Children's Underground Ghost Tour

Alice McGuide, aged 10, enjoys a spooky but not too gruesome tour underneath Edinburgh with "The Duchess"

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Children's Underground Ghost Tour
Published 14 Aug 2017

What happens in the show?

Our tour guide "The Duchess" takes us from the meeting point outside the Tron Kirk down a sidestreet to an unlikely looking entrance which leads us into the vaults/arches which are underneath what is now South Bridge. We were taken 'underground’ to a selection of different rooms and our guide told us about the various ghosts that inhabit the vaults and those particular rooms. As well as being told about the rooms we went into, we got an insight into the overall history of this hidden part of Edinburgh.

Describe the show in five words

Dark, scary, interesting, historical, spooky

Who was your favourite character and why? 

There was really only one character, the tour guide "The Duchess" who, rumour has it, may have been a man! He was really good as he was telling jokes the whole time, as well as telling us a few things that made us go "oooooh!". The guide was good at discussing the history of the vaults, and was able to make a really dark story not so gruesome so that children weren’t too scared.

Were there any characters you didn’t like? 

The only other person was "Elizabeth" and all she really did was use her torch to guide people along the way, and she seemed quite nice.

What did you like most about the show? 

I like that normally when you’re walking above on those streets that you wouldn’t think that underneath there’s a whole series of vaults filled with tales of people who have encountered ghosts, become ghosts themselves, and when you’re underground you don’t just learn the history of Niddry Wynd but you also learn about specific people who lived there as well. History tends to come alive when it’s about real people who you can get to know, and try and put yourself in their shoes.

What didn’t you like about the show?

I did find it a little creepy, although I guess that’s the whole point of it.

If there were songs or music in the show, what did you think of it/them?

There wasn’t any music in the show but there was a really good busker next to where we were queuing who managed to include observations about everyone around him in a rap.

What did your grown-up think of the show? 

My dad has been wanting to do this tour for years but I have always said no as I went with my mum when I was only five and got really scared. He’s pleased he finally got the opportunity to explore underground and now wants to go back for the longer, scarier, late night tour for grown-ups.

Would you tell your friends to come and see the show? 

Definitely, there’s even a handful of people in my class that could do with a good scare!