Best Ghost tours in Edinburgh - the Edinburgh skyline from Calton Hill - looking out at the castle and Balmoral hotel as dusk falls

The 13 Best Ghost Tours in Edinburgh (Updated 2021)

Looking for the best ghost tours in Edinburgh? The Scottish city of Edinburgh is known for its disturbing dark past. With nearly 900 years of history, Edinburgh survived plagues, witchcraft, grave robbers, cannibals, and so much more.

Best Ghost tours in Edinburgh - the Edinburgh skyline from Calton Hill - looking out at the castle and Balmoral hotel as dusk falls

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The 13 Best Ghost Tours in Edinburgh Scotland

Mercat Tours

All of the tours with Mercat Tours are absolutely fantastic, but the best ghost tour in Edinburgh is their incredibly spooky Ghostly Underground Vaults Tour.

The tour takes you through Edinburgh’s historic Old Town, where you will get to hear all about the gruesome and ghastly tales that occurred on the cobbled streets you are walking along.

Once you are properly spooked by the terrifying tales that occurred above ground, you will be taken down to the atmospheric Blair Street Vaults. The vaults are home to various ghosts, including the friendly cobbler and the very scary Mr. Boots! Be sure to take the tour to hear all about their history!

Mercat Tours do not have jump scares (but if you are into that, some ghost tours do that below!). The stories are all real and very scary. They have a plethora of tours that will please anyone! From ghost hunters to graveyard lovers – Mercat has you covered.

There is no shortage of amazing tour guides, so you will enjoy whomever you follow into the vaults.

Want to try Mercat Tour’s other best ghost tours in Edinburgh?

Want to explore the Canongate graveyard as well as the Blair Street Vaults? Be sure to take the Edinburgh: Underground Vaults & Graveyard Evening Tour.

If you would prefer to take an adult-only tour you should check out their Edinburgh: Late Night Haunted Underground Vaults Tour. They also do a Small Group Underground Vaults Ghost Tour that includes a drink in Megget’s Cellar! It is the perfect way to end a ghost tour.

Too scared to go at night? Check out their Ghostly Underground Day Tour.

What you need to know

  • You must book online to ensure a spot
  • The number of guests per tour is limited to 15
  • Bring headphones to participate in the “tour talk,” which helps with social distancing
  • Masks are required (tour is underground)
  • Hand sanitizer is available to everyone
  • Social distancing is enforced
  • Guides and gear are sanitized between uses
  • Book in advance so you don’t miss out because tours will book up fast!

Book here: Ghostly Underground Vaults Tour

Auld Reekie Tours

One of the best ghost tours in Edinburgh has to be the Edinburgh Late Night Underground Vaults Terror Tour by Auld Reekie Tours.

The tour takes you down to the South Bridge vaults, where you will get to see the infamous stone circle vault. The stone circle is said to hold an evil presence, and if you step inside the circle, you may regret it! (I stepped inside, and I am fine if that makes you feel better…or am I?!)

One of the coolest things about the tour? You will get to see an array of medieval instruments once used to torture real people in the past!

If you are interested in witchcraft history in Scotland, this is the tour to see the real-life witches coven in Edinburgh.

Rumour has it that serial killers Burke and Hare would frequent the dark South Bridge vaults – did they hide any of their victims inside the vaults? We may never know!

I’ve never experienced anyone jumping out at us at the end of the tour, but it is rumoured that this may happen – so be warned!

Want to spend time exploring the haunted Greyfriars Kirkyard? Be sure to take the Haunted Vaults and Graveyard tour!

What you need to know

  • You must book online as the ticket office is closed
  • The number of guests per tour is limited
  • Masks are required (tour is underground)
  • Social distancing is enforced
  • Guides and gear are sanitized between uses
  • Book in advance so you don’t miss out because tours will book up fast!

Book here: Edinburgh Late Night Underground Vaults Terror Tour

The Cadies & Witchery Tours

Want a light-hearted tour filled with laughter but still want to be scared? Check out the Edinburgh Murder Mystery Walking Tour!

This is the tour to take if you want to scream out loud with both laughter and fear! Your guide for the evening? The dead infamous highwayman Adam Lyal. He was executed in 1811, so he might be a little worse for wear but still puts in a great show!

The tour goes into deep detail about serial killers Burke and Hare, which includes a trip to the world’s smallest museum with one item on display – the calling card case made from the skin of William Burke.

This tour will have someone jumping out at you to frighten you – so you will always be on edge waiting for them to appear. It’s a great tour, and you will have loads of fun!

