The Real Mary King’s Close, 2 Warriston’s Close, High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1PG
Beneath the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh City Centre lies an underground network of streets that have been uninhabited for over 400 years. These old narrow streets, known as Closes and Wynds, used to be busy places of work and homes. Mary King’s Close was one such street named after a prominent businesswoman in the 1630s, who owned several of the properties within it.
Buried under the Royal Exchange building and closed off to the public for 250 years, Mary King’s Close became the subject of ghost and crime stories and tales of plague victims being boarded up and left to die. When it was re-opened in 2003 archaeologists revealed several shops, houses and artifacts they had discovered from its 17th century residents.
Now open to the public, you can discover this fascinating place for yourself with a historical tour led by one of the Close’s past residents. Your guide could be Mary King’s daughter Jonet, Agnes the Maid, Stephen the Merchant, Robert the Poet or Walter the Foul Clenger. Each has their own story and unique way of showing visitors around the old narrow streets. Mary King herself also makes an appearance on the tour, telling stories about her life in the interactive Gallery.
Mary King’s Close is known as one of the most haunted parts of Edinburgh. Hear some of the myths and ghost stories that surround it as you visit its darkest creepiest chambers, from the young Chimney Sweep who is said to have died there to the Close’s last resident Mr Chesney. The most famous ghost on the Close is a little girl named Annie. Visitors often leave toys and money for her in ‘Annie’s Room’, which the attraction donates to the Sick Kids Friends Foundation.