During the modernization of the Edinburgh’s Old Town, an old close under its city was built. The underground city acted as The Royal Exchange’s foundation when it was constructed in 1753. Some hundred years later, the underground street remains unscathed and now serves as one of Edinburgh’s most-famous attractions.
Seemingly, what makes the underground street a tourist spot is Mary King’s Close. It is an ancient Edinburgh close that got its name from Alexander King’s daughter Mary. It is said that the nobleman owned numerous properties in the underground street and several areas close to it. Mary King’s Close comprises of many narrow streets and tenement houses. The close was closed for several years, but later re-opened for the public to see. Mary King’s Close projects a mysterious character that intrigued many visitors around the world, the reason why the close has become one of Edinburgh’s famed attraction.
Mary King’s Close is blanketed with urban myths, ghost stories, and haunting narrative, the primary reason why the close has stirred interest and curiosity over the years. It is said that in 1645, a plague struck the underground’s tiny community. To contain the disease, the city council decided to lock the infected tenants inside Mary King’s Close and left them there to die. Due to this happening, the close was named The Street of Sorrows. It is also the reason why the Mary King’s Close is known to be one of the most-haunted places in Scotland.
One mysterious spot in Mary King’s Close is this corner filled with toys and dolls of different kinds. The act of “offering” toys started when paranormal experts sighted little girl Annie crying in one of the quarters of Mary King’s Close. According to the story, Annie’s parents left her upon knowing that the girl had the disease. Not only Annie was abandoned by her parents, they also deprived her of the only doll she got. When she died, her soul never left Mary King’s Close. The paranormal experts came back with a doll in tow and narrated that the little girl appeared comforted and loved after giving her a doll. Nobody really knows if this story is true, but it is so famous that it becomes an inviting element of Mary King’s Close. Now in the modern times, most of the visitors going to Mary King’s Close make sure that they have a doll to offer to the restless soul of little girl Annie.
If you are fascinated by stories like these, the guided tour of Mary King’s Close must be part of your itinerary when you go to Edinburgh. The tour takes place every 15 minutes starting at 10am. The Mary King’s Close is a popular attraction that draws crowd from all over the world, so to save yourself from any hassle, it is best that you book in advance for this trip.