Tolbooth Tavern: now home to a drinking establishment, this Edinburgh building has a macabre history ~

Edinburgh is a very pictoresque city that offers visitors and tourists several nice locales to take a picture. One such place is located along the Royal Mile, in an area known to locals as the Canongate, and it is the Tolbooth Tavern, situated in an impressive stone building with an ornate clock tower. But what many tourists may be unaware of is that this building hides a quite macabre past. Originally built in 1591, the building that contains The Tolbooth Tavern was used to collect tolls from travelers who wished…

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The legend of the ghost playing the bagpipe at Edinburgh Castle

Every self-respecting Scottish castle has its own ghost, whether scary or melancholy, based on the history of each individual manor. In Edinburgh Castle, the best known in Scotland, a ghost (and maybe even more than one) could not be missing. As story goes, on a summer night of an unspecified year a few centuries ago, a red-haired boy dressed in a worn kilt probably left by his father, and with even more worn-out shoes, was chosen for a mission that did not seem so dangerous. The access to numerous tunnels…

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Burke & Hare Murder Dolls: the mystery of the dolls in miniature coffins

William Burke and William Hare were two serial killers who lived and operated in Edinburgh, Scotland, from November 1827 to October 1828. The duo, with the complicity of their companions, lured in and murdered their lodgers in a scheme to provide fresh bodies to the local anatomy school. Here Dr. Robert Knox, a brilliant and well-known local anatomy teacher, purchased the human remains and most likely knew that something was a bit suspicious about his “supply chain”. They killed 17 people and the crimes were exposed when another lodger discovered…

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“Half-Hangit” Maggie Dickson: the woman who survived the hangman’s noose.

Maggie Dickson was consigned to the gallows on Edinburgh’s historic Grassmarket on September 2, 1724. So, it was unlikely that anyone attending her public execution thought they would see her alive again afterward. The day of the hanging should have been just another ordinary day, with an ordinary routine on an ordinary schedule: just the hanging of another ordinary woman sentenced to death. Her public death was certainly observed by both court and church representatives, family members and relatives, and probably other people who, as usual, were there just for…

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The altered traffic signs of Edinburgh, Scotland

We are in Einburgh, Scotland. Scattered around the city center are a number of traffic signs that have been given new life through amusing graffiti stickers. A keen eye but not only may spot a sumo wrestler, a spilled glass of wine, or a cat, but are just a few of the nearly two dozen total altered traffic signs. They are the work of French artist Clet Abraham, 52, who hand-draws the designs, prints them onto sticker paper and goes out at night to place them. Clet first began placing…

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Greyfriars Bobby: the most loyal of little dogs, or a Victorian era publicity stunt?

An adorable scruffy dog looks out over Edinburgh, atop a granite fountain built in his honor. Popular stories said that this little skye terrier known as Greyfriars Bobby kept vigil at his owner’s grave for 14 years after his death. The best-known version of the story is that the dog belonged to John Gray, who worked for the Edinburgh City Police as a nightwatchman. When John Gray died of tuberculosis in 1858, he was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard, in the Old Town of Edinburgh. Bobby then spent the rest of…

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Pinch ‘n’ Sip: in Edinburgh, you can assemble your cocktails via kitschy claw machine! ~

Here we are: Yes. It’s all true! Strange but true! At a subterranean Edinburgh bar, in Scotland, every drinkers can assemble their cocktails via kitschy claw machine. At Hoot the Redeemer, a subterranean bar in Edinburgh, alcohol comes in many crazy and unusual forms. Hoot the Redeemer is a 50s-styled New Orleans funfair-themed dive bar and here, amidst the 1950s-themed decor, sweet-toothed patrons spoon boozy ice cream straight from the carton, and competitive drinkers play board games on the backs of menus. Furthermore, arcade gamers can win a bespoke cocktail…

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