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The Frog Queen’s Guest Blog about Edinburgh’s City of the Dead Tour and Ghost Books Giveaway

UK Ghost Books Imported by the Frog Queen

The following is a guest post by Chris Davis, aka the Frog Queen, who some of you may know from her awesome blog, Frog on the Pumpkin. She recently took a trip to Scotland and not only agreed to share one of her ghost tour experiences on Haunt Jaunts, but generously offered some books she bought while across the pond for a giveaway!

Details on how enter for a chance to win follow the post (below). I hope you enjoy her adventure as much as I did.

I have had a love affair with Edinburgh’s Ghost Tours since the first one I took almost 14 years ago. I have been on at least one ghost tour each time I have been in town. It is actually one of my favorite things to do in Edinburgh and is definitely part of the appeal of the town.

So, this trip we had a few new people going with us, so I thought this will be fun I will take them and they will see how cool this is and learn a little local history. I purposefully picked the City of the Dead tour – always one of my favorites. The story of the McKenzie poltergeist is very famous and the tour has some history thrown in so I think it is a well balanced tour.

At least that is what I thought.

Now, to be fair, over the last three trips I have been on this particular tour at least a half dozen times, it has varied a bit over the years and is definitely dependent on the tour guide. But one thing that has never happened was jumpers (people that are hiding along the tour to “scare” you.) Now I don’t mind them, not my favorite type of tour, but that will not stop me from going on a tour. I just find them a bit cheesy.

The people I was with did not want a jump out tour, so I thought great this is the one.

Things started going wrong from the beginning. The tour guide was 15 minutes late. I have never had that happen. And if a guy from the same tour company that was early for his tour had not been at the starting point to tell us he was going to check on her…..I would have left, thinking the tour was not happening and picked another tour.

That probably would have been better 🙂

We are running late, so she has us running from the get go. Now, really, I don’t mind that too much, but you could really tell that she was going through the routine at lightning speed without much style or humor or anything that made the tours as great as I remember them.

Then we finally get through the tomb with the fastest and lamest version of the history of that part of the graveyard I have ever heard. I could have done better and I had not been on that tour for three years!

This could definitely be better.

We are in the crypt that is reputed to be one of the most haunted places in the world. Some pretty gruesome things happened here, but Scotland has a pretty bloody history, so you can say that about almost any place. Yeah, definitely doing the suggestive bit…talking about cold spots and people fainting….and the time the ambulance had to take someone out. (completely untrue) – I don’t mind that part. I go on these to be entertained. And being that this particular place has a lot of history/hype 🙂 I always enjoy visiting.

Then it happened. Someone jumped in to scare us while she was talking.

Not too bad, except that I had hurt my food the night before and I was standing with my arms locked into two of my friends – so when I jumped – I took them with me….back into my husband. No one was happy with me.

Now, thinking back, I did hear the gate open…..but since they never had jumpers I was just thinking maybe the other tour was gaining on us.

That is what I get for thinking.

Well, she rushes through the reason that the tomb is supposed to be haunted. Which is a completely different version of the other versions I had heard. Really? If you are going to make up a story, can you at least stay consistent….and at least somewhat factual?

Normally I have a great time, and granted if I had been with different company it would have been fine.

I spent the rest of the even apologizing for “lying” to everyone and was talked out of going on anymore tours. Normally I would have gone it alone, but with a hurt foot I could not possibly make all the stairs and uneven ground without help 🙁 Ah, just another reason to go back, you guys want to come with me?

With all that said…..I would still recommend this tour and all the tours from The City of the Dead if you are in Edinburgh.

If you are interested in what actually happened in that cemetery. Here are the (mostly factual – or as much as I can find) story of the Coventors Prision (where the black tomb is located) the story I have heard the most is that a homeless man took shelter in the mausoleum, and feel through the floor. This event is reportedly what started all the spookiness in the black tomb. I have looked for something to substantiate the story, cannot find a thing. There are lots of people telling the story…..saying that is what happened, sounds likely, but not verified.

For a not scary, and also not verifiable story from the same graveyard. Check out the Greyfriar’s Bobby story, very sweet, they even have a dog statue in the cemetery. Very sweet for us animal loving folk.

I have visited lots of haunted places, gone on endless tours and even with that unexpected experience. That tour is still my top recommendation if you are in the city.

