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HauntedIllinois.com - Haunted Illinois goes on a Supernatural Ghost Tour of Scotland

Day 7:

Our first stop of the day was Edinburgh Castle. This castle was constructed on top of Castle Rock, which is a large volcanic formation that has served as a stronghold in Edinburgh throughout history. The area has been inhabited since the ninth century, while the Castle itself dates back to the 12th century. 

The oldest building in the Castle is St. Margaret's Chapel. It was built by King David I and was dedicated to his mother who died in 1093. Edinburgh Castle has been involved in many historic battles, including the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century.

The violent and bloody history of this famous Scottish landmark is probably why Edinburgh Castle is reportedly one of the most haunted places in Scotland. Throughout the years, there have been reports of a phantom piper, a ghostly drummer and other unexplained phenomenon. The castle's ancient dungeon, though, has had the most reports of paranormal activity. In April 2001, Richard Wiseman, a prominent psychologist, conducted a scientific study at Edinburgh Castle. He used 240 volunteers who had no knowledge of the castle's legendary haunted history. For the duration of the study, they were taken to various areas inside the castle and asked to record any unusual things they experienced. By far, the highest number of unexplained phenomenon reported were in the castle dungeon. These unexplained occurrences included sudden drops in temperature, visions of shadowy figures, feelings of being watched, tugging on clothing and burning sensations. 

Edinburgh Castle

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Cemetery for Soldiers' Dogs
Cemetery for Soldiers' Dogs


Picture Courtesy of Scott Nielsen



Inside St. Margaret's Chapel
Inside St. Margaret's Chapel



The long line to see the Scottish Crown Jewels.



    

Edinburgh Castle Group Picture
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Edinburgh Castle Panoramic Picture
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After leaving the castle, we were all given free reign to scout Edinburgh on our own. This was really the first time during our trip when we didn't have a set itinerary. Heather, Inga and I decided to look for a place to eat. Surprisingly, the first few places we stopped didn't accept credit cards. I thought that was really odd for businesses in such a touristy area to only accept cash. After walking around for a while, we finally did find a place that accepted plastic. It was Deacon Brodie's Tavern. 

After having a nice meal, we ventured out to explore Edinburgh. Down the Royal Mile, which is the main thoroughfare stretching from the castle down to Holyrood Abbey, there were many street vendors selling their wares. There were also a lot of performers working for tips. The street entertainment included living statues, jugglers, musicians and costumed actors. Being a tourist-rich area, it was no surprise that there were countless shops where people could buy souvenirs. I learned my lesson from a previous trip that it's a good idea to pack an empty duffel bag in your suitcase. That way you'll have room to take back all the momentos you want. Anyway, after buying more than my fair share of Scottish swag, I returned to the bus.

 Around Town in Edinburgh

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Deacon Brodie's Tavern
Deacon Brodie's Tavern

Living Statue
Business card case made from the left hand of William Burke, who was hanged in 1829.



Let's hope not!



Mmmmm. Haggis.

  

After leaving Edinburgh, we returned to Airth Castle Hotel for the masquerade ball. Most of the people in our group got dressed up and there were a lot of interesting costumes, including vampires, zombies, Ghostbusters, the Addams family and about anything else you could imagine.

During dinner, Richard Felix and Charles Rosenay talked about some of the most memorable moments during our stay in Scotland. It was definitely a trip to remember. Richard had also brought copies of his book “What is a ghost?”, which he graciously offered to sign, for anyone who wanted to buy one. 

After dinner was over, we moved to another room where we would spend the rest of the evening. Charles had a lot of activities planned for us. There was music, dancing and a variety of party games to participate in. One of the first games we played was musical chairs. That was a lot of fun. It seemed to get more and more competitive as the game wound down to the end. We also attempted the human chair trick. In case you haven't heard of it, here is how the trick works. Several chairs are arranged in a large circle, with a person sitting in each chair. Everyone then leans back and rests their head in the lap of the person behind him/her. One by one, the chairs are removed until there are no chairs left. At that point, everyone's weight is supported by someone else in the circle and everyone is suspended in the air, with only their feet touching the floor. …Or least that's the way it is supposed to work. We attempted the trick, but with only a few chairs left to remove, someone lost their balance and the whole circle collapsed. Later in the evening, we played a very entertaining game of charades. It was a lot of fun watching people try to act out obscure movie titles. 

As the night turned into morning, more and more people retired to their hotel rooms for some much needed rest. At one point, in the wee hours of the morning, there were only about a dozen of us left. With the lights turned down low to enhance the spooky ambience, we all gathered around while Richard and Charles shared stories of some of their own personal supernatural encounters. After hearing a few spine tingling tales, we all said good night and returned to our hotel rooms, hoping to get at least a of couple hours of sleep before our early morning departure.

Costume Party

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Costume Party Group Picture
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