While it certainly isn’t the first ancient graveyard claimed to be under an ominous curse, Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh, Scotland may be one of the scariest and potentially most hazardous to visit — at least according to those who have returned with bruises, scratches and even mysterious bites after touring the grounds.
Paranormal investigators have conducted numerous sweeps of the 16th-century Scottish cemetery, and the consensus among most them is that the focal point of the most violent supernatural activity, according to the accounts of witnesses, is the crypt of notorious attorney George Mackenzie, whose sadistic 17th century reign of terror against opponents of King Charles II gained him the nickname “Bluidy” or “Bloody Mackenzie.”
Thousands of these prisoners were reportedly held within Greyfriars during Mackenzie’s tenure, and their decapitated heads were said to be impaled on the yard’s spiked gates as examples to anyone who resisted Charles II’s rule.
Research duo Dana Matthews and Greg Newkirk, curators of Planet Weird and paranormal news site Week in Weird [also the same team whose “Paramuseum” tours the country with allegedly cursed curiosities like the infamous “Nightmare Statue”], have researched the site and the horrific accounts of aggressive paranormal activity reported there over the years.
According to the site, the most notorious of these took place in 1999, when a homeless man seeking shelter broke into Mackenzie’s tomb, and is said to have been driven mad with terror, screaming that the sadistic ghost had been released to walk the earth again.
Since then, hundreds of accounts of alleged supernatural attacks have been documented at Greyfriars, including many reports of people passing out from fright, and in the most extreme cases, emerging from the yard with burns, nosebleeds and broken bones. It’s said that the easiest way to incur the wrath of Macenzie’s spirit is to recite the following rhyme:
“Bluidy Mackingie, come oot if ye daur, lift the sneck and draw the bar!”
For more details on the site’s haunted history and the cruel and brutal attacks reported there, check out Dana Matthews’ coverage at Week in Weird.