So, again, sorry for posting soooo many blogs this week. Our Reutlingen group went to Berlin (as I’m sure most of you have read about!) and afterward we had five days to travel around on our own. The group that I went with flew to Edinburgh, Scotland and London, England.

After landing in Edinburgh we needed to find our hostel, which didn’t take long at all. The cool thing about our hostel was that it was really close to everything. We were only like two blocks from the castle. When we got settled into the hostel we started trying to plan when we were going to do the things we wanted to do. We noticed that there were a lot of tour companies that gave graveyard tours at night. We went out to go and find one of the meeting places so that we could buy tickets for the next day.

As we arrived at the meeting place we realized that we had arrived just in time to go on the tour. So we joined the graveyard tour! Our guide told us some stories about witchcraft and hangings that had taken place in the town. We slowly made our way toward the graveyard. At the graveyard we learned about Greyfriar’s Bobby, a dog that most believed had sat on his master’s grave for fourteen years. It turns out that he had sat on the wrong grave the entire time (sorry to ruin the story for you). We also learned that there are only a couple of hundred gravestones in the cemetery, but there are over 1200 bodies because during the time of the black plague the bodies were being dumped into the cemetery. There were so many bodies that where we stood was a hill but in earlier times it had been a valley!

The next part of the tour was probably the scariest bit. The company that we chose to go on the tour with is the only company in  Edinburgh that has a key to the blocked off part of the cemetery. The part that was blocked off was known as Covenanters’ prison and had been the sight of brutality. Here’s a little bit of the history—the Scottish had written a paper agains the King and the ones who signed it were known as covenanters. The Scotts and Brits had a war and when the Scotts lost, the covenanters were put into an outdoor prison during the winter months. The tops of the prisons were off and so they could get snowed and rained on. The prisoners had to lie down the entire time and if they moved they would be shot. The man that ran the prison was named “Bloody” Mackenzie.

Apparently, there is now the Mackenzie poltergeist and he is in the part of the cemetery that is blocked to the public. This area was only blocked off recently when people started coming out of there with bruises and scratches that were unexplainable. There have also been people who on tours have fainted in the area. The guide told us that she had a person in one of her groups who had kind of walked away from the group and when the guide turned and looked at her, the lady looked like she had been pushed. When they checked on the woman, she had a bruise on her stomache and a slap mark on her face. The lady described it as having been attacked! You can bet that I was a little frightened before walking into the closed off area. In the end, nothing really happened to me, but the tour was really fun and educational at the same time. Who doesn’t like that?