Scotland cashes in on spooky history with Dark Tourist boom

SCOTLAND is cashing in on its spooky history with a boom in ‘dark tourism’.

Overseas visitors are flocking here in the build-up to Halloween to get the frighteners put on them at our scariest attractions and locations.

Scotland is cashing in on its spooky history

Professor John Lennon from Glasgow Caledonian University, who coined the term ‘dark tourism’, believes people are attracted to places associated with death.

He said: “There is a voyeuristic element as people want a thrill.”

Edinburgh Dungeon sees a big rise in visitors in the run-up to October 31.

General manager Edward Evans said: “Halloween is a bumper time of year for us and increasingly we’ve found that customers are looking for something extra special.”

Edinburgh attractions see a big rise

And Jean Burke, from Edinburgh ghost walk company Mercat Tours, sees their uptake almost double.

She said: “On an average October day we’ll run 20 tours a day.

“This year over Halloween, we’ll be running 37.”

Here we take a look at six eerie tourism locations.

Simon Jones – The Sun

Tours can see their numbers almost double


QUITE possibly the most haunted city in the world, the Scots capital is a must for those fascinated by the supernatural.

If you are on the hunt for a spooky spot, head to world-famous Edinburgh Castle where former prisoners are said to haunt the dungeons and a headless drummer has also been sighted.

Or why not join a tour like those run by Mercat Tours who this Halloween will spend the Midnight Hour exploring the Blair Street Underground Vaults.

A lone Highlander is said to still roam the deserted battlefield of Culloden


MORE than 250 years after the army of Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated in a bloody battle at Culloden near Inverness, the bleak moor is said to be still haunted.

Cries and gunfire have all been heard while a lone Highlander is said to still roam the deserted battlefield.

If you are nearby on Halloween you might see the Great Scree of Culloden, a black bat-like creature that hovers overhead and is said to be a harbinger of doom.


THIS popular attraction in Angus is reputed to be one of the most-haunted castles in Scotland.

A ghost named the Grey Lady is said to roam the chapel while legends state a monster is kept in one of the castle’s many secret rooms. The historic venue has already sold out open-air screenings of horror movie favourites Halloween and Hocus Pocus.

But visitors can spend an eerie evening exploring the castle and the ghostly grounds with tours running this weekend.

Crathes Castle is said to be home to the spirit of the Green Lady


THIS might look like something from a fairytale but Crathes Castle in Aberdeenshire is said to be home to the spirit of the Green Lady, a ghostly apparition dressed in a robe.

In the 1800s, skeletal remains were found behind the fireplace in a room she was spotted in.

It is reported that some visitors to the castle refuse to enter the Green Lady’s room — despite not knowing the story. Halloween sees the castle open after hours for terrifying tours.

Skiall House is said to be built on top of an ancient Pictish burial ground


THIS historic house on Orkney is said to be built on top of an ancient Pictish burial ground.

Ghostly figures are said to walk through empty rooms while mysterious puffs of cigarette smoke fill the air, apparently from nowhere.

You can venture inside the 17th century mansion built by Bishop George Graham and his bed from 1620 is still there. But you can only find out if the ghost stories are real up until Halloween — after which time the house closes for the season.

Brodick Castle is said to have a Grey Lady who is believed to be the ghost of a plague victim


WITH a long history dating back to 1510, Brodick Castle on Arran has its share of spooky stories — with a Grey Lady who is believed to be the ghost of a plague victim.

A ghostly white stag has also been seen on several occasions whenever a chief of the castle’s former owners, the Hamiltons, is close to death. The castle is closed right now but visitors can still go ghost hunting in the grounds — including its walled garden.

We pay for your stories and videos! Do you have a story or video for The Scottish Sun Online? Email us at or call 0141 420 5266


Tags: No tags