Close to the Botanical Gardens, in a particularly attractive area of Edinburgh, is the site where once stood a row of houses, now demolished. One in particular, number 17, held a particularly gruesome secret.
Not long after the turn of the nineteenth century, when the house had lain empty for some years, it was bought by an enterprising husband and wife who wanted to use it as a boarding house. But it was not long before they noticed that one of the attic rooms had a strange and unpleasant atmosphere. People were reluctant to enter the room, let alone use it. Sometimes it seemed as if there was something, or someone, in the room. On one particular occasion a young girl who had been employed to help with the housekeeping went into the attic room only to re-emerge at once, screaming hysterically.
She collapsed with the shock of whatever she had seen and when revived could not be enticed to put into words what had terrified her so. Word soon spread about the room in number 17, and students at the university began to dare each other to take up residence there. The young man who finally took up the dare was named Andrew Muir. It is said that, rather than taking on the challenge out of bravado, this particular young man was quite religious and was interested from a spiritual point of view.
He approached the owners of the house and offered to spend a night in the room. Anxious to put an end to the rumours of something dreadful going on in their boarding house, the owners agreed. They gave Andrew Muir a bell, along with strict instructions to sound the alarm if he saw or heard anything out of the ordinary. Then they bade him goodnight and good luck. The other inhabitants of the house made themselves ready for bed and retired for the night, leaving Andrew Muir to keep his lonely vigil in the attic room.
They were all in bed asleep, and everydiing was quiet when all of a sudden the)' were woken by the noise of the bell and an accompanying scream of fear and horror. They all jumped from dieir beds and rushed upstairs to the attic to find out what had happened. When they opened the door of the attic room, a terrible sight met their eyes .
Andrew Muir lay dead with the bell at his side. On his face was a look of abject terror. He had seen something so awful, it would appear, that the life had literally been frightened out of him. After that, the attic room was never used again. The house was demolished some twenty years later. Durham | Loch Ness | Abbotsford | Berkshire | Bruntsfield House | Canterbury | Devon | Devonshire | Edinburgh | Ely | Flat Rock | Ghost lady | Haunted | Haunted Flat in Manchester | Ireland | Lady in Black | London | London | Northern England | Nottingham | Orkney | Perthshire | Pontefract | Rathfarnham | Redcar | Rotherham | Scotland | South Africa | Steeped in sorrow | Suffolk | Surrey | Torquay, Devon | Tyrone | West Germany |
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