The Ghost of the Missing Edinburgh Piper Boy

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh (Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Èideann) is the capital city of Scotland. It has a rich history and the earliest known human habitation in the area  was at Cramond (Scottish Gaelic: Cathair Amain) a village and suburb in the north-west of Edinburgh. Evidence of a Mesolithic camp site was found here dating to c. 8500 BC. Traces of later Bronze Age and Iron Age settlements have been found in other parts within and surrounding Edinburgh. Amongst the many historic sites that can be seen today is the famous Edinburgh Castle. It stands on the extinct volcano of Castle Rock. Evidence of human occupation on the rock dates back to the Iron Age and there has been a royal castle on the rock since at least the 12th century under the reign of David I of Scotland in the 12th century.

Holyrood Palace

Perhaps then it is no surprise, with its  long history, that Edinburgh is said to be one of the most haunted locations in Scotland and indeed Europe. Edinburgh Castle also has its fair share of ghosts and over the years there have been many reported paranormal sightings. One such ghost is that of a young boy who played the bagpipes. The sad story dates back several hundred years when a number of tunnels were found under the castle that seemed to lead towards Holyrood House, the royal palace that stands at the bottom of the Royal Mile. Holyrood Palace stands in the grounds of the ruined Augustinian Holyrood Abbey founded in 1128 at the order of King David I.

When found there was great curiosity to see where the tunnels beneath the castle would lead. However, the entrance was only small enough for a young boy piper to get through. He was sent down with his bagpipes to investigate. As instructed he played the pipes loudly as he walked through the tunnel. Those above ground could therefore trace his progress and work out where the tunnel went. This worked well for a time, then suddenly the pipes stopped somewhere near the site of Tron Kirk, a church  which is a well-known landmark on the Royal Mile.

Search parties undertook rescue attempts, but the boy piper had vanished. He was never found and although rescue parties was sent to look for him, there was no trace of the piper. With the disappearance of the piper the tunnel was sealed. But Edinburgh being Edinburgh, the story did not end there. Ever since that time many people have reported hearing the faint underground sounds of a lone bagpipe being played far below ground under Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile.

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