|Adam Lyle (deceased), our host|
A tour guide of the "Witchery Tour" (www.witcherytours.com) calls himself "Adam Lyle (deceased) and gave us an historically interesting, light-hearted, fun and memorable tour of downtown Edinburgh.
I'll tell you who Adam Lyle was, shortly.
Now, calling a "Witchery Tour" subtitled "Murder and Mayhem" fun may seem weird, but the guy who played Adam has a great sense of humor. He was dressed as a vampire, dark suit and cape, and his face and hair were bright white (makeup).
He also had an assistant who would jump out along the tour from time to time, dressed as either a skeleton, mad monk or something else. It made for a couple of startling minutes, but good laughs afterward.
|Edinburgh Writer's Museum|
EDINBURGH WRITER'S MUSEUM - The first stop on our walking tour of murder and mayhem was at the Edinburgh's Writers' Museum. The museum is located off the Royal Mile (main street that connects Edinburgh Castle with Holyrood House Palace) in Lady Stair's Close. The building was built in 1622 as a private home for one of the city's wealthiest families. The Museum hosts permanent exhibitions to three of Scotland's great literary figures, all of whom have strong Edinburgh connections: Robert Burns (1759 - 1796), Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832) and Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894).
**The Museum is said to have a figure that appears in one of the upper windows.**
|Cow's gate in Edinburgh, Scotland|
|The Mad Monk About to Run Toward Us!|
Between the mid 18th and mid 20th centuries the Cowgate was a poor, often overcrowded slum area. In the 19th century, nicknamed "Little Ireland," it was home to much of the city's Irish immigrant community.
It was here that the "Mad Monk" ran out from behind a building and
ran toward our group, scaring the heck out of everyone!
|The Mad Monk and Adam Lyle Team Up|
WHO WAS ADAM LYLE? - Adam Lyle (1785 – 1811)
was a highwayman that reached the peak of his career by stealing over £126 (pounds) from a merchant on the road to Stirling. Unfortunately for him he was soon caught, after buying an extremely expensive pair of shoes. He was hanged on March 27,1811, in the Grassmarket, Edinburgh. It is believed that he still nightly haunts the Old Town’s closes and courtyards, terrifying locals and tourists alike.
WHO IS THE MAD MONK OF THE COWGATE? - For hundreds of years the Cowgate was home to many monasteries. However, in the mid-1600s, part of Blackfriars monastery was mysteriously burned to the ground. The ghost of one of the monks, terribly burned and utterly insane, is said to haunt the Cowgate to this day. While some speculate that this tragic spirit is attempting to find his long-lost home, others claim that he is merely trying to get into one of the many pubs which later came to replace it…
|The Australian family looking for the Mad Monk!|
THE MAD MONK RUNS UP AN ALLEYWAY
The Mad Monk followed us up a small alleyway, called a "close" because the buildings were close to each other.
You can see by the picture here how close the buildings were to each other. That's the way the old city was built. Because of these high buildings, the city tended to be very dark.
As Adam Lyle led our group up the close, the Mad Monk ran up behind us!
The only ones on the tour with us were a family of three from Australia- a mom, dad and teenage girl who was scared silly.
The Mad Monk sprayed us with water at one point, too, after he disappeared and re-appeared later (and again, startled everyone). It was a lot of laughs because we never knew where he'd show up.
ONE OF THE STORIES: Agnes Fynnie died in 1641. She was an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed fishwife, who abused and cursed the locals whenever they refused to buy her wares. In fact, she was so disliked that she was accused of witchcraft, and managed to attract the largest number of charges in Scottish history (legend has it that this was the only thing she ever attracted). She was worryitt (strangled and burned) in 1641, on the Castlehill, but it is claimed that she can still be heard, venting her wrath on passers-by...
This was a great tour and we highly recommend it! For more info, it's called The Cadies and Witchery Tours www.witcherytours.com/
|L to R: Mad Monk, Tom, Adam Lyle and Rob|