Want to spend the night with a deceased cemetery director instead? Check out their Ghosts and Gore Walking Tour of Edinburgh.

They also do a really great tour for those of you who would like to tour Greyfriars Kirkyard. Be sure to check out their Edinburgh: Greyfriars Kirkyard Tour if you are interested.

What you need to know

  • You must book online to secure your spot
  • The number of guests per tour is limited
  • Masks are required
  • Social distancing is enforced
  • Guides and gear are sanitized between uses
  • Book in advance so you don’t miss out because tours will book up fast!

Book here: Edinburgh Murder Mystery Walking Tour

City of Edinburgh Tours

On the City of Edinburgh Tours, Extreme Paranormal Underground Ghost Tour follows a guide dressed in a period costume deep down into Edinburgh’s haunted vaults.

Fully immerse yourself in the past while walking through Greyfriars Kirkyard, the shadowing streets and go deep into the underground vaults.

While all tour guides are stellar, James is a favourite among guests who have taken the extreme paranormal underground tour. He is hilarious and really knows his history!

One of the cool things about taking a tour with the City of Edinburgh Tours? All of the guides are real people from Edinburgh’s sinister past. Will you walk through Old Town Edinburgh with Dr. Robert Knox, Deacon Brodie or Maggie Dickson? (to name a few)

If you want to bring the whole family along for a bit of a scare, City of Edinburgh Tours offers family-friendly tours such as the Fright Night Tour. They also do an incredible Edinburgh: Evening Underground Ghost Tour if that is more your thing!

What you need to know

  • You must book online to secure your spot
  • The number of guests per tour is limited to 6
  • Masks are required
  • Social distancing is enforced
  • Guides and gear are sanitized between uses
  • Book in advance so you don’t miss out because tours will book up fast!

Book here: Extreme Paranormal Underground Ghost Tour

The Ghost Bus Tours Ltd.

If you love ghost stories but would rather enjoy them in a warm vehicle? Look no further than the Ghost Bus Tours! Why walk around in the cold weather like a sucker when you can ride through town in a vintage black double-decker bus?

The ghost tour is full of theatrics and comedy over super scary stories. So, if you want to have an evening of fun rather than stories so frightening you won’t be able to sleep – you must take this tour.

One of the best things about this ghost tour? You can cover so much more ground than a walking tour! You get to see sights most tours won’t make it to and all in one night!

What you need to know

  • You must book online as the ticket office is closed
  • The number of guests per tour is limited to 6
  • Masks are required
  • Social distancing is enforced
  • Guides and gear are sanitized between uses
  • Book in advance so you don’t miss out because tours will book up fast!

Book here: The Ghost Bus Tours

Sandemans New Europe – Britain

Edinburgh’s Dark Side Walking Tour is one of the best ghost tours in Edinburgh.

The tour takes you to the site where witches were burned during the Great Scottish Witch Hunt on Calton Hill. The tour also goes through the Old Calton Burial Ground or Edinburgh’s most haunted graveyard.

This tour covers a lot of ground, so be prepared to do quite a bit of walking, which includes hills – but the views and stories along the way are totally worth it!

What you need to know

  • You must book online as the ticket office is closed
  • The number of guests per tour is limited
  • Face masks are required
  • Hand sanitizer is available
  • Book in advance so you don’t miss out because tours will book up fast!

Book here: Edinburgh’s Dark Side Walking Tour

City of the Dead Tours

Want to visit the terrifying Damnation Alley? I spent the night inside these terrifying vaults and experienced a lot of paranormal activity. The underground vaults in Edinburgh are home to the malevolent presence known as the South Bridge Entity.

The Underground City of the Dead Vault Tour consists of three vaults, all giving off a creepy vibe making Damnation Alley give off the perfect spooky atmosphere.

The City of the Dead tour offers a look back through Edinburgh’s macabre history while standing in the dark, quiet, ominous vaults.

If you would prefer to check out the tour under the safety of daylight, check out the City of the Dead Underground Vaults Day Tour.

You should also check out their Edinburgh: Underground and Haunted Graveyard Tour if you’d like to visit a graveyard and the very haunted underground vaults.

What you need to know

  • You must book online
  • The number of guests per tour is limited to 5
  • Face masks are required (and provided)
  • Guides and gear are sanitized between uses
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Book in advance so you don’t miss out because tours will book up fast!

Book here: Underground City of the Dead Tour

Historic Edinburgh Tours

If you want a tour of the dark history that lingers in Edinburgh’s Greyfriars Kirkyard you should take the Historic Edinburgh Tour of Greyfriars.

