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EH1 2QQ Edinburgh, United Kingdom
tel: +44 131 225 1900
Apr-Oct Mon-Fri 10:30am-4:30pm, Sat 10:30am-2:30pm; Nov-Mar Thurs 1:30-3:30pm
Greyfriars Kirk (Church) sits just outside the Old City near the Grassmarket. It is one of the oldest surviving buildings from the 1600s, and is famous for two legends associated with its kirkyard (graveyard): Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye terrier from the 19th century that supposedly sat loyally next to its master's grave for 14 years, and the infamous Mackenzie poltergeist. George Mackenzie was a Scottish lawyer from the 17th century, who brutally murdered approximately 18,000 covenanters - individuals who revolted against the English monarchy's interference in the Church of Scotland. When he died, Mackenzie was buried in a black mausoleum in Greyfriars Kirkyard.
In 1998, a homeless man broke into Mackenzie's tomb to find shelter during a storm and supposedly disturbed the malicious lawyers' remains. Since the incident, violent paranormal activity is said to have occurred in the graveyard and visitors have reported being bruised, scratched, cut and even knocked out by some unseen force either near Mackenzie's mausoleum or in the Covenanters' Prison, an area of the kirkyard where Mackenzie is said to have tortured and killed his victims. Tourists can try their luck with the poltergeist on a nighttime ghost tour through the kirkyard (including the Covenanters' Prison), organized by the City of the Dead tours. It meets in front of St. Giles Cathedral on Royal Mile at 8:30pm and 10:00pm from Easter to Halloween, and at 8:30pm from Halloween to Easter. The tour costs £9.50 or £7.50 concession.