Mary King's Close: Ghosts beneath the streets of old Edinburgh, Scotland
A close is a very narrow lane that joins two larger roads. It houses taverns, shops and residences. These lively closes are also practical shortcuts. Mary King’s Close was a 17th century street in the old city of Edinburgh, in Scotland. Much of the Close is still intact and in its original state. Shops and houses can be inspected - and some ghostly figures have been experienced over the years in this “Street of Sorrows.” Edinburgh is famous for its ancient and crumbling streets, with small closes everywhere. They probably have old secrets from the past, but the biggest dark secret is the one of Mary King’s Close. I would not adventure myself in there, way too claustrophobic!
Mary King's Close -
it's dark in there - and spooky . . .
The story began in the 17th Century when the Close was just one of the many crowded cities in Scotland with many streets, houses and businesses all around. The conditions of living in Mary King’s Close were grimy, dirty, with people wandering all over. But that was not the worse of Mary King’s Close for people living there. At this time, Britain was having a terrible plague that was consuming the population and of course Scotland was not left out- hey you want to have friends in here- and privileged people decided to do something about it in a very cruel and inhumane way.
Model of Mary King's
Mary King’s Close was mainly underground, and the city council decided to block the close instead of evacuating the tiny alley, from one end to the other they bricked it up – Not cool at all – As a result many people were left trapped inside those walls with the diseases running around – sure like little bugs- Their cries could be heard from the outside, no wonder it’s haunted, with all these poor souls trapped, not fun. Mary King’s Close was left like that for a year; that is a long time! Until the council decided to open it again; the bodies of those trapped inside being cut apart by local butchers so the remains could be carried through the streets and buried in mass graves around the city. It is estimated that between 400 to 600 people died in the Close, men, women and children. That’s for sure they did not have the penicillin at this time! The Close was permanently closed in the 19th century. Now it is haunted by many ghosts, one famous is the one of a 10 year old little girl who died in the plague. Her name was Annie.
Ghost sighting in Mary
Tourists with no prior knowledge of the ghosts or even the reputation of the close have reported seeing her. Dolls were left for Annie as these visitors really felt her presence. But she is not the only one. A ghost pretty mean, a landlord who in the past probably made the lives of his residents very miserable with high rent and poor conditions of living strongly haunts this place chilling the visitors of the Mary King’s Close.