Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

From $26.25

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 2 hours (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Journey through Edinburgh’s grisliest tales on a haunted walking tour. Experience the ghastly histories of monsters, madness, and murder that cast a dark shadow on the capital city. Discover the stories and sites of witch trials, pagan rituals, and executions, and hear about local monsters that live in urban myth. Then visit the chilling Old Calton Burial Ground or Canongate Kirkyard cemetery to learn about body-snatching and some of the infamous interred.
  • Walking tour of Edinburgh’s murky past and present, led by a knowledgeable guide
  • Explore the eerie, cobblestone streets of Edinburgh’s Old Town
  • Climb Calton Hill, the site of witch trials and pagan rituals, and take in panoramic views of the city
  • Visit Old Calton Burial Ground or Canongate Kirkyard cemetery and learn about body-snatching, vampires and more
  • Discover the capital’s gruesome past through the guide’s gripping commentary

What's Included

  • Professional guide
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • 130 High St
    130 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1QS, UK

    The tours starts at 130 High Street (The Royal Mile), on the corner with Stevenlaw's Close. Look for the guide with the SANDEMANs red name badge.

Start time

06:30 PM

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Your ghostly adventure starts in the evening on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in Old Town. Meet your local guide and steel yourself for a walk through the dark recesses of Edinburgh’s haunted history, hearing stories of murder, monsters, cannibals and other local oddities. Cross your fingers that you encounter (or not encounter!) a spooky character at one of the venues to come. 

First wind through shadowed alleys and cobbled streets to North Bridge and Calton Hill, where you get panoramic views of the city and a dose of gruesome history. Explore the monuments perched high above the city and learn about the grisly witch trials that occurred here. Still a sacred area for many, Calton Hill continues to host pagan rituals like the Edinburgh Beltane Fire Festival.

Afterwards, continue to one of Edinburgh’s famous cemeteries. Stop at the 17th-century Canongate Kirkyard cemetery or Old Calton Burial Ground, where David Hume is buried. Hear about his fabled deal with the devil, as well as the history of Burke and Hare, body snatchers who made a killing (so to speak!) by selling corpses to medical science. 

Between stops, hear other creepy stories of execution, murder, torture, and hauntings. Your tour returns to the Royal Mile at a local pub. Pop inside for a drink to help warm your chilled soul (own expense)!

Royal Mile

Meet your guide on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the main thoroughfare of the Old Town, and then set off on foot to begin your walking tour of the city’s shade side. Edinburgh is crawling with odd activity, and there are tales of murderers, vampires, monsters and even cannibals that locals nervously recall to each other.

10 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

North Bridge

Follow your guide through dark courtyards and eerie alleys, and hear spine-chilling stories of executions, murders, torture, ghosts and witchcraft. Then, make for the North Bridge, with its own formidable history, before climbing Calton Hill.

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • The independent guides who employ us to market their tours have your best interests in mind; while the tour usually includes the sites & stories mentioned and lasts about 2 hours, your tour may vary depending on what your guide thinks is best for your group
  • We unfortunately do not advise guests in wheelchairs to join the Dark Side Tour, due to the narrow stairways and steep hills. We apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment caused.
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips

