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3 Dark Legends of Edinburgh Castle

29th Jun 2023
3 Dark Legends of Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle has been witness to battles and bloodshed. And, more often than not, ghosts. Here are just a handful of the stories that come from the castle.

The Headless Drummer

In 1650, servants noticed a mysterious little boy circling the castle’s courtyard, playing a drum. Upon closer inspection, they realised something was very wrong: he had no head. Too scared to approach, they let him play into the night. By morning, he was gone. 

Not long after, the castle was captured by Oliver Cromwell.

Seeing the Headless Drummer Boy is considered to be an omen of bad luck. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, castle staff still hear his distant tap-tap-tap…

The Ghost Dogs

Near the Argyle Battery, you’ll find a burial ground for regimental mascots: the dog cemetery. 

If you listen closely, you might hear the sounds of distant pawing, barking. If you squint into the summer haar, you might even see the outline of a small black dog, not quite corporeal enough to be real. Ask castle staff about it, if you dare.

The Lost Piper Boy

When tunnels were discovered under the castle they sent a young boy down to play his bagpipes as he walked so they could follow along and map the tunnels above ground.

Only the pipes stopped without warning and no search party could ever find a trace of the boy. Eventually, they bricked up the entrance.

Some say they can still hear the echo of his playing.

Have you ever wondered what else might hide beneath your feet as you walk the streets of Edinburgh?

Hear more stories of city's dark side and join us for a ghost tour of Edinburgh's infamous Vaults. We’ll take you on a trip back in time as you step down into the Blair Street Underground Vaults, exclusively with Mercat Tours.

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