“Edinburgh and ghosts go hand in hand,” Fiona says. “Living in the Old Town, it's assumed that anywhere you go, you're walking over history and stories of people no longer with us.”
Both Scotland’s history and its folklore are laden with grisly tales. “We've always been a learned nation, keen to explore the unknown. This has [led to] many enlightened ideas but also a lot of peculiar traditions."
Scotland also saw "some of the bloodiest witch trials in Europe and a plethora of public hangings,” Fiona adds, and the history of these witch trials hangs heavy on Edinburgh. Beginning in the 16th century, hardened attitudes to traditional healers (of whom there were many), combined with King James VI’s zealotry, led to more than 200 years of terror in which accused ‘witches’ were tortured and executed. An estimated 4,000 people (mostly women) were put on trial for witchcraft and up to two thirds of them executed.
“This is just a little piece of Scottish history, so you can imagine how many spirits we are crossing paths with around Edinburgh nowadays,” Fiona explains.