It is a long walk until your next haunted pub (approx. 1 mile) so we will stop off at the Playhouse halfway with another bloodied tale before continuing with 5 pubs in quick succession.
Standing facing the Star Bar turn left onto Northumberland Place.
Then a quick right then left onto Dublin Meuse and then right onto Dublin Street.
Walk down until the crossroads and then turn left onto Albany Street. Walk to the end of Albany Street and turn right onto Broughton Street.
Turn left onto Leith Walk and continue until you see the Edinburgh Playhouse on your right.
Safely cross over the road to it.
We stop now, just briefly to take on a little bit of a show…. but one that never leaves.
We say hello to the friendliest ghost in the City, Albert. Albert made his grand appearance in the 1950’s, when on report of a break-in to the playhouse, a police officer entered inside and was greeted by a stagehand, named Albert. He politely showed the officer around, as the policeman searched for any sight of the would-be-thief.
After a short but fruitless search, the policeman was ready to leave, and the smiling elderly man assured the officer he would lock-up for the night.
The following day, the police returned to the playhouse, to ensure there had been no more nocturnal visitors. The officer explained to the day staff he had visited the premises last night and was shown around by an elderly stagehand called Albert.
The team gasped in shock horror, unable to reply. Eventually the stagehand present explained that there was no one called Albert currently working with the team. However, there WAS an Albert. The old stagehand, who had died some 15 years earlier, and that no one had actually been working last night. Shivers ran up the police officer’s spine as he quickly made his exit from the stage.
There have also been numerous other close encounters with our deceased friend, with reports of a chilling moaning noise coming from corridors out of view, of cages rattling and hurried footsteps rushing towards them…..so maybe not so friendly after all. Unless he has other guests locked away with him.
Now a story so good for the ears that it deserves to be on stage. We will not pass the area that this story yields from so now is as good a place as any to tell you the tale.
Despite its relatively small scale, Scotland was one of the biggest persecutors of Witches in all of Europe.
Suspicion of Witchcraft reached its height in 1590, after King James (first) began to believe he and his betrothed has been cursed by a coven of demonic witches. Whilst sailing to Scotland, their ship nearly capsized in stormy seas; with the then King believing a coven of witches were responsible for placing a curse on him.
Not long after, a businessman reported his family maid Geillis Duncan has an avid fascination with witchcraft as she has the dubious distinction of helping the sick and infirm….how dare she!! She was thrown into jail and tortured.
Firstly, she was fastened to a wall by a witches bridle: an instrument with four sharped prongs forced deep into the mouth. Not being allowed to sleep, she was thrown around the room with a rope tightly fastened around her head, savagely beaten, and chained up in a cold, dank room, festering with rats and lice. She could do nothing but wallow in her own vomit and excrement. Eventually she confessed to being a witch and named another elderly well respected lady of being the same: Angus Sampson.
After suffering the same methods of torture, Angus confessed to 53 charges against her; culminating in her being strangled and burnt at the stake. This had a domino effect with name after name being brought to injustice by the savage decree of a cruel and malevolent King.
Some even said that an oath to kill the king was sealed by a kiss on the Devil’s buttock himself; talk about a bad moon rising.
Had enough death and decay? Marvellous…lets move on to our next ghostly location.