I just love the UK, they have great ghost stories. That being said, I picked up a few ghost story books for Courtney to give away here on her blog while I was traveling. Hope some lucky winner enjoys them as much as I do!

Cheers!

The Frog Queen

HOW TO ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN THE BOOKS

In her post, Chris wrote: “Ah, just another reason to go back, you guys want to come with me?”

I’m making this a simple contest to enter this go around. You only have to do one thing:

  1. Answer Chris’s question. Would you like to go to Edinburgh and take a ghost tour?

Rules:

  1. Open to U.S. residents only. (I don’t want to tread on Chris’s kindness so I’m limiting it so she doesn’t have to worry about shipping internationally.)
  2. Entries accepted until Tuesday February 8, 2011 midnight CST.
  3. Winner will be drawn by using the random number generator at Random.org on Wednesday February 9, 2011.

Bonus entries:

For more chances that your number will be picked, leave separate additional comments answering the following questions:

  1. Have you been on a ghost tour before?
  2. Name either the ghost tours you’ve been on or the cities you took them in OR both. (Just be sure to leave separate comments for each city and ghost tour so they count as separate numbers.)
  3. Do you like when “jumpers” (as Chris aptly dubbed them) jump out at you during tours?
  4. Hop on over to Frog on the Pumpkin and tell Chris “Thanks!” for making this contest possible. (You MUST leave the link to whatever post you posted the thanks on in your comment for this entry to count though.)

Example entry:

Say I was Ghostly Jane entering the contest and I wanted to get as many entries as possible. I’d leave the following answers in five individual comments.

  1. Yes. Most definitely!
  2. Yes.
  3. Ghost Tours of Quebec
  4. Quebec City
  5. No. I hate when people jump out and scare me!
  6. I told Chris thanks and here’s the link to her post that I left the comment on: http://www.strangelittlegirlblog.blogspot.com/ (This wouldn’t count because it’s just to her blog, not a post, but it gives you an idea what I mean.)

If you’ve been on a slew of ghost tours you could really rack up a lot of entries just on that bonus question alone since you can name both the tour and city separately.

GOOD LUCK!

(And, Chris, THANKS again for doing this. So very kind of you and I really do appreciate it!)

18 thoughts on “The Frog Queen’s Guest Blog about Edinburgh’s City of the Dead Tour and Ghost Books Giveaway

  1. 1. I would love to go!
    2. I’ve been on ghost tours
    3. Chicago, New York, New Orleans,
    4. Jumpers are OK. I do hate those fake chainsaw things some jumpers carry in haunted houses.
    5. Thanks Crhis

  2. I know I’m disqualified because I don’t live in the U.S. But I’ll answer anyway since I may just love ghost tours as much as the Frog Queen!

    1. Have you been on a ghost tour before?
    Yes. Many, many ghost tours.

    2. Name either the ghost tours you’ve been on or the cities you took them in OR both.
    Too many to list, but Edinburgh would have to be a favourite since it was my first. Salem was also impressive. And I have a soft spot in my heart for Sydney, NS, since it’s my hometown.

    3. Do you like when “jumpers” (as Chris aptly dubbed them) jump out at you during tours?
    NO!! In fact, I prefer more atmospheric “historical” ghost tours. Preferably held in old graveyards or decaying castles.

    4. Hop on over to Frog on the Pumpkin and tell Chris “Thanks!” for making this contest possible.

    Nice idea for a giveaway. (http://strangelittlegirlblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/wanna-read-some-ghost-stories.html.) The only way I might improve on this is by including Canadians next time! ;O)

  3. The best part of Edinburgh is Mary Kings Close. An underground street that was bricked up during (I think) the plague, and all the inhabitants left to starve to death. It was re-opened as a tourist attraction a few years ago. It’s VERY atmospheric, and it is very easy for your imagination to run away with itself.

  4. 1. Yes!

    I am of Scottish and Irish heritage, so Edinburgh would definitely be on my list of places to visit when/if I ever get to tour the homelands of my ancestors.

  5. 2. Belcourt Castle Ghost Tour, Newport, RI

    …followed up by a Christmas concert performed by a local choir in the great hall, then Christmas sing-along with the choir and the guests in the dining room with coffee, tea, hot cocoa and an assortment of pastries being served.

    Very cool place! Several seemingly paranormal things were witnessed by the guests of Belcourt Castle that day, including myself! Stuff we weren’t told about on the tour.

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