Dark, cold and extremely humid; it had a strange smell that felt bizarre! As I walked, I could feel the wet soil beneath my feet. A couple of steps further, the sound of the water seeping through the walls and trickling on the floor got deafening; deafening in that stark silence. I walked deeper, deeper into the darkness and in my quest to see what lay beneath!
Welcome to the city of the dead, Edinburgh. It is true that the gothic past of Edinburgh also has it very dark secrets buried deep inside Edinburgh. Paranormal or ghostly experiences are what they have turned today in these deep dark vaults. Edinburgh is host to many such vaults and graveyards that draw attention and can leave you scared, or worse, scarred. There are tours to the horrifying graveyards and some others to Mary King’s Close, which was witness to the massacre of the plague victims of the 17th century. It is one of Edinburgh’s most haunted places (further ref: http://www.realmarykingsclose.com/home.htm). Another such place is the ‘Vaults of Edinburgh.’
Every place is a tourist attraction, no doubt, but all come with a statutory warning saying that WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU WHATSOEVER. The Vaults, for instance, have been witness to some gruesome past and present experience of people in reality. Reality bites and your worse nightmare can come true at the Vaults. Dare venture at your own risk.
The journey begins at Edinburgh’s Old Information Centre. We were a group of about 30 people when all of a sudden it got alarmingly cold and windy. Soon a young man dressed in black and grey arrived and asked if we were here for the Vaults. Ambience! Those who were should walk with him for the Auld Reekies tour (further ref: http://www.auldreekietours.com/). The man though young, neat and smart, had something surreal about him. We went across and walked down slope, a steep one. It was dark and the cold and wind had picked up. Everyone had goose bumps; some with cold, others with fright or both. Suddenly he stopped, tuned around and screamed, “This is the scariest part of the tour, which is the purchase of tickets”. Shaken and stirred for the moment, people smiled and laughed off in humour, but for how long?
We then stood outside a dark grey dilapidated building, inside which were the Vaults. We had gone down slope and now were taking the stairs upwards that were in absolute shambles. This meant that we were going deeper inside the Vaults, which in effect meant that they would have been buried beneath the road above.
Originally, the council of Edinburgh had plans to resurrect buildings that were untouched for ages and that were part of the old Edinburgh. It was during this expedition that a team came across some horrific findings. The work was abandoned. Research activities found paranormal activities, which lead to a shocking tale of events. The research also, did not get too further ahead. After climbing the serpentine stairs, we reached the entrance, which had a huge hole that was now patched up. The curiosity was killed, as the guide failed to answer and decided to move on! As we moved into the Vaults, we found them to be wet. The waters of the morning’s rain had seeped into these Vaults. Unbelievably, people lived here.