Greyfriars Kirkyard is the graveyard surrounding Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is located at the southern edge of the Old Town, adjacent to George Heriot’s School. Burials have been taking place since the late 16th century, and a number of notable Edinburgh residents are interred at Greyfriars.
The Kirkyard was involved in the history of the Covenanters. The Covenanting movement began with signing of the National Covenant in Greyfriars Kirk on 28 February 1638. Following the defeat of the militant Covenanters at Bothwell Brig in 1679, some 1200 Covenanters were imprisoned in a field to the south of the churchyard. When, in the 18th century, part of this field was amalgamated into the churchyard as vaulted tombs the area became known as the “Covenanters’ Prison”.
Greyfriars and the Covenanter’s prison have a world-wide reputation of being haunted. The malevolent spirit, said to be that of the notorious ‘Bluidy’ George Mackenzie, who was buried there in 1691, is the prime suspect with regards to some frightening occurrences. The ‘Mackenzie Poltergeist’, as he is affectionately known, is alleged to be the cause of such events including, but not limited to, bruising, bites and cuts on those who come into contact. Many visitors have reported feeling strange sensations, especially dread.
Visitors who take the tour, which has access to the Covenanters’ Prison, have reportedly emerged with injuries which they had no recollection of sustaining.
During our visit, Tammy O’Neill, daughter of Ryan O’Neill, and whom is an aspiring photographer, met an episode unheard of thus far. While walking towards the Covenanter prison area, moving past the Mackenzie tomb, the door rattled as if someone was trying to open it. This was clearly heard by all, the conditions were not windy in the slightest with not even so much of a breeze.
Tammy grabbed her heart in fright and amazement. The source of the action is unknown but it certainly adds to the mystique of it all. There is also an audio capture on the end of the video for people to listen too, it may be nothing more than an animal or distance sound, it was certainly not evident at the time but who knows.
More questions than answers.
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