For hundreds of years into Scotland
s history, the covenanter
s (a religous group of people who were found in Scotland in the 1600's) were persecuted
by the government. Many were kept in an open prison
, actually just a walled in section of mausoleum
s in Greyfriars
Churchyard. Here up to 200 men, women and children were all kept cramped together, many dying of starvation
before they were even brought to trial.
The man who led the prosecution on many of the covenanter's was Sir James MacKenzie of Rosehaugh, who is now ironically buried alongside the prison in his own mausoleum.
Recently, a number of reported paranormal incidents have taken place in the churchyard, the first taking place outside the tomb of MacKenzie, owing to the name (it is not actually believed that the poltergeist is actually his). Since then, a number of attacks took place within the covenanter's prison, which has since been sealed off by the council. Walking tours are very common in Edinburgh, most of them centering on the paranormal, so it was not surprising when the City of the Dead tours paid the council to allow them access to the prison. Since the tour have been running, hundreds of incidents have been reported, and it is claimed by the man who runs the City of the Dead tours Jan Andrew-Henderson , that an attack happens as often as once a week. Although this is likely exaggerated and a number of attacks can be attributed to alcohol or the effects of fear on the mind, there is a disturbing ammount of testimonies from various people who have been on the tour who claim to have fallen unconscious, been hit or in other ways had physical injury inflicted on them, all available in Jan Andrew-Henderson's book The Ghost That Haunted Itself.
In 2001, the Rev. Colin Grant, a renowned paranormal investigator, exorcised the tomb. However, he was apparently drained both mentally and physically in doing so, and left the tomb saying "This will kill me". That it did, only a week later.