Edinburgh's Haunted Castle

Edinburgh castle, situated on the West outcrop of the ancient volcano that makes up Arthur's Seat, is one of the most famous of all Edinburgh landmarks. Thousands of tourists visit every year. As well as the historic and cultural appeal of Edinburgh castle, it is also one of the most haunted places in Scotland and
home to several of Edinburgh's ghosts.

The Tunnel Piper

Edinburgh has a hidden underworld to which the castle is strongly connected - including a series of secret tunnels leading from Edinburgh castle down the Royal Mile. It's said that one of these tunnels used to lead to Holyrood Palace.

When these tunnels were first discovered several hundred years ago, a piper was sent to explore. He kept playing so that his progress could be tracked by those above. About half way down the Royal Mile the piping suddenly stopped. When a rescue party was sent, there was no trace of the piper. He had simply vanished.

The piper's ghost still haunts Edinburgh today, walking endlessly along the underground tunnel beneath the Royal Mile. His music can sometimes be heard from within the castle.

The Ghost of the Headless Drummer

Many people have heard the sound of ghostly drums within Edinburgh castle, however few have seen the drummer. The reason for this is that the drummer ghost only appears when the castle is about to be attacked, something that hasn't happened for some time (unless you include the tourist invasion!).

The ghost drummer was first seen before Cromwell's attack on the castle in 1650 and is reported to take the form of a headless boy. Who the boy was and why he now haunts and protects Edinburgh castle is not known.

Ghost Dog

Edinburgh has many associations with dogs, including the famous Greyfriars Bobby. In Edinburgh castle there is a dogs' cemetery. The cemetry is reportedly haunted by at least one phantom dog that has been heard and occasionally seen in the vicinity.


During the witch hunts some 300 women were burned at the stake for witchcraft. The burnings took place just outside the castle and some of their ghosts are said to still be present. The Witches' Well was erected to commemorate these women and perhaps ease their angry spirits.


Many victims of torture are said to haunt the castle dungeons.