Natasha Stillwell visits Mary King’s Close in Edinburgh, said to one of the most haunted locations in the UK.
Only open to the public since 2003, it has become a major tourist attraction, “a mysterious underground time capsule”.
In 1645, the seven-storey tenements here were home to quarantined victims of the Black Death. In the nineteenth century, the upper storeys were demolished and the lower sections used as foundations for what was to become the city chambers.
Today, Mary King’s Close is the main venue in the city’s ghost festival. Edinburgh University parapsychology department have been conducting experiments here, to see if people’s past experiences make them more sensitive to ghosts.
Richard Felix spent seven years investigating the paranormal for the Most Haunted television series. “This place is amazingly haunted,” he says. “You’ve got such amazing stories and traumas that went on here.” He describes Annie’s Room, where a girl named Annie died of the plague and where a medium later said that a traumatised girl was still in the room. Felix reports having had a stone thrown at him during a séance in this room.
“I’m frightened of ghosts,” he says. “Always have been. You’d never get me down here alone.”