Close Fest – Ten Years of the Real Mary King’s Close (31 October)
This year, Mary King’s Close will be celebrating 10 years since it opened its doors to tourists. The Close reopened to the public back in April 2003, and today it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. Mary King’s Close is an area of underground streets located under the Old Town area of Edinburgh.
The 10 year celebrations will close with ‘Close Fest’. This week long, spooky Halloween party promises to provide a mixture of comedy, cake, live music and, of course, a scare or two thrown in for good measure.
The close is named after Mary King, who was a prominent businesswoman in the area in the 1630’s. Her father, Arthur King owned a few properties in the close in the 17th century. The Royal Exchange now lies on top of the close.
Back in the 17th century, the streets of Edinburgh were filthy, with open sewers running down the middle of the street, and rubbish piling up on street corners. The sewerage ran into the old Nor’ Loch which is now the location of Princes Street Gardens.
The close is thought by many to be the most haunted place in Edinburgh. The ghost of a girl, ‘Little Annie’, is said to have scared the wits out a Japanese psychic when she visited in 1992. Many tourists now leave toys in Annie’s room, giving her something to play with when the lights go down and she’s left alone in the close…or is she?
In the past, the close consisted of high-rising tenement buildings, with buildings reaching over seven storeys in height. The upper levels of these buildings were demolished to make way for the new chambers which would sit at street level with the other buildings.
Look forward to exploring and uncovering more about the dark tales and strange paranormal goings-on of the close at Close Fest this October.
Location: The Real May King’s Close. 2 Warriston’s Close, High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1PG
Date: 31 October 2013