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Located in the old part of town in Edinburgh, beneath the streets and buildings above lies Mary Kings Close. Originally open to the Edinburgh air back in the 1600’s, it now sits preserved, a strange collection of dwellings and narrow passages covered by council chambers above which were built on the remains of the close providing the buildings foundations! Named after Alexander Kings daughter, a prosperous business man who owned the majority of the properties there, Mary King later became a widow and lived at the top of the close herself. In 1753 the construction of the Exchange above consigned the close to eternal darkness; however the last recorded occupant of the close was forced out in 1902! His house is said to be one of the most haunted parts of the close! In 1644 the worst outbreak of plague spread like fire throughout the narrow streets and closes of Edinburgh, Mary Kings Close is no exception and many lost their lives there. It is said that a plague pit was located not far from the end of the Close.
Disease, despair, poor living conditions, untimely death, murder and crime give Mary Kings Close every reason to be haunted, reports of ghostly phenomena have been recorded since as early as the 17th century and include:
In one of the dwellings scratching noises are often reported where a chimney sweep is said to have been trapped and died!
The noises of a tavern or a party are heard in an area that was once the local drinking place!
A worried looking man is often seen pacing the close possibly the spirit of its last resident thrown out of his home!
Little ‘Annie’ is the Close’s most famous spirit, a little girl, victim of the plague has been sensed and seen on numerous occasions, a shrine now sits where visitors from all over the world leave toys and dolls to appease her soul!
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