There was quite a lot of walking up and down hill (it is Edinburgh, after all), so you'll need to be fairly easily mobile on foot.
This is a great way to be guided to Calton Hill which is a bit of a walk from the Royal Mile but well worth the trip
no explicit visuals) from a friendly tour guide, making it really very safe for children.
2,832 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 2,832 reviews
Historical and slightly gory
Hayley_M, Mar 2023
Interesting mix of history, myths and legends. Alastair was a brilliant narrator and very knowledgeable about Edinburgh. Lots of walking which was great for us it would not be suitable for those less mobile as there were lots of steps and some hills. Would definitely recommend.
Good Stories but not Scary
Brad_S, Mar 2023
The Story Teller who led the tour was good, very knowledgeable. The stories weren't ghost stories or even scary and several stories started with "this story probably isn't true...". I wish he would have tried to make it little creepy. Even thought it was raining, I did enjoy the walking tour portion. Saw some things off the Royal Mile.
Highly recommend
Maria_M, Mar 2023
What a fun experience! Our tour guide Ross really brought the creepy legends of town to life. It was also a nice way to get to know more about the layout of the city. My friend lives here and we saw areas she had never seen either! Highly recommend
Ross was a great tour...
Miranda_K, Mar 2023
Ross was a great tour guide with a lot of great stories to share. Loves all the historical accuracy as well as humor added.
Great info. Gory and violent history
Rita_J, Mar 2023
Great tour. Great stories. Be advised there is a lot of walking. A lot of stairs and steep paths. The guide Alistaire (so?) was funny and knowledgeable.
OMG, the stairs
Ryan_W, Mar 2023
Only complaint is the stairs! OMG, there were alot of them and doing those in the dark was treacherous! Other than that, it was awesome and Alistaire was amazing.
Very spooky, bring an umbrella!
Emily_G, Mar 2023
Very interesting tour, Ross was a great guide and it was everything I wanted from it! Tip: Make sure you have rain gear, can get quite wet fast!
Kel_F, Mar 2023
We had a wonderful night on this tour! Sabella was a great guide, she was very knowledgeable and nice. It’s quite the winding journey with a lot of steep hills and some narrow stairs but it was a great way to see the city at night. My only gripe was how large the group was. There were 30ish people on the tour which made it a little hard to travel close to the guide. I was a little worried about getting behind or lost. Didn’t happen, but a concern nonetheless. Highly recommend!
Great experience. Would recommend.
Corey_M, Mar 2023
Alisdair was our guide and he did an awesome job. We heard some good and spooky stories, while also seeing some parts of Edinburgh that we hadn't while walking throughout the day. This was a great tour if you like some creepy stuff.
Love the History!
Megan_J, Mar 2023
The most memorable part of the walking tour was getting to learn about different people's stories and all the different legends in Edinburgh.
Spooky Scotland
Marcus_C, Mar 2023
Alisdair was an incredible tour guide and a trooper-because he gave us an amazing tour in the middle of very rainy and cold night. Our guide was on time and very enthusiastic! This tour was worth every penny. We heard some of craziest and spookiest stories. Other than the weather- I wouldn’t change a thing!
Robin_G, Feb 2023
Great night with a fantastic guide so many historic tales of a great city! The hike to the volcanic site was easy and the star’s plenty full!
Great tour!
Liz_F, Feb 2023
Great tour telling the darker history of Edinburgh. Enjoyed it thoroughly and would recommend to others.
The stories &...
Robin_G, Feb 2023
The stories & presentation were great by our tour guide on Friday night! Cold yet clear skies was a fun evening & experience.
Very interesting Tour!
Martinj_O, Feb 2023
We went on this Tour and really enjoyed it, our tour guide was Jen and she has a fantastic knowledge of Edinburgh's Past, it was certainly something different to do and made for an interesting evening!
Very good tour!
Liz_v, Feb 2023
Jen was an amazing story teller. We walked for 2h through the rain and it was cold, but she didnt seem to mind for one second and was there with a happy smile on her face. We enjoyed it a lot!
It was awesome
Koustav_G, Feb 2023
Super awesome tour…with the most amazing Tour guide ever. It was more than just a normal tour but an amazing experience
Pretty Good Stories
Todd_D, Feb 2023
Our tour guide was knowledgable and friendly. I would have liked the tour to have flowed better. At times was sporadic.
Fun and informative!
Jennifer_M, Feb 2023
Great tour and tour guide! I very much enjoyed learning about Edinburgh's "hidden history" with the unexpected bonus of seeing the location where one of my favorite "Outlander" scenes was filmed. The pace was just right (especially given that we were traveling with our senior mothers and the route wasn't always flat) as was the level of detail. Highly recommend!
Fascinating dark side of Edinburgh
Debbie_W, Feb 2023
Great storytelling combined with fascinating history. Brought it to life. Very interesting hearing about Burke & Hare