Greyfriars Kirkyard

For over five centuries, Greyfriars Kirkyard has been home to hauntings and wizards. Look out for McGonagall or something more spine-chilling, like one Tom Riddle.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Edinburgh
St Giles’ Cathedral
St Giles’ Cathedral has been at the spiritual heart of Edinburgh for over 900 years.
George Heriot's School
An outstanding example of Scots Renaissance architecture, now known worldwide as a mecca for Harry Potter fans.
Parliament Square
The historic hub of the Old Town of Edinburgh.
Elephant House
Go inside and sit at Rowling's favourite table!
George Heriot’s School / Hogwarts
Spot as many similarities as you can between George Heriot’s School and Hogwarts!
Situated below Edinburgh Castle, the Grassmarket area was not only used for trading throughout the centuries but also for public executions.

Related Tours

Wizarding World: Diagon Alley and Hogwarts, Private Tour
On this fantastical walking tour, you will visit some of the haunts where Rowling would sip coffee, and put pen to paper. Learn about this extraordinary author, see the places she herself drew inspiration from, and purchase novelties from Potter-themed shops.

  • Commence at Nicolson's Cafe, now Spoon, where Rowling would write 
  • Visit her favourite place to draw inspiration: Elephant House 
  • Walk through Greyfriars House , spotting as many familiar names as possible 
  • Compare the architecture of George Heriot's School to that of Hogwarts 
  • Explore Victoria St and Candlemaker Row, which inspired Diagon Alley 
  • Buy novelty gifts along the way 
In December 1993, J.K. Rowling moved to Edinburgh with her daughter and a notepad full of ideas. During her time in Scotland, she wrote seven books following the journey of a wizard, Harry Potter, and his life in this magical world. Fast-forward a decade or two, and over 500 million copies have been sold, 8 films made, and an enormous fanbase developed.

Begin your tour at Spoon, which was once Nicolson's Cafe, and the apparent birthplace of J. K. Rowling's books. More well-known is your next stop, The Elephant House, where Rowling would sit for hours writing and sipping coffee. Here, you can see Greyfriars House and George Heriot's School , both of which she used for inspiration for her magical world. Greyfriars House inspired the numerous graveyards scene in Harry Potter, and you can spot familiar character names on the gravestones. George Heriot's School was used as a basis for which Rowling developed Hogwarts. Conclude your tour at Diagon Alley (Victoria St and Candlemaker Row), where travellers flock to purchase novelties and perhaps to buy an owl or repair a wand.
Private Walking Tour of Edinburgh's Haunted History
Edinburgh has been abuzz with paranormal activity for several centuries, from bizarre hauntings to unexplained spectral sightings. Edinburgh’s history 11th-18th century is punctuated by murder, barbarism, and bloody battles by tyrannical figures and legions of wrath. On this spooky Edinburgh Ghost Tour,  seek out  the dearly departed on a spirit-lifting adventure with the city’s afterlife under the shadows of Edinburgh Castle - the ultimate fright-seeing delight.

  • Begin your private guided tour at the top of the city, at Edinburgh Castle
  • Hear gruesome tales of hangings and slaughter in Edinburgh’s macabre history 
  • Discover ghostly sounds of dragging limbs, children’s cries and beating drums
  • Wander down the Royal Mile - built intentionally on top of the Edinburgh Vaults
  • Learn about Major Weir, a religious zealot who was burned alive after turning to the dark side
  • Learn how Robert Louis Stevenson based Dr Jekyll and My Hyde on Edinburgh’s paranormal activity.
  • Hear recent haunted tales - including how more than 30 different phantoms were detected in Edinburgh’s ancient streets in 2019.
Founded by King Malcolm III, who built the castle and watched a small town prosper, Edinburgh guarded against invasion with thick-stone walls, but was a target for onslaught none-the-less. The city was plagued by hellish, squalid conditions due to overcrowding and poor sanitation. Violent crime was rife and punishments swift and harsh with Death by burning at The Castle and the hangman’s gallows at The Grassmarket. 

Since then, Edinburgh has been flooded with enigmatic, supernatural energy detected city-wide. Ghouls, spirits and ghostly apparitions make regular appearances in the Royal Mile, in the city's graveyards and ambling streets, and the Castle, part of - experts say - a lingering spiritual residue over Edinburgh’s earthly realm.

Your fascinating Edinburgh ghost tour is an immersive, eerie experience that delves into the city’s most haunted nooks and crannies.  Hear tales of terror, explore local legends, and discover the historic scenes of butchery and bloodshed. Your private guide will lead you on a slow-paced stroll through Edinburgh’s ancient streets in Old Town, where hair-raising hauntings are frequent. Restless spirits have been encountered by gravestones, tombs and underground chambers with shivery ghoulish presences in Greyfriars Kirkyard. 

Please note, as this is a private tour, your guide will be able to make each story as eerie or as kid-friendly as you request to have the best experience for everyone. 


Join the fastest growing community of professional tour guides.


Use our easy to integrate toolset to include Tours & Attractions in your customer journey.