This private tour, which is called Greyfriars Kirkyard Tour in Edinburgh – Private tour, takes you around the graveyard telling you about the macabre history that is just beneath your feet.

This tour is not a paranormal tour, but it does discuss the history of body snatchers, Covenanters Prison, and all of the gruesome histories in between.

Your tour guide, Robert, is an incredible storyteller. He will keep you captivated from start to finish!

What you need to know

  • You must book online as the ticket office is closed
  • The number of guests per tour is limited to 4
  • Masks are required
  • Hand sanitizer is available to all
  • Social distancing is enforced
  • Guides and gear are sanitized between uses
  • Book in advance so you don’t miss out because tours will book up fast!

Book here: Greyfriars Kirkyard Tour in Edinburgh – Private tour

Thistle Knights Tours

One thing Scotland has a lot of is Witch History. The Great Scottish Witch Hunt consumed Scotland and much witch-related torture took place between 1590 and 1690 in Edinburgh.

The Edinburgh: The Witches Tour takes you around Edinburgh and goes into detail about why someone may have been accused of being a witch. Why witchcraft existed in Edinburgh and shows you real human remains that were once used for witchcraft rituals.

What makes this one of the witch tours in Edinburgh? You get to have a chakra reading and balance work done on the tour. If you want to know more about witches in Scotland you must take this tour.  

If you would love to learn more about witches in Scotland be sure to check out the podcast episode on youtube.

What you need to know

  • You must book online as the ticket office is closed
  • Masks are required
  • Book in advance so you don’t miss out because tours will book up fast

Book here: Edinburgh: The Witches Tour

Thistle Stop Tours

Want to experience the dark history of Edinburgh with your own private guide? The Private Edinburgh Dark History Tour is the best choice!

One of the best things about this tour? The tours are totally customizable to your interests. Want to learn more about Edinburgh’s plague history? Or fancy a tour fill of stories about corpses and curses? You get to pick your own adventure.

What is better than that?! (nothing, that’s what!)

What you need to know

  • The tour is private! Just you (and your group) and your guide
  • Face masks are required
  • Hand Sanitizer is available
  • Social distancing is enforced
  • Guides and gear are sanitized between uses
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Book in advance so you don’t miss out because tours will book up fast!

Book here: Private Edinburgh Dark History Tour

Withlocals

Spend a night chatting about conspiracy theories, tragic historical stories and grim tales with a guide that feels like a friend. Withlocals tour – Edinburgh’s Myths & Legends by Night Private Tour is the perfect way to spend an evening in Edinburgh.

Not only is this tour private, but you also get to visit places most ghost tours skip. One of the cool stops is at St. Cecilia’s Hall & Music Museum, which was once the stomping grounds of criminals, murders and witches!

What you need to know

  • You must book online as the ticket office is closed
  • The number of guests per tour is limited (private tour!)
  • Masks are required
  • Social distancing is enforced
  • Guides and gear are sanitized between uses
  • Book in advance so you don’t miss out because tours will book up fast!

Book here: Edinburgh’s Myths & Legends by Night Private Tour

See Your City

Want to tour Edinburgh with a ghost expert by your side? Look no further than Scotland’s Dark Secrets Walking Tour.

The terrifying tour takes you back to the past with the immersive storytelling. You will really feel like you are watching the history of Edinburgh’s spooky tales unfold right before your eyes.

The Dark Secrets Walking Tour is one of the best ghost tours in Edinburgh – it also includes fun games and quizzes along the way!

What you need to know

  • You must book online as the ticket office is closed
  • Face masks are required (and provided)
  • Hand Sanitizer is available
  • Guides wash hands regularly
  • Book in advance so you don’t miss out because tours will book up fast!

Book here: Scotland’s Dark Secrets Walking Tour

All-Star Guides

Want to know more about the murder, mysteries and criminals that have terrorized Edinburgh throughout the years? Be sure to check out the Edinburgh – Dark History with All-Star Guides tour.

The wonderful and knowledgeable Edgar curates the independent and intimate tour. Not only does he provide you with the real-life history of criminals like Deacon Brodie and Burke and Hare, but it also shows you how ghost stories are created from their stories.

One of the best things about the tour? Edgar caters the tour to you and your group rather than repeating the same information he has memorized.

What you need to know

  • You must book online as the ticket office is closed
  • The number of guests per tour is limited to 6
  • Masks are required
  • Social distancing is enforced
  • Guides and gear are sanitized between uses
  • Book in advance so you don’t miss out because tours will book up fast!

Book here: Edinburgh – Dark History with All-Star Guides

More Spooky and Haunted Things to do in Edinburgh Scotland

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