History & Horror: The Perfect Duo

Allie Rivera University of Stirling, Scotland


March 14, 2018

For this blog I am going to focus on Mary King’s Close and Edinburgh Dungeon. Both occurred on different days with different people, but they complement each other so well one blog is good.

Mary King’s Close is an underground city in Edinburgh. It was a normal close till the city decided to build on top of it. Instead of knocking down the buildings, they use them as support for the buildings on top. It wasn’t till about the early 2000s did they open it up and started giving tours. I LOVED it! The most famous part of Mary King’s Close was the Plaque that occurred in the 1600s. The famous Black Death had made its way to Scotland. Those of you that know me closely know that I love the Bubonic Plaque. I know that sounds really grim and dark, but I love learning about it.

Before I went, I had no clue that the plaque reached Scotland and I had no clue that Mary King’s Close was mainly about that. This close was crowded and filled with the plaque. Though I already knew all the information about the plaque that was told on the tour, I still loved it. Definitely worth the time to experience and that gift shop is a dangerous place for me. If possible, I would have bought almost everything there. It was great.

Still focusing on history, but adding a wee bit more horror, the Edinburgh Dungeon is comparable to a haunted house. However, it is a wee bit more sophisticated than a haunted house due to the fact it is all based on Edinburgh history. It had topics like torture, the witch hunt, and Sawney Bean who he and his family were cannibals. You were guided through by actors telling you history, but also were scaring you in the process. It was a delight and like usually when I go to a haunted house, I was laughing the whole time. I don’t get afraid but enjoy them so much I just kind of laugh the whole time.

I definitely recommend both if you ever come to Edinburgh. You can have a wee bit of fun while also learning Edinburgh history. I consider both very educational.

By the way both places don’t allow photographs, so I only got a picture of my friend Sarah outside Edinburgh dungeon and one that the dungeon took. Unfortunately, none from Mary King’s Close.


Scotland Semester