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Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

From US$26.12

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 2 hours (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Journey through Edinburgh’s grisliest tales on a haunted walking tour. Experience the ghastly histories of monsters, madness, and murder that cast a dark shadow on the capital city. Discover the stories and sites of witch trials, pagan rituals, and executions, and hear about local monsters that live in urban myth. Then visit the chilling Old Calton Burial Ground or Canongate Kirkyard cemetery to learn about body-snatching and some of the infamous interred.
  • Walking tour of Edinburgh’s murky past and present, led by a knowledgeable guide
  • Explore the eerie, cobblestone streets of Edinburgh’s Old Town
  • Climb Calton Hill, the site of witch trials and pagan rituals, and take in panoramic views of the city
  • Visit Old Calton Burial Ground or Canongate Kirkyard cemetery and learn about body-snatching, vampires and more
  • Discover the capital’s gruesome past through the guide’s gripping commentary

What's Included

  • Professional guide
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • 130 High St
    130 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1QS, UK

    The tours starts at 130 High Street (The Royal Mile), on the corner with Stevenlaw's Close. Look for the guide with the SANDEMANs red name badge.

Start time

06:30 pm

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Your ghostly adventure starts in the evening on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in Old Town. Meet your local guide and steel yourself for a walk through the dark recesses of Edinburgh’s haunted history, hearing stories of murder, monsters, cannibals and other local oddities. Cross your fingers that you encounter (or not encounter!) a spooky character at one of the venues to come. 

First wind through shadowed alleys and cobbled streets to North Bridge and Calton Hill, where you get panoramic views of the city and a dose of gruesome history. Explore the monuments perched high above the city and learn about the grisly witch trials that occurred here. Still a sacred area for many, Calton Hill continues to host pagan rituals like the Edinburgh Beltane Fire Festival.

Afterwards, continue to one of Edinburgh’s famous cemeteries. Stop at the 17th-century Canongate Kirkyard cemetery or Old Calton Burial Ground, where David Hume is buried. Hear about his fabled deal with the devil, as well as the history of Burke and Hare, body snatchers who made a killing (so to speak!) by selling corpses to medical science. 

Between stops, hear other creepy stories of execution, murder, torture, and hauntings. Your tour returns to the Royal Mile at a local pub. Pop inside for a drink to help warm your chilled soul (own expense)!

Royal Mile

10 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

North Bridge

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Calton Hill

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Old Calton Burial Ground

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Canongate Kirk

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Edinburgh Old Town (Pass By)

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • The independent guides who employ us to market their tours have your best interests in mind; while the tour usually includes the sites & stories mentioned and lasts about 2 hours, your tour may vary depending on what your guide thinks is best for your group
  • We unfortunately do not advise guests in wheelchairs to join the Dark Side Tour, due to the narrow stairways and steep hills. We apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment caused.
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travellers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

about cancellations.

Traveller Photos

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Traveller Tips

There was quite a lot of walking up and down hill (it is Edinburgh, after all), so you'll need to be fairly easily mobile on foot.
This is a great way to be guided to Calton Hill which is a bit of a walk from the Royal Mile but well worth the trip
no explicit visuals) from a friendly tour guide, making it really very safe for children.


2,937 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travellers.
Showing 1-10 of 2,937 reviews
Fantastic Tour!
Monica_G, Jun 2023
This tour was outstanding!! Our guide Alasdair was an amazing storyteller who guided us through an historic account of the dark side of Edinburgh. Fantastic Tour!!
Tour was interesting and awesome
Aileen_C, Jun 2023
Alasdair was great this tour was awesome! The stories were great and I can see how he won an award for being so awesome of a tour guide!
Shawna_L, Jun 2023
Lots of great stories. Lots of walking but with it for the views on Calton Hill. Totally recommend and Calum was a great guide !
Calum was fantastic!! He...
Arianna_W, Jun 2023
Calum was fantastic!! He really brought the stories to life and kept us engaged throughout the entire experience.
RAHUL_S, May 2023
Our guide was Calum. And he was fantastic. He was a Scot and a playwright and a performer. Narrated wonderful stories.
Alasdair + Dark Sided = Perfection
Thomas_S, May 2023
Alasdair was absolutely amazing. The dark sided tour is for anyone fascinated with history and true crime. It’s a little thing, but Alasdair has an amazing voice that travels well so you never felt like you were straining to hear like can happen on other tours. If you love the morbid side of things, you’ll love this.
Stellar guide, great stories
Catherine_L, May 2023
This was such an amazing tour! The time flew by and the guide was just stellar. The stories were haunting, but in the best way. I love to retell them at parties. The walk wasn't strenuous, but the views throughout the tour were great. I don't think I would've traveled to some of the spots had I not gone on this tour.
Really lovely tour. Our...
Thomas_G, May 2023
Really lovely tour. Our tourguide Sabella was really intersting to listen to and she had a lot of humour. I can recommend it to anyone. You will learn some stuff about Edinburgh you wouldn't have learned otherwise.
Well worth 2 hours. Excellent guide
Brenda_C, May 2023
Our tour guide was outstanding. Very engaging and funny. She was an excellent story tell. I believe her name was Mary
A lister was a great tour...
Matthew_M, May 2023
A lister was a great tour guide he was informative funny and he knew his history excellent person thank you
Hands down the best tour...
Mona_K, May 2023
Hands down the best tour I took in Edinburgh, thanks to our brilliant (and very funny) tour guide Alasdair. His carefully curated tales, told with wit and flair, made this an unforgettable experience.
Amazing history lesson
Hazel_C, May 2023
Steph was just amazing not only with her knowledge but her acting skills , funny and a real gem ! Enjoyed this tour to the max because of her ! Thank you
Best Tour!
Georgia_P, May 2023
Αlasdair made this tour unforgettable. We learned a lot of wonderful, weird and gory stories. Highly recommend. 😊
Fun way to see the sights with a creepy focus
kimberly_r, May 2023
Sabella (Isabella without the “I”) was a wonderful guide! She is an excellent storyteller and used her knowledge of Edinburgh to show us a great time on this walking tour. It’s a lot of walking (7-8K steps in 2 hours) but it was a lot of fun! Highly recommend!
Best tour of Edinburgh
Adrian_W, May 2023
Good little tour with facts about the darker history of Edinburgh. Alisdair was an amazing tour guide. Probably my favourite experience whilst there. Also great for finding some lesser known places around the city. Great evening adventure
Good fun
Glenn_S, May 2023
Really enjoyable. Alistair has great energy & tells a good story. Gained nice insight. All will enjoy
Fun Tour
Emily_E, May 2023
Loved the Dark Side tour with Alasdair! He told us so many good, creepy stories but managed to make it really funny as well. The 2 hour tour flew by. It is A LOT of walking but it’s definitely worth it.
Sabela was an amazing...
Guillermo_T, May 2023
Sabela was an amazing guide, really full of energy and an excelente story teller. I loved the whole tour and it was the perfect way to finish my birthday.
Great tour
Louise_W, May 2023
Sabella our tour guide was amazing. Very knowledgable and made the tour very interesting. Pleased we did this tour first as it gives you a guide of interesting places to visit. Thank you.
We really had a very nice...
Maike_P, May 2023
We really had a very nice tour and and a great guide. Calum is a very good guide and story-teller. :)


Product code: 6785EDGHOST

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