The Witchery: One Of The Oldest Haunted Hotels in Edinburgh
October 02, 2023
Very few hotels in Edinburgh Old Town can claim five centuries of history; let alone a history quite like The Witchery. Walk the halls of a hotel named after the infamous Castlehill, where King James VI executed suspected Witches during the 16th and 17th centuries. Indulge in the rich history of the area and period structures preserved and restored from the annals of Tudor Scotland.
But the dark history and spectacular architecture aren’t the only things The Witchery has to offer. Learn about one of the oldest haunted hotels in Edinburgh and experience the unparalleled gothic luxury we have to offer.
The Dark History of The Witchery & Castlehill
The Witchery is steeped in an infamous history as a part of Edinburgh’s Old Town and proves itself as one of the prime contenders for the best haunted places to stay in Edinburgh.
A mere stone’s throw from the hotel sits the Castle Esplanade and The Witches Well; a stark reminder of the area’s grim history that accompanies the hauntings of Castlehill. It is thought that during the Witch Trials and King James VI’s reign, over 300 victims were put to death on Castlehill for the crime of Witchcraft; by means of burning at the stake. Scotland itself carried out five times more executions per capita than the European average.
With many of these victims subjected to torture before their eventual demise, and with more put to death on Castlehill than anywhere else in Scotland, it is no wonder that some visitors report seeing unusual sights in the dead of the night.
Stay With The Witchery; Experience The Old Town
Declared one of the Seven Wonders of the Hotel World by Cosmopolitan, our accommodation at the gates of Edinburgh Castle is ideal for those wanting to live and breathe the history of the area.
When you choose to stay at The Witchery you can dine like royalty in our AA 5 Gold Star Restaurant with Rooms and spoil yourself with an extensive award winning wine collection.
But, of course, visiting the Old Town and everything it has to offer is an essential part of The Witchery experience;
Sneak a Peek at the Edinburgh Castle Ghost
Avid ghost hunters will scour the grounds of the Castle and the Old Town for any sign of the Edinburgh Castle Ghost - but did you know there are several notable ghosts to hunt?
Known as the Ghostly Piper, or the Missing Piper Boy, this ghost is often heard when the buzz of the city noise dies down for the day. Several hundred years ago, when the Edinburgh Underground tunnels were first discovered, a young piper was sent down to explore them. The piper would play the pipes as he progressed through the tunnels to alert those above ground of his location. This worked well until one fateful exploration where his pipes abruptly stopped. Despite many exhaustive attempts to find the piper, he was never found, and the tunnels were sealed off.
Or how about the tale of the Castle Drummer? While this ghost hasn’t been seen in centuries, legends tell that this ghost’s appearance heralds an imminent attack against the castle. The most prominent sighting of the Castle Drummer was in 1650 by the governor of the Castle at the time. After various sentries reported the Drummer, the governor investigated, only to hear the potent sound of war drums playing an ancient Scottish war song. This last sighting of the drummer happened right before Oliver Cromwell’s assault, but the faint sound of distant drums can sometimes be heard echoing through the Old Town.
A more recent haunting took place in 2003, where sightings of restless Napoleonic ghosts were reported by construction workers restoring the Queen Anne building.
If you don’t feel like ghost hunting alone, the Old Town provides a host of Edinburgh ghost tours to experience. But be warned, ghost walks in Edinburgh are not for the faint of heart!
Explore the Underground City in Edinburgh
The Old Town is the host of Edinburgh’s world renowned underground city, also known as the Underground City of The Dead.
If you are feeling particularly brave, the Edinburgh Vaults ghost tour is a fantastic way to experience the gothic wonder of these chillingly haunting locations. Gain exclusive access to some of the most haunted places in Scotland - with the tours themselves being researched by leading historians and hosted by passionate entertainers. This provides visitors with not only historically accurate details about the city, but a first-hand experience that will last a lifetime. Every tour is unique!
Edinburgh Old Town Extravagance At its Finest
The Witchery represents the Old Town of Edinburgh at its finest. With rooms tailored to specific tastes and styles, you’ll stay in a luxurious suite to match the enchanting aura of your environs. With painstakingly curated antiques from times past, each of our glamorous suites will immerse your stay in the rich history of Scottish culture.
Place a booking today to complete the experience of a lifetime with your spell in Edinburgh.