, and tell the stories of grave robbers, murders and executions that took place at each one. There’s a reason Edinburgh is known as the most haunted city in Europe.
City of Edinburgh Tours
Take an afternoon ghost tour of Edinburgh’s Old Town and underground vaults, with a local guide in full period costume. You’ll hear stories of Edinburgh’s dark past, plus a few bad jokes on the side.
With no less than eight ghost tours to choose from, Mercat Tours have something with the right level of spookiness for you. There’s the family-friendly daylight tours, the early-evening story sessions, and the truly terrifying midnight vigils in one of the most haunted places in Britain: the Blair Street Underground Vaults.
Still got an appetite? Try Edinburgh’s oldest pub
According to some, The Sheep’s Heid Inn was built in 1360, making it Edinburgh’s oldest pub. Where better to go for a bite to eat after, or during, your ghost-hunting exploits?
It’s old enough to have witnessed anything you’ll hear about on a ghost tour of the city – and a whole lot more besides. The most recent claim to fame? The Queen dropped in on her way home from the races in 2016. Rumour has it Her Majesty had the lamb.
Or eat at The Witchery
With its oak panels, aged leather and candlelight, The Witchery is a lavish place to eat this Halloween. There’s nothing frightening about the food: just a legendary beef tartare and sumptuous seafood platters. Just the thing.
Find it in a collection of old buildings by the gate of Edinburgh Castle – deeply atmospheric at this time of year.
Forget broomsticks. Get there by train.
Of course, flying through the night on a broomstick at Halloween has its perks. But you can stay warm and dry on the train. In any case, relish these long, dark evenings: book an off-peak ticket to Edinburgh, the most haunted city in Europe, and experience the capital at its most ghoulish.