From its medieval dungeons and underground streets to the famous hauntings at Edinburgh Castle, the ghost stories surrounding Edinburgh do have an undercurrent of pain and suffering, which could be the trigger for so much of the paranormal activity from these tortured souls.

The ghostly reports don’t end with the city’s famous landmarks. Its pubs are also regular haunts for its long-dead citizens. Apparitions, poltergeist activity, visions, and strange sounds have all been witnessed in the following list of haunted pubs in Edinburgh.

1. The Banshee Labyrinth

Banshee Labyrinth
Banshee Labyrinth, 29-35 Niddry St, Edinburgh EH1 1LG

Self-proclaimed as “Scotland’s most haunted nightclub”, parts of this club were once part of the infamous underground vaults of Edinburgh. These vaults were home to some of Edinburgh’s most destitute and unsavoury characters. If you put your drink down anywhere here, be careful, as it may just be thrown against a wall by an unseen force! It was here where many of these people met their gruesome end.

Locals know one spirit that lurks here as “The Banshee”. On one occasion, the workers who were renovating the pub heard a blood-curdling scream coming from one of the vaults. Moments later, one of the workmen received a phone call informing him that one of his family members had just passed away.

2. The White Hart Inn

White Hart Inn Edinburgh
White Hart Inn, 32 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2JU

The White Hart Inn is central Edinburgh’s oldest pub, with parts dating back to 1516. One of its claims to fame is the rumour that Robert Burns was believed to have stayed here on his last visit to Edinburgh in 1791. Another claim to fame is its award in 2005, claiming it to be “the most haunted pub in Edinburgh”.

Over the years, owners and staff members have seen and reported many strange happenings, with many emanating from the cellar area.

One often reported experience is sighting a dark shadowy figure at the doorway heading down to the cellar. Upon investigation, the cellar is always empty. There have also been sightings of a detached pair of legs followed by a full figure in the centre of the cellar near the fridges.

When staff members are checking food supplies in the cold room, they’re often greeted by the cold room door slamming closed behind them.

Barrels in the cellar also get moved around from one place to another.

This mischievous spirit is also behind the recurring problem with the beer taps not working. Upon inspection, the gas cylinders are often detached and are re-attached by staff using a heavy-duty spanner. Upon heading back up to the bar, the taps often do not work again, only for the member of staff to head back downstairs to the cellar to find the gas cylinders had been detached again!

Loud, repetitive blows are also heard coming from inside the cold room and intermittent bangs coming from other areas in the cellar.

3. The Last Drop Tavern

The Last Drop Tavern
The Last Drop, 74-78 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2JR

Famous for its resident ghost and the last hanging in Grassmarket, this 17th Century building was once part of Tenements which housed some of Edinburgh’s poverty-stricken. The pub you see today was rebuilt using the buildings’ original stone.

The spirit that haunts The Last Drop is said to be that of a young girl who may have lived here during its time as a dwelling. She has been seen by staff and customers both in the cellar and the bar area.

4. Tolbooth Tavern

Tolbooth Tavern Edinburgh
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – MARCH 8TH 2016: A view from Sugarhouse Close of the historic Tolbooth Tavern along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, on 8th March 2016.

Tolbooth Tavern is part of the original Tolbooth built here during the 16th Century, used to collect tolls from travellers to the burgh of Canongate. It also served as a Council Chamber, Police Court, and prison.

The rear area of the pub was used as housing from 1750 until sometime in the early 20th century. The front area of the Tolbooth became a tavern in 1820, and the building you see today stands pretty much as it did back then.

Things are often knocked over at the Tolbooth, and the resident ghost tends to get the blame. People have reported drinks flying off tables, pictures and various things falling off the walls.

5. Whistlebinkies Live Music Bar

Whistlebinkies Live Music Bar
Whistlebinkies, 4-6 South Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1LL

Built into the South Bridge Vaults, this underground venue has two ghosts. One of which is known as “The Imp”, a mischievous entity that likes to annoy the staff. Playing tricks with objects moving them around, locking people in rooms, and stopping clocks around the bar.

The other spirit goes by the name of “The Watcher”. The Watcher is a quiet spirit that lurks in the background, watching punters from a distance.

He has been seen by staff and customers wearing 17th-century clothing and is described as having long black hair. He’s been seen mostly in the bar area of Whistlebinkies, but he’s also been seen in other areas of the vaults too.

He was approached on one occasion by a person on a tour who believed he was a tour guide, only to disappear before them.

6. Deacon Brodie's Tavern

Haunted Deacon Brodies Tavern

Deacon Brodie’s Tavern on Lawnmarket is haunted by the local ghost of its namesake, Deacon Brodie. Brodie was known for being a successful businessman by day, but by night he took on a secret life of crime. Working for Masons and Wrights, repairing locks, Brodie would copy the keys and together with his gang of thieves would burgle houses at night.

Once law enforcement discovered Brodie’s secret life, he tried to flee the country, but he was captured and hung on Royal Mile. His outraged ghost still haunts Royal Mile and is known to frequent the pub that bears his name.

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