You are here: Real Ghost Stories :: Ghost Tours & Haunted Hotels :: Under Edinburgh

Real Ghost Stories

Under Edinburgh


I have always been brought up to believe in ghosts. My mother is quite open minded and has had many paranormal encounters herself. My mother, brother and I are all convinced that the house that my brother and I grew up in is haunted. Items flying from shelves, electronics turning themselves on and taps turning on by themselves, often when we were in the room, was all part of our childhood. We even had a name for our resident ghost 'Charlie.' He was mischievous but never malicious, we were all happy to be home alone. Mother always told us that 'Charlie' protected us from evil. Both my mother and brother have seen 'Charlie' but I do not believe that I ever have.

Unfortunately for me, at the age of 19 I was diagnosed with psychotic depression. Hallucinating, hearing things, paranoia the works. As a result, I am never quite sure whether what I have seen is real or not which makes recognising paranormal experiences that little bit harder. Having said that, the experience I had when I was 18, I am 100% convinced was genuine, and I would very much like to hear your opinions on the matter.

I live in Suffolk, however, one of my high school best friends had started studying at Edinburgh University so another friend and I went to visit her. I had been to Edinburgh twice before and always felt that it is a beautiful city full of history; therefore, I could not wait to return.

One evening, the three of us decided to do one of the night time city tours. We chose the 'Terror and Torture' tour which took us into the underground vaults. It was great fun and very informative too for a history buff like myself.

I remember walking into one chamber where there was a ring of rocks which supposedly was to prevent the spirits escaping after a sรฉance had gone wrong, or something along those lines. We left that room and entered another. The guide was telling us about the history of the room when what felt like an icy hand touched the small of my back. My knees buckled and my friends had to grab me before I hit the floor. I suddenly felt very nauseous and developed a splitting headache. The guide left the room and my friends helped me out as my legs had gone to jelly. As soon as we left that room I felt fine again! The headache and nausea disappeared and my legs returned to normal. It was bizarre. It was only once we reached the next chamber along that the guide told us that the previous room was meant to be the most haunted room here and it is where the most activity has been recorded.

So did I experience something paranormal or was it a sign of my illness to come, what do you think? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Other hauntings by Heart-of-Fire-Soul-of-Ice

Hauntings with similar titles

Find ghost hunters and paranormal investigators from United Kingdom

Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Heart-of-Fire-Soul-of-Ice, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

Aliendewd (6 stories) (22 posts)
4 years ago (2020-09-25)
Hi. I've done this tour that you're talking about. I was really keen to go on it as i've had many supernatural experiences through my life time from when I was 2 right through to adulthood. I'd heard so many great things about the Vaults tour and so a couple of friends and myself decided to do it.
I can't describe how disappointed I was by it. I stepped into the stone ring, felt nothing odd at all, the vault where they separate the men and women, where allegedly a spirit attacks 'couples', felt nothing at all. There was the other vault, I believe the one you refer to as being the most haunted and I have to say i've never felt such a calmness. People around me were freaking out, screaming. I felt perfectly at ease and at peace.
I know a bit of the history of the vaults and it must have been some place to have been living and doing business back in the day but I don't feel for one minute the place is in any way haunted. Indeed i'd quite happily spend a night or two down there in order to prove the point.
I feel sometimes people can be psychologically swayed by stories of alleged hauntings and subconsciously believe they, themselves are experiencing things.
Another area of Edinburgh I felt very calm was in Greyfriars Churchyard. Years ago now a couple of friends and myself spent the night in the Covenanters prison (illegally I hasten to add) and never felt anything abnormal what so ever.
Zander (7 stories) (146 posts)
8 years ago (2016-04-22)
Thanks, Country girl for your reply;-) I hope you find what works for you. My grandfather used to say "You're the doctor, the lawyer and the judge... Make sure you get the best."
Heart-of-Fire-Soul-of-Ice (2 stories) (9 posts)
8 years ago (2016-04-19)
Hey Zander,

If you get a chance, go! It is a beautiful city! Which is saying something as I am a true country girl and not normally a fan of cities!

It has been suggested to me a few times that maybe I am sensitive to spirits, ghosts or the paranormal in general and that is why I see and hear things. Modern medicine most certainly disagrees and are currently looking at putting me on more medication!

I have been quite lucky so far in as much as my only serious side effect is that I could sleep forever if I was allowed too! I don't remember the last time I felt awake, but hey, it could be worse!

