Haunted Edinburgh: Spook-tacular Pubs

Haunted Pubs in Edinburgh

Edinburgh has a long history of bloody battles, deadly plague, merciless dungeons, murderous figures and underground closes. So, it comes as no surprise that this city is one of the most haunted in the world. Famed for paranormal activity and mysterious happenings, thousands of people flock here every year to discover our ghost stories. And what better place to start, than with some of the most haunted pubs in Edinburgh!

The White Hart Inn

The Grassmarket in Edinburgh with its rows of shops

Set along the cobbled streets of Edinburgh’s historic Grassmarket, the White Hart Inn has a hard-earned reputation as one of the most haunted pubs in Edinburgh. It also happens to be one of the oldest. With a cellar that dates back to 1516, the pub has collected its fair share of haunted happenings along the way. Having your hair pulled and things thrown at you may usually be a sign of a night of serious drinking. But at the White Hart Inn it’s usually the result of the spirits roaming the halls and not the spirits behind the bar.

The Last Drop Tavern

Colourful shop fronts in the Grassmarket in Edinburgh

Just down the road from the White Hart Inn is the Last Drop Tavern. If you think you might be spotting a haunted trend in the Grassmarket area, you would be right. Not only was it the refuge of the poverty stricken in old tenement buildings, many public hangings took place there. And the Last Drop Tavern just happens to be located right next to the site of the gallows. It got its name from the last hanging in the Grassmarket. But that’s not the only thing a bit macabre about the tavern. They say a young girl in medieval clothing haunts the bar and cellar. Over the years, the mischievous child has been spotted by staff and patrons alike.

Tolbooth Tavern

Clock and spire of Canongate Tolbooth on Edinburgh Royal Mile

On the Canongate, part of Edinburgh’s ancient Royal Mile, the Tolbooth Tavern has a dark history. Originally part of the Canongate Tolbooth, which was a 16th century town council building, courthouse and jail. There are stories of former prisoners and prison officers still haunting the pub. And a poltergeist at the back of the tavern, who pushes glasses off the tables and moves pictures from the walls.

The Mitre

Street signs on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh

Staying on the Royal Mile, The Mitre is along the road on the High Street. This building is fairly modern, dating from the 19th century. But it sits on the site of an older property, which burnt down in 1814. Some say that the pub is haunted by the Bishop of St Andrews, a former resident. He is known to mess about with juke box, skipping songs or switching it off altogether.

Deacon Brodie’s Tavern

Lawnmarket on Edinburgh Royal Mile

Deacon Brodie’s Tavern, also on the Royal Mile, is named after the famous Deacon Brodie. The respected Deacon by day and thief by night, who inspired the Robert Louis Stevenson book, the Strange Case of Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde. The pub is on the Lawnmarket, close to where Brodie was hanged at the Old Tolbooth, and his angry ghost is still said to walk the street while carrying a lantern.

The Banshee Labyrinth

Old lantern burning in dark room

Just a few steps from the Royal Mile is the Banshee Labyrinth on Niddry Street. And as its name suggests, this is one of the few haunted pubs in Edinburgh that adds fuel to the fabled banshee fire. Once a part of the infamous underground vaults, the haunted night club has a strange and spooky aura about it. The Banshee is said to be the ghost of Lord Nicol Edwards. He was the Lord Provost of Edinburgh and he owned the front part of the club during part of the 17th century. It is believed he had a basement dungeon under his house, where he abused and tortured women accused of being witches. Now they say he haunts the club, along with several other spirits.

Haunted Edinburgh Breaks

Continue your ghost hunt here in Edinburgh, during a stay at Parliament House Hotel. Discover Edinburgh’s underground city, take a spooky ghost tour, and hear more of our scary ghost stories!