The most haunted places in Scotland ranked for 'paranormal activity'

Scotland's cities boast hundreds of recorded paranormal sightings, from mysterious graveyards to eerie theatres.

Scotland’s most haunted places ranked for paranormal activity Getty Images

From medieval alleyways to eerie castles, misty landscapes to hidden histories Scotland has some of the creepiest ghostly goings-on in the UK.

With spooky season upon us and Halloween just around the corner, VisitScotland has compiled a list of the most haunted hotspots across the country.

The list was curated using data sourced from the Paranormal Activity Database, an encyclopaedia that records supernatural sightings, to determine how many ghostly tales have come from each location. 


Old entry gates to Greyfriars cemetery in Edinburgh.Getty Images

It may be no surprise that the capital city topped the charts for the most instances of supernatural occurrences, with 106 recorded since the database began.

Greyfriars Kirkyard has become a fixture of ghostlore with many gravestones notorious for harbouring spooky tales.

The paranormal activity documented in the database includes a haunting tale of restless spirits, tormented by the mistreatment they endured in life, who are now seeking retribution from the living. 

Among them are numerous reports of George MacKenzie, known as the MacKenzie Poltergeist, who supposedly haunts Greyfriars Kirkyard.

Once a merciless persecutor of the Scottish Covenanters in the 17th century, his spirit was reportedly unleashed in 1999 when an intruder disturbed his final resting place – the Black Mausoleum. 

For a full ghost-hunting experience, the Mercat Tours’ Vaults Tour of Edinburgh is recommended by the tourism body. 


Victorian tombs and monuments in Glasgow's Necropolis cemetery at sunset.iStock

Scotland’s largest city features in the Paranormal Activity Database from the grandeur of Glasgow Cathedral to the mysterious depths of the Necropolis. 

While Pitt the phantom may be a literary creation by Scottish poet Brian Whittingham, the Mitchell Library in Glasgow has left its own spectral imprint on the minds of its staff.

With its iconic Victorian architecture and vast collections, the library holds tales of inexplicable spooky occurrences – particularly on the second floor.

To fully immerse in the adventures of Glaswegian ghosts, VisitScotland recommends the Gothic Glasgow walking tour.


Perth, River TayiStock

Perth boasts 63 paranormal locations according to the database with a number of haunted places to discover.

A visit to Perth Theatre is a must for anyone seeking ghostly tales.

Legend has it that a grey woman, dressed in period attire and emanating the scent of aged tobacco smoke, wanders the hallowed halls.

Two actors in a play put on by the Perth Repertory Theatre in Perth, the 'Fair City', formerly the capital of Scotland in 1955.Getty Images

There are even reports of a chilling photograph capturing a misty grey figure on a balcony, silently observing some workers carrying out restorations below.

More stories from Perth’s dark, spooky past can be discovered on the Walking Tour of Perth. 


The King's College Chapel, built in the late 15th century, is the oldest building of the University of Aberdeen.Getty Images

With 22 paranormal sightings according to the paranormal activity database, Aberdeen offers a compelling mix of history and mystery.

Aberdeen Arts Centre, an independent arts venue, makes its mark among haunted places, with tales of a lingering maid on the old top floor and supernatural sightings along the corridors.

Among the chilling narratives, the Green Room is probably the scariest where reports suggest the existence of a floating face. 

To get into the haunting atmosphere, VisitScotland recommends the Crime & Punishment tour of Aberdeen.


Steeped in centuries of history, Stirling exudes a mysterious ambiance with many supernatural tales.

The city has 19 mentions of paranormal activity in the database including a quite surprising one – The Tolbooth. It might be a popular music venue, but according to the database, there’s been multiple ghost sightings there.

As the site of a former jail, the database notes that the ghost of former prisoner Allan Mair supposedly roams the building still dressed in his jail uniform.

The Stirling Ghost Walk is the perfect way to explore with a mix of comedy, drama and storytelling.


Dundee’s Verdant Works, known as Scotland’s Jute Museum, stands as a haunting hotspot.Google Maps

There have been 14 entries into the paranormal activity database.

Dundee’s Verdant Works, known as Scotland’s Jute Museum, stands as a haunting hotspot with many a scary tale that include reports of staff and visitors hearing the sound of phantom footsteps, a lady in grey clothing, a child’s handprints appearing on surfaces around the building and the sound of machinery in an otherwise empty factory.

To learn more about Dundee’s supernatural sights, check out The Vaults tour of Dundee.


Inverness has 12 paranormal sightings on the database, including Eden Court Theatre.Google Maps

With a captivating blend of Highland charm and mystery, Inverness offers many ghostly tales and supernatural folklore.

The city has 12 paranormal sightings on the database, including Eden Court Theatre.

Sightings include an usher, who was alone at the time and reported feeling a strong tug on her shirt collar; technicians reported witnessing strange ghostly figures standing in the auditorium; and even a small child was seen standing in the wings during a performance.

For the ultimate ghostly experience, VisitScotland recommends the Inverness Ghost Walk tour.


SNS Group

With its ancient abbey and centuries-old royal connections, the cobbled streets of Dunfermline hold a rich history.

The city has been featured eight times in the database with the Alhambra Theatre being a particularly common hotspot.

According to the paranormal database, a mysterious figure draped in black has been seen traversing the aisles.

The Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline is a particularly common hotspot for spooky sightings.Google Maps

People are torn between two leading theories of who the figure may be. The first is an Italian actress, rumoured to have met her demise in a fall during the 1920s.

The second is a lingering monk from the theatre’s enigmatic past.

The spooky vibes extend to the old projection room, where visitors recount unsettling sensations, adding an extra layer of haunted mystique to this historic venue.

If you’re looking for an interactive experience, the Ghost Walk with Haunting Nights would make for a perfect haunted evening. 

For more spooky inspiration and a first-person experience of two ghostly tours, visit VisitScotland’s Ghosts in Scotland page.

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