I have a few more stories to share and it will be interesting for me to see whether the general consensus is paranormal or the state of my mental health.
Zander (7 stories) (146 posts)
8 years ago (2016-04-17)
I love your story. Grandmother is from Edinburgh but haven't been yet. Well, in my view, modern science and medicine avoid any tinge of paranormal like the plague. Could part of your condition simply be sensitivity to what is really there? I hope not to confuse matters with this suggestion but I think that modern psychiatry has a lot to learn. Not too long ago they were electrocuting and lobotomizing people. Now they seem to like to drug people. Many of the drugs seem to have serious side effects. It just occurs to me that modern psychiatry does not necessarily have all the answers nor the final say. That being said, you must find what works for you and honor that.
Heart-of-Fire-Soul-of-Ice (2 stories) (9 posts)
8 years ago (2016-04-10)
Hi Tweed,

Thanks for your input, I've has quite a few experiences which I'm not sure are paranormal or just a result of my health, I'll get round to writing another soon, hopefully!
Tweed (35 stories) (2501 posts)
8 years ago (2016-04-10)
Hi there Heart Of Fire,

Thank you for sharing and I love your honesty.

Well, I don't know much at all about your condition. But I have experienced something like you did once as a teenager visiting a disused historical prison. I didn't feel a hand on me, or any touch. But the nausea and general weak feeling I can relate to. It was extremely strong around the 'hanging quarters' of the building, indeed it seemed to emit from that area. Felt like I was to pass out when I reached it, but thankfully held it together! In my case I believe I was picking up on strong past emotions from all the numerous individuals who had been executed there. However, I don't believe an individual ghost was behind it.

In your case I feel there was a ghost behind what happened. Not a nice ghost either. Sounds like a right creep. Probably gets off on scaring people and I dare say knows who in the crowd is 'sensitive' to ghosts, hence he or she picked on you. I'm very glad those sensations went when you left that room. That's a good sign. I'm no expert but it seems to me if it was part of your condition the sensations would remain once leaving the room. My money's on this was a ghost encounter.

Thanks for sharing. ๐Ÿ˜Š
Ruhi (1 posts)
8 years ago (2016-04-07)
I think that was mere a coincidence.
You could have a severe head ache at normal places too.
Heart-of-Fire-Soul-of-Ice (2 stories) (9 posts)
8 years ago (2016-04-06)
Hi Red,

At home I have a cat but I am currently based in Egypt on a camp. I have borrowed their dog or cat a time or two though haha! I will aim to get a dog one day but I am traveling a fair bit at the moment and I wouldn't have time for the poor thing!
RedWolf (31 stories) (1292 posts)
8 years ago (2016-04-05)
Heart of Fire,

I don't think that what happened to you is asymptomatic of your disease. I think what you felt is exactly as you described it.

Now off subject of your experience and on to your illness. Do you have any animals? If not I suggest that you get a service animal. A small dog would be best so that you can pick it up and cuddle it when you feel you are getting too depressed. They are easier to train to do tricks, you can dress them up, and they don't take up the whole bed.
You can also volunteer to bring your pup to an old folks home. U.S. Studies show that when people in nursing homes get a visit from a pet they are happier even after the animal leaves. I don't know why these homes don't have mascots.

cosmogal926 (9 stories) (1223 posts)
8 years ago (2016-04-05)
Oooopps! Sorry I got them confused. Thanks for letting me know.
Goggzy (guest)
8 years ago (2016-04-05)
Heart Of Fire

I have had this happen in a couple of investigations the one that comes best to my mind was at Dunfermline Abbey when everyone walked into a room we all felt different than when we walked in.
Heart-of-Fire-Soul-of-Ice (2 stories) (9 posts)
8 years ago (2016-04-05)
Hi Dandk,

For B12 I take daily supplements just to be on the safe side but I do eat plenty of eggs and dairy too.
DandK (11 stories) (344 posts)
8 years ago (2016-04-04)
Thanks Heart-of-Fire. Just curious - what's your source of B12?
Heart-of-Fire-Soul-of-Ice (2 stories) (9 posts)
8 years ago (2016-04-04)
Hi Goggzy,

I would have been inclined to brush it off as the history or surroundings if it had occurred in more than the one room. It literally came on in seconds in that room and left as soon as I got through the door!

I have been lucky to travel to many historic places within the UK and other countries, some with more brutal histories yet I have not experienced anything like this at any of those sites?

I am hoping to return to Scotland towards the end of this year (the highlands and Scottish islands) but maybe I can revisit Edinburgh whilst I am there! It would be interesting to return to the vaults again!
Goggzy (guest)
8 years ago (2016-04-04)

I have been lucky enough to investigate the vaults (and houses in Edinburgh). I can tell you I felt the exact same way as you (16 of my group members did as well) we placed this down to the surroundings history etc. I did believe at the time it was paranormal so I will show this to my team and finnaly they might agree.


I just wanted to let you know that Edinburgh is in Scotland in case you didn't know.
Heart-of-Fire-Soul-of-Ice (2 stories) (9 posts)
8 years ago (2016-04-03)
Hi Mimi81, I am aware that there have been a lot of people have had paranormal experiences in the vaults but whether they felt exactly as I did, I do not know. Others have reported feeling like they are being touched just as I did, but I don't think many, if any have had their legs buckle as a result.
Mimi81 (203 posts)
8 years ago (2016-04-02)
Heart-of-Fire, you had an interesting experience. I do believe sometimes depression can leave people more vulnerable to paranormal experiences. Maybe that explains what happened to you.

