THE REAL MARY KING’S CLOSE, ED­IN­BURGH

The Herald Magazine - - COVER STORY -

Lo­cated in the heart of Ed­in­burgh’s Old Town, the Real Mary King’s Close can lay claim to its share of spooky oc­cur­rences. It is said that for­mer res­i­dents of this war­ren of pla­guer­av­aged streets have lin­gered for hun­dreds of years, seem­ingly trapped or re­luc­tant to leave.

Among their num­ber is An­nie, a girl aban­doned by her fam­ily and left alone to die. A vis­it­ing Ja­panese medium in 1992 claimed she felt An­nie take her hand. The woman re­turned later and placed a tar­tan-clad Bar­bie close to where the in­ci­dent oc­curred. It has since be­come tra­di­tion to leave toys, dolls and teddy bears in the cramped bare-brick space known as An­nie’s room.

When ren­o­va­tion work was un­der way be­fore the Real Mary King’s Close opened in 2003, it is ru­moured that work­ers ti­died the toys into a neat pile. When they re­turned later, the items had been strewn around by an un­seen hand – even though the doors were locked and no­body was in­side.

This Hal­loween the his­toric vis­i­tor at­trac­tion is run­ning a new one-hour tour, Con­demned, that prom­ises chill­ing in­sight into 18th-cen­tury Ed­in­burgh witch­craft. Con­demned is at the Real Mary King’s Close at 9pm to­day and to­mor­row. Visit real­maryk­ingsclose.com

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