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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 07/02/12

Monday, July 2, 2012

GHOSTLY TALES AND HORRORS OF EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND!




   One of the all time favorite places for ghost sightseeing, is Edinburgh Scotland...It is so unlike anywhere else you could visit,  including many areas of England.  One of the aspects of the city that is so fascinating, is the history, the ghostly, unexplainable stories and legends that are so much a part of the Royal Mile, the hub of the ghastly goings on which have been talked and written about for centuries. Back to those later...
The city itself is full of  excitement, all the people hustling and bustling through the streets as you take  in all the sights...
    And those sights? There are so many of them, but none can compare with the sight of Edinburgh Castle...what an imposing structure, it's what gives the town that erie feeling, including the very beginnings of the spot where it was built, on the site of a dead volcano, called Castle Rock.



Lets play circle the ghost game!


    Inside the Castle people flock to visit tiny St. Margaret's chapel, which had been built in the 12th century and, not to be missed, are the States apartments, the most popular one, the bedroom where Queen Mary, Queen of Scots, gave birth to James VI, who later became James the first, King of England. Another room you just can't miss is the Crown Chamber, here you find on display the Royal Crown, the Sword of Scotland and the Royal Scepter. But the most eerie are the French Prisons. where huge storerooms had been turned into a prison and a dungeon during the 18th century, hundreds, maybe thousands, of Napoleons soldiers were imprisoned there. During their captivity they carved their initials and pictures onto the walls, still visible today. Napoleonic graffiti!
On the other side of the Royal Mile, Edinburgh's oldest street, is the Palace of Holyrood...this palace is filled with mysterious hidden chambers where all sorts of strange goings on took place, including murders and political intrigues throughout the centuries. Today, the Queen of England still takes her yearly trips to the Palace and, during those visits, tourists aren't allowed in. You can tell when she is there by the royal flag displayed above the palace. We were lucky to have been there when she wasn't there so we had a most interesting tour of the place including the old ruined Abbey...these ruins are quite a sight and has some very interesting stories to tell as well.


I left my heart and the rest of my body in Edinburgh Scotland


    But I've decided to concentrate on what seemed to intrigue me the most, The Royal Mile itself with all the spine chilling legends of witches, ghouls, ghosts, and quite a few really disturbing tales of the mile. Most of which remain unexplained!
    If you have any interest at all in ghostly doings, witches and things that go bump in the night then the Royal Mile is a walk you must take....This famous mile, an old cobbled street, runs from the Castle to the Palace and, in every nook and cranny, there are stories to be told of the past...The historial John Knox house, from the 15th century, is certainly interesting to tour, Knox began the Presbyterian Church of Scotland with all the reforms that went with it and did not make the citizens very happy at the time...this is the only original Timbered house left and the hand painted ceilings inside are still intact...Knox is buried on the property.






    You can also tour the Gladstone Estate from the 17