Surviving by A Hare

Murder, madness, mayhem and frequent decapitation…this is Edinburgh, City of the Dead. For me, it represents Amityville Horror on steroids. Picturesque though it is, when darkness falls there’s a ghost story or haunted catacomb to be had around EVERY corner. Believe me, I know, because my luv and I have been on every cruel and ghoul tour this mad plaid metropolis has to offer! Edinburgh, I learned, has a bloodthirsty history chocked full of witchcraft, graverobbing, political treachery, senseless murder and abject torture. Daily specials on the punishment menu through the ages included thumbscrews, groin saws, rats and cats gnawing through human flesh for escape, drowning with ropes and stones and my personal favorite… boiling in a cauldron of lead. Escape is not an option wee lassie. No citizen, royal or common, were immune: from Mary Queen of Scots to the lady of the evening known by the same name who was killed by the notorious bodysnatchers Burke and Hare.

Of all the tales gruesome tales told by broguishly theatrical tour guides, that of the Burke and Hare duo takes the Dunkirk cake. Lacking all morals and hygiene, these partners in crime estinguished the life of 18 people by sticking their fingers in the nasal cavities of unsuspecting victims and slowly suffocating them to death, only to sell their corpses for a hefty 10 pounds to Dr. Knox’s flourishing University dissection shop in the heart of medical district. Religious strife and the sardine-like tenement crowding caused by unimaginable poverty led to other horrific catastrophes in which thousands upon thousands of Edinburgh’s people died. Lucky for me (ahem), I have a BF who fancies dark, dank, drippy dungeons so we got to see a good sampling of these reknowed death destinations. I must confess to legs a’quaking in the mud and a face palour of Victorian white. Despite the spookiness factor, I can proudly say that I am one of the few (with the exception of the Ghostbusters) to pro-actively seek out the paranormal in Edinburgh’s tremulous graveyards and in the infamous Coventar’s Prison. .. To boldly go where many a scratching, bruising poltergeist HAS gone before. Yikes! Come to think of it, I’d better wash that haunted cemetery mud off my boots just to be safe.

Reporting Live From the Musty Depths of Scotland’s Past,

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