The Scottish capital boasts a rich history, but not all of Edinburgh’s landmarks are above ground. In fact, some of the city’s most fascinating sites are buried beneath the UNESCO-listed Old Town. Read on to discover Edinburgh’s hidden history.
Edinburgh Vaults History
For over 30 years, the Edinburgh vaults—which include the South Bridge vaults, the Blair Street Underground Vaults, and Mary King’s Close—played host to a colorful cast of characters, with the tradesmen that initially set up shop in the rooms eventually giving way to squatters and criminal activity. Notorious serial killers Burke and Hare allegedly hid the bodies of their victims in the vaults, and more recently, reports of ghost sightings and paranormal activity brought the TV show Most Haunted to the location, hot on the trail of the notorious "Man with No Face," a terrifying poltergeist who reportedly patrols the vaults.
Ways to Experience the Edinburgh Vaults
Learn what lies beneath Edinburgh’s South Bridge on a walking tour of the eerie underground vaults, or brave a night tour and discover why Edinburgh is known as one of Europe’s most haunted cities. Alternatively, book a great-value combo tour and enjoy a royal Edinburgh history tour by day and an underground vaults tour by night. If you dare, you can even combine the South Bridge vaults with a visit to the Blair Street vaults and the Cannongate Kirkyard—checking off all of Edinburgh’s most haunted sites in one day.