Haunted Scotland Top 5 Locations

Historically magnificent and with many tales spanning back over time, Scotland is a fascinating and interesting country indeed. When I talk with my colleagues in America, I am always told how lucky I am to be operating in the homeland, the historically awe-inspiring place, which must have some of the most bone-chilling hauntings on the planet.

I have been blessed with close to a decade of active Investigation into the paranormal within Scotland, particularly hauntings and all things associated with the afterlife. I have toured, Investigated, researched and studied every location with associated spooky tales. Even daily now I unearth new locations, new experiences or get cornered by the excellent members of public who wish to recount their experiences that are the backbone to this research and the plethora of stories to emanate from this country.

Here for the first time, form my experiences, I share the top 5 paranormal active locations in Scotland, are you ready?

The Real Mary Kings Close

The Real Mary King’s Close is a warren of underground streets and spaces.  It can be a strange concept to understand – back in the 1600’s, Mary King’s Close and neighbouring Closes were at the heart of Edinburgh’s busiest and most vibrant streets, open to the skies and bustling with traders selling their wares to the Old Town’s residents.

Ghostly sounds, beam alarms broken by unseen forces and even moving shadows have been witnessed over a three-year period of research in the close. The most extensive conducted and with very spooky results, even recounting it all now sends a shiver up the spine. If you have not already, check out the ghostly voice captured on video and audio device or the photography from down the close which allows you to soak up the atmosphere.

This location is the most active and spine-chilling locations researched.

Yester Castle AKA Goblin Ha

Sir Hugo de Giffard was known as the ‘Wizard of Yester’, and was considered to be a powerful warlock and necromancer. It is in the undercroft of the castle that he was thought to practise his sorcery. 14th century chronicler John of Fordun mentions the large cavern in Yester Castle, thought locally to have been formed by magical artifice. Legend supposed that Hugo was able, via a pact with the Devil, to raise a magical army to his aid, and use them to carry out his will. It is this army of hobgoblins that was considered the builders of Yester Castle.

In this location, during investigations and observations by a plethora of enthusiasts into all things paranormal, various noises, EVP and weird sensations have been evident. When you hear a voice calling your name, you know something unnatural is occurring. Be warned visitors, this place is very spooky indeed as many can attest.

The Edinburgh Vaults

Does it really need an Introduction? The Edinburgh Vaults or South Bridge Vaults are a series of chambers formed in the nineteen arches of the South Bridge in Edinburgh, Scotland, which was completed in 1788. For around 30 years, the vaults were used to house taverns, cobblers and other tradesmen, and as storage space for illicit material, reportedly including the bodies of people killed by serial killers Burke and Hare for medical experiments.

The frequent reports of paranormal activity and ghost sightings resulted in Living TV’s, Most Haunted, to investigate the vaults in both a 24 hour investigation and for a Most Haunted Live show on Halloween 2006 which included Haunted Scotland owner, Ryan O’Neill.


The television show Ghost Adventures investigated the vaults and claimed to have numerous encounters with spirits there.

An insider tip from me, if down here, check out the back corridor extensively..you will get the most activity on a physical level at this area. Shhh do not tell everyone though 😉

The Ragged School

Established in the 1800s the ragged school was a grim education establishment for 50 of the city’s poorest and most deprived children. It’s been derelict for years, and reports of the sound of children running around and an air of sickness give this grim location an uneasy edge.

I remember walking through the doors to Investigate this location, the first time it had been opened in 100 years to outsiders. We were not to be disappointed either, we captured a deep breath on a locked off camcorder and the sound of a chair scraping across the dusty floorboards. Only a few Investigations were conducted here but the amount of data was eye opening…stunning views of Edinburgh castle too.

No wonder the staff at the Camera Obscura were so scared to enter the bottom stockroom joined onto this location. Shudders!!

Kirk O’ Shotts (Church)

Mysterious figures of a ghostly nature, unexplained voice recordings and a general feeling of unease when darkness descends. It can only be the imposing yet breathtaking location that is Kirk O’Shotts, and its surrounding area.

The parish of Shotts bulks large in covenanting history. The Rev. John Livingstone, after Communion on 21st June 1630 preached a sermon on the Monday in the churchyard Which kindled the flame of revival that spread over a large part of Scotland-a flame which even the persecutions of the next generation did not extinguish. But it was a superstitious age, and not many years after the revival we find the kirk-session of Shotts dealing with a number of witches. Indeed, in 1683, thirty men met between the Kirk of Shotts and Cambusnethen, who had forsaken the ordinances of God, and there did debate the authority of Scripture, and thereafter played at football with them [the witches], and after that burned them; this was verified by two ministers, Mr William Violent and Mr John Oliphant, who had certain information of it.

I was lucky enough to research not just outside, but inside this location too with a very open-minded reverend allowing such. It was the captured voice on tape that would blow me away…sounding very much like “Why wont you help me” the voice chilled even the most cynical people to listen to it via Youtube. Unfortunately, we have since lost this recoding with the loss of the old channel. Something deeply regrettable. Thousands of people heard it thankfully, and many were shocked indeed.

So there you have it, five locations for the keen enthusiast to look into. I could easily substitute the above with more, so keep checking back and in the future we will dive deep into the top unknown locations, now these really will hook you into the paranormal.

Till then, take care,


Ryan O’Neill
Haunted Scotland
Paranormal Research & Consciousness Exploration

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