It’s Halloween! Ghosts, goblins, witches, and vampires will soon walk our hometown streets in pursuit of filling their trick or treat bags with candy. Scotland has many Halloween traditions that we have adapted and carry-on to this day.
The Scottish holiday is known as the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain and held on November 1st to celebrate the end of summer, the harvest, and the start of winter. Scottish traditions begin with a large bonfire. Some turnips are carved into lanterns which are lit and carried and the forerunner of our carved pumpkins.
About fifteen years ago, my husband and I were fortunate enough to take a driving tour through Scotland. We arrived in Edinburgh and one of the first tours that caught our eyes was a ghost walk at night through the streets of the old part of the city.
Edinburgh, noted as being one of the most haunted places in the UK, makes it a prime destination for ghost-hunters. Little did we know at the time that Edinburgh has since been designated as the most haunted city in all of Europe as well. Believe me when I say, Halloween or not, this tour made chills run up my spine.
We met our guide near St. Giles Cathedral and he began to relate some very scary tales of hauntings, murder, and witchcraft. We walked the dimly lit streets to Mary Kings Close, a street where victims of the Black Death were sealed up to die. They say their voices can still be heard especially at night. Trust me when I say, his comments rung so true, I was too nervous to listen and that’s coming from a paranormal author.
|Old Town- Home to Mary's King Close|