Michael Portillo filming on the Witchery Tour
May 21st, 2011
Former MP and television broadcaster Michael Portillo recently filmed on the Witchery Murder and Mystery Tour for his BBC documentary about Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond.
This is not the first time Michael has been on the Witchery Tour. According to our Crusty Archivist, Michael attended a Witchery Tour away back in the mists of time (1992). Apparently the guide, back in the day, made an amusing quip about the Maastricht Treaty. Well at least he thought it was amusing.
To view a short clip of Adam Lyal (deceased) from the documentary please click here. Needless to say Mr Lyal did not stand for election this time round to give Mr Salmond a better chance of winning. It worked!
Death Day – 27th March 2011
March 29th, 2011
Adam Lyal 1811 – 2011
January 26th, 2011
On Wednesday the 27th of March 1811, Adam Lyal was hanged as a highwayman in the Grassmarket of Edinburgh. He was 26 years old. Brief mentions of his execution were made in The Scotsman and Edinburgh Courant newspapers, but his crimes brought him little notoriety . . . until now.
In 1985 we resurrected Adam Lyal from the city records and trained him up to haunt the closes and courtyards of the Royal Mile on our Witchery Murder and Mystery Tour. Since then only 45 brave souls (sometimes known as tour guides) have worn the pale face and black cloak of Adam Lyal, which is not many considering we have been wandering the streets of Edinburgh on a nightly basis for 25 years.
Sunday 27th March 2011 marks the 200th anniversary of the execution of Adam Lyal. We will be celebrating this special day in a number of unusual ways. If you are planning to book a tour for that weekend it is advisable to reserve places well in advance.
December 22nd, 2010
Like everyone at the moment, our resident ghosts have been trampling through the snow and slush, continuing to provide tours around the streets and alleyways of old Edinburgh. Apart from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day our tours will be running come hail, snow or shine.
We would like to say a big thank you to all our customers who have supported us during the past year. We are all looking forward to 2011, a year which marks the 200th anniversary of the demise of Adam Lyal. We will tell you more about this in March 2011.
Meantime please have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Hogmanay!
Burke & Hare: Read All About It
October 31st, 2010
One of the most popular stories on the Witchery Murder and Mystery Tour concerns the gruesome tale of the notorious bodysnatchers, William Burke and William Hare. Two Irishmen, who in 1828, supplied the Medical School with dead bodies for dissection.
Our guides in recent days have noticed a heightened interest in William Burke and William Hare, probably due to the recent release of John Landis’s new movie Burke and Hare starring Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis.
This case remains one of the most terrible in our long and bloody history, and now you can see it through the eyes of the people at the time as we have produced a full replica of the four-page newspaper, which dedicates an unprecedented two pages to covering the bizarre and gruesome case of Burke and Hare. More details of the newspaper can be found here.
After his public execution in January 1829, Burke was publicly dissected (like his victims) and a card case was made from skin taken from the back of his left hand. In 1988, we purchased this card case at auction and loaned it to the Police Information Centre in the Royal Mile. If you are in Edinburgh, it is worth taking a jaunt down there to have a look (it is free).
Book Early For Halloween
September 13th, 2010
Halloween falls on a Sunday this year which means that spaces on our tours during the last weekend of October are keenly sought after. Please book early for the evenings of Friday 29th October, Saturday 30th October and Sunday 31st October (Halloween).
Do ghosts come out on film?
August 9th, 2010
Canadian TV show “A World of Wonders” (WOW) was filming at the Cadies shop in West Bow and on the Witchery Murder & Mystery Tour on Sunday 8th August. “A World of Wonders” a TV series that allows viewers to become armchair travellers as they criss-cross the globe, delighting in its wonders, people, cultures, colours, sounds and flavours.
More details of WOW HERE.
Adam Lyal (deceased) on Facebook
August 5th, 2010
Our main Ghost, Mr Adam Lyal (deceased) is now on Facebook. Considering he was executed in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket in March 1811, this is a significant achievement. It’s good to see our 225-year-old ex-highway robber keeping up to date.
His Facebook page is found HERE.
August 5th, 2010
From The Cadies & Witchery Tours back book catalogue comes Grave Robbers. Available on this site or in our shop.
After years of sleeping peacefully, the deceased dignitaries of Old Edinburgh are about to get a nasty surprise…
Grave-digger and funeral enthusiast Cameron Carter lives a relatively quiet life. Until a misplaced shovel cracks open a coffin lid and reveals a hidden fortune, that is. Nearly one hundred and seventy years after the trial of Scotland’s notorious body snatchers, William Burke and William Hare, the ancient trade of grave robbing returns to the town’s cemeteries.
Forming an unholy union with a small time crook, Adam, Cameron is drawn into a web of crime that involves a bogus American Scholars’ Society, chocolate chip ice cream and Steve McQueen. Their sacriligious scheming doesn’t quite go to plan however, and events begin to spiral dangerously beyond Cameron’s control.
Will our hero pull the tour guide of his dreams?
Will his partner in crime ever shift those microwaves?
Is there an afterlife?
In Robin Mitchell’s rude and darkly comic novel, all the answers will be exhumed.
Warning – This book contains strong language and may not be suitable for younger readers.
Adam Lyal’s Edinburgh on DVD
June 20th, 2010
Adam Lyal Edinburgh DVD
This new disc combines Adam Lyal’s first two haunting travelogues — Adam Lyal’s Royal Mile and Georgian Edinburgh — in a feature-length adventure through the history of Scotland’s Capital.
In the first part Adam delves into the Old Town’s bloody beginnings, rough justice and brushes with the Plague and other disasters (and the odd ghost story). In the second part, we follow the exodus of Edinburgh’s elite into the Georgian New Town, finding that not all of the unpleasantness was left behind…
This disc is an excellent way to learn about Edinburgh’s past, direct from those who were there. The double-sided disc includes both PAL and NTSC TV formats.