Have you researched to see if anyone else has reported the same experience as you in the underground vaults?
cosmogal926 (9 stories) (1223 posts)
8 years ago (2016-04-01)
Hello and thank you for sharing your experience. I have seen so many documentaries and shows centered around the hauntings of England especially Edinburgh. It has a lot of history and I would love to visit one day. The Terror and Torture tour would be the #1 on my list. After reading the previous comments and your responses to questions others have asked, I'm going to give a supernatural opinion. It has been documented that people have felt exactly the way you did when a spirit tries to "jump" them. Why this particular spirit chose you could be a number of reasons. Vulnerability, spiritual openness, familiarity are all reasons spirits chose a person to try and jump. Maybe it wanted to relay a message through you, or try to tell their story. Each document that I have read or heard about all claim to have the same symptoms, even psychics and mediums have experienced this. I hope I was able to give some insight into your experience. ๐Ÿ˜Š
Heart-of-Fire-Soul-of-Ice (2 stories) (9 posts)
8 years ago (2016-04-01)
Hi DandK,

I did not return to the room as I was just following the guide, I feel that I should have done now though!

I have had numerous blood tests for various things as part of my treatment, all blood tests come back normal apart from the hormones which help regulate emotion i.e. Serotonin, which is to be expected with clinical depression.

I am a vegetarian (I don't like the taste of meat) so I am particularly careful with what I eat, I don't want to suffer from any deficiencies. I can't think of anything that I ate more than anything else I'm afraid.
DandK (11 stories) (344 posts)
8 years ago (2016-03-31)
Hello Heart-of-fire, you say that when you left the room that the physical symptoms disappeared. I'm wondering if you then tried returning to the room to see if the symptoms returned?

May I also ask you something personal? Please do not feel that you have to respond. Have you had your blood levels checked for excess heavy metals? Did your diet ever consist of eating a lot of a certain thing, and if so what was it? Even if it was take out from a certain place or a candy or treat.

Interesting story. Thank you for sharing it.
Heart-of-Fire-Soul-of-Ice (2 stories) (9 posts)
8 years ago (2016-03-31)
Hi Calamity,

I am completely fine with answering your questions, hopefully my answers are helpful.

This experience was the only time I have felt something tactile, I have never suffered with tactile sensations as a result of my illness.

I do experience physical symptoms such as nausea and headaches but only when my anxiety (come part of the package with my illness) flares up. I can assure you that I had no feelings of anxiety at the time and am always aware of the warning signs that appear before I suffer with it. I had no such warning that day so I am convinced it was not anxiety related.

I would say that I am strong minded so it is hard for me to bow to the idea of suggestion. However, when I was 21 and still suffering, things would appear to me that I had read about or watched, for example after reading a murder story I would see dead bodies, or after watching 'The woman in black', I would see her standing beside my bed.

I had suffered with normal depression since 13 so was already displaying the symptoms usually associated with depression. The psychotic symptoms certainly did not appear until after I turned 19.

I never felt scared of my experiences at my home bar a couple of times (including a time my brother and I barricaded ourselves in his bedroom and refused to come out until my mother returned haha) so the feeling in Edinburgh was completely different. AT home I was always aware that someone (Charlie) was there, the feeling in Edinburgh came on very quickly and left just as quickly once I had left the room.

Hope that helps?

Notadaddysgirl, I might try that but I am living in Egypt for the next 5 months so it will have to wait haha!
notadaddysgirl (guest)
8 years ago (2016-03-31)
Probably not the best advice here but how about now that you have been diagnosed going again and seeing what happens if anything. It maybe the same or something different or nothing at all but it also may answer your question here. ๐Ÿ˜
Calamity (2 stories) (53 posts)
8 years ago (2016-03-30)

I would like to answer your question but I know very little about your condition. That being said, if I could ask you some questions about it I may be able to make a more educated guess.

With your disease, are your experiences ever tactile? You felt the cold hand on your back so I'm wondering if you've ever perceived a touch that was a function of your illness and not real?

Does your illness ever cause physical reactions like your knees buckling? That clearly actually happened because your friends had to grab you to prevent you falling. What about your nausea and headache? Does that often happen in conjunction with your disease?

Does the psychotic depression make you very suggestible?

What were your symptoms at the age of eighteen? I know you were diagnosed at nineteen but I'm thinking that you may have already been having some symptoms.

And, since you had already had paranormal experiences growing up, did the what happened in Edinburgh have the same kind of feel? I mean in that kind-of-hair-raising-on-the-back-of-your-neck sort of feeling.

Now please don't think you are obligated to answer any of my questions. If I'm crossing any boundaries please excuse me. My questions are only so I can get a clearer idea of your illness and then give you a better answer.

Whether or not I can be of any help, I did enjoy reading your post.


To publish a comment or vote, you need to be logged in (use the login form at the top of the page). If you don't have an account, sign up, it's free!

Search this site: