Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Castle

Standing on its position on Castle Rock at the head of the Old Town, Edinburgh Castle dominates the skyline of Scotland’s capital city. There has been a royal castle on the rock since at least the reign of David I in the 12th century. As one of the most important strongholds in Scotland, Edinburgh Castle was involved in many conflicts and 26 sieges in its one thousand one hundred-year-old history, giving it a claim to having been "the most besieged place in Great Britain and one of the most attacked in the world". It is also claimed to be one of the most haunted.


A headless drummer, first seen shortly before Oliver Cromwell attacked the castle in 1650, has also been spotted. Although many people have heard the sound of his drums coming from the battlements, his physical appearance is rare and is said to foretell danger for the castle.


A phantom piper has also been reported. Edinburgh Castle has a number of secret tunnels leading to the Royal Mile. When these tunnels were first discovered, an unfortunate piper was sent down to explore. The idea was that he would play the pipes as he went, so that his progress could be tracked from above. Everything was going well until the pipes suddenly stopped. When a rescue party went down to investigate, the piper had vanished and has never been seen since, but today his music can still sometimes be heard from the castle.


French prisoners from the Seven Years War and colonial prisoners from the American Revolutionary War are said to haunt the dark and dank dungeons.


The ghost of a dog has been reported wandering in the grounds' dog cemetery.


Other reported activity at Edinburgh Castle includes sudden and unexplained temperature drops, disembodied voices and footsteps, and an unseen entity that tugs on the clothes and hair of guests.

Edinburgh Castle,



EH1 2NG.


For further information, please visit:



For further information, please read Haunted Edinburgh by Rupert Matthews and Haunted Edinburgh by Alan Murdie.


Visitor Information

Edinburgh Castle (Scottish Gaelic: Caisteal Dhùn Èideann) is a historic fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland from its position on the Castle Rock.

The castle, in the care of Historic Environment Scotland, is Scotland's most-visited paid tourist attraction.