Edinburgh

Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends

Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh Darkside Haunted Walking Tour Mysteries Murder and Legends

From $26.08

Select Date and Travelers

up to 24 hours before the experience starts (local time)

  • 2 hours
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English

Overview

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, 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
  • Most travelers can participate
  • 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.
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers

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 a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Traveler Photos

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Reviews

5.0
3,330 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 3,330 reviews
Wanna hear some dark stories?!
jfullerton988, Apr 2024
Our guide, Alisdair (spelling? Sorry if I messed it up), was very knowledgeable and a great story teller. Highly recommend!
Do it
Jessica_K, Apr 2024
This was a great tour! Lots of fascinating info but also funny and we got to see some great spots! Niahm was a fantastic guide!
Great!
MC_C, Apr 2024
Funny, unique and better than most tours! Highly recommended for those that want some unusual and surprising stories about Edinburgh.
Alasdair was great, Edinburgh is an old and spooky place!
Alec_B, Apr 2024
I did this walking tour with a friend and probably about 15-18 others? Alasdair was our guide and really great! He was super personable and engaging with each and every story. He clearly knew and understood the history while having an affinity for the spooky/gory stuff. Alasdair paced the tour well and covered most of the Old Town (and it's history) without making us hoof it everywhere. The length of the tour itself was perfect at about an hour and 45 minutes. Not a critique, just a warning. Please note the name of the tour. Mysteries, Murders and Legends. It is not a GHOST tour. There was a sweet family with a younger child who did not enjoy the particuarly gruesome murder stories (again, in the title) and had to have her airpods in the entire time. I would just stress to people that this is a different kind of tour than ghost stories in a graveyard. This is no fault of Alasdair's in my opinion as I totally expected this content based off the information posted on the booking page.
Gruesome tales of Edinburgh
Doug_G, Apr 2024
Our guide Alastair was a fantastic storyteller. We really enjoyed his gruesome tales about various characters and dark times in the city of Edinburgh.
Alasdair was a fabulous...
Alana_S, Apr 2024
Alasdair was a fabulous tour guide. The descriptive stories, historical facts and a bit of humor were memorable!
Perfect evening in Edinburgh!
Molly_C, Apr 2024
Sabela was amazing! What a fabulous last night in Scotland although it would also make for a perfect first night (or any for that matter!). The tour was so interesting, informative, appropriately creepy and really funny! My husband, 17 year old and I all loved it! Highly recommend!
Dark Side in Edinburgh
Meg_T, Apr 2024
Sabella was awesome! Knowledgeable, fun, attentive. Made the trip to the Dark Side really a fun time!
Alasdair was a great tour...
Christina_M, Apr 2024
Alasdair was a great tour guide. Very knowledgeable and fun. Great view of the city. Overall, it was fun.
Atmospheric imagination Edinburgh in past
Mandy_H, Apr 2024
Alasdaire apologies for spelling! Really brought it to life great stories and looked after us making sure we were all together and not obstructing path
Great tour with great guide (Brian)
Michael_B, Apr 2024
Very interesting tour with excellent guide Brian. Did this tour on my first night in Edinburgh and it was a great way to see all of Old Town, the Royal Mile, and other spots. Great information that helped out on the rest of my time in the city. And again, a great guide in Brian. Highly recommend!
Super tour with super guide Niamh
Martin_O, Apr 2024
The tour was really informative and the guide Niamh was just fantastic. She was super positive and really energetic. Top guide and a credit to the company. Thank you for a superb time.
The guide Niamh was...
Andrej_B, Apr 2024
The guide Niamh was amazing! Incredible level of engagement and commitment. You could really feel the passion for the tour!
Our tour guide, Alasdair...
Nancy_B, Apr 2024
Our tour guide, Alasdair was AMAZING! He made us laugh, cry, cringe, and keep on guessing what would happen next. I loved walking through the cemetery and hearing unique stories about Edinburgh made the city feel more real and gave context to a complex history. There is nothing better than hearing a really good horror story (minus the bonfire and marshmallows), and Alasdair delivered loud and clear with gore and suspense. This tour is great at making stories engaging and reminded me why I love history and storytelling so much. Pro tip: Our tour had several steap(ish) climbs (stairs and hills) so wear comfy shoes as you will be doing a lot of walking and standing. Alasdair also shared his love of community and relationship building by telling us about a bet he has going with a fellow tour guide... Alasdair, if you're reading this...my review calls for double points in your favour!
Edinburgh after Dark!
Rebecca_G, Apr 2024
Niamh is a very enthusiastic, entertaining, engaging and lovely guide! I learned so much from her colorful stories and animated story telling! I highly recommend this tour for all who want to learn more about the murders, mysteries and tales of Edinburgh!
The best tour of Edinburgh's dark history
Elisabeth_S, Mar 2024
The tourguide Brian was a very fun and compelling storyteller. The tour itself was mainly around graveyards and old buildings. We really recommend it for all those horror, gothic-lovers and especially if you want to learn about edinburgh's darker history.
Stairs, hills and cemeteries
Kadean_B, Mar 2024
Really good tour. There are many stairs and hills on this tour- helps to be in good shape. Lots of cemeteries. The tour guide was really kind and knowledgeable about Edinburgh. We got a QR code for recommendations in the area (pubs, history). Starts by St Giles and ends at the bottom of the royal mile.
Disappointed
Kelli_H, Mar 2024
Only completed first half of tour as we decided it wasn’t worth continuing due to cold rain and hard to navigate terrain. Group was too big to hear guide and size also made it difficult to navigate. Stories were told well by the guide, but they were stories that could have been told anywhere. Disappointed as I was hoping to take pictures of Edinburgh at night. I only took one which was the Balmoral Hotel from a distance.
Truly Unsettling Spooky Stories
McKaela_B, Mar 2024
Really enjoyed the tour with Alasdair! He was super knowledgeable about all the spooky spots and has an answer to every question. It was a great into tour for our visit to Edinburgh!
Great for teens
David_T, Mar 2024
Niamh was an outstanding guide. Thoroughly enjoyed the experience and seeing the darker side of Edinburgh
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