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Ghostly creep around Greyfriars Cemetery

The fame of Greyfriars Kirkyard is attributable to both fiction and fact.
It is particularly well know for Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye Terrier said to have guarded his owner’s grave for fourteen years. His own burial is marked at the entrance to the cemetery, though it is believed he was actually interred just outside the gates.

Its more recent fame is Harry Potter related, with some names of characters in the books prompted by those buried here, such as Thomas Riddell, whilst the graveyard itself is said to have inspired J.K. Rowling’s creation of Godric’s Hollow.

The place also has the reputation of being the most haunted cemetery in the world, thanks to the evil doings of the MacKenzie Poltergeist. George MacKenzie was a ruthless persecutor of the Scottish Covenanters, 1200 of whom were imprisoned in a gaol built next to the graveyard. Of the 1200, 943 died there. As idyllic as it may look during the day, it is a place to be wary of at night. I hope Saturday’s sunbather awoke before dark.

But enough of the fame and bad fortune, let’s go and explore, in daylight.

All images of Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh, August 2020

Grave of John Mylne, mason and architect, died 1667

Click an image below to see larger view and name of grave:



Copyright Debbie Smyth, 24 August 2020

Posted as part of Monday Walks

16 replies »

  1. This was a very interesting graveyard to visit, but last year when we walked through it was wet and cold but I loved looking at all the headstones. Very hard to read though as they were so old and worn

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I was there with Jude, but it feels like another life, Debs! Broad daylight does feel relatively safe, as I remember. Possibly even sunshine 🤔💕 Many thanks for the stroll!


    • Yes it was lovely weather when I went in. I had wandered there one evening a while ago and only contact was human not ghostly: a few merry but homeless guys who wanted their photos taken! Edinburgh has several interesting and attractive cemeteries. It seems especially well endowed on that front.

      Liked by 1 person

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