Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Underground of Edinburgh

Yesterday a few of us took the famous Underground tour of Edinburgh. Interesting, this site of "Old Town" was bricked up and forgotten until the 1970s. A bored college student discovered a certain wall seemed hollow and battered it down--discovering an underground lairs undisturbed for over 150 years.

The vaults were created, circa 17th century, as the over-crowded city had no room for growth. Conditions were dangerous and deadly, the average life expectancy for those poor citizens inhabiting the vaults was about 18 months. Crime in the vaults was rampant. The vaults are a respository of innumerable tragic stories, known and unknown.

Allegedly, there is much paranormal activity in the Underground vaults. In one gloomy space, we were warned to avoid entering a circle defined by ancient rocks. This warning was framed with a rather dramatic story. Our guide put a brilliant button on her tale as she switched off her flashlight, plunging us into the most dense darkness you can imagine.

The tour ends with a visit to a small room with mighty implements of torture that have been collected over the years. Our articulate guide shared a few more stories to make our heads spin. This is truly a memorable, if dark insight into a piece of Edinburgh's history.

Needless to say, we invited our guide to the afternoon's show, and she graciously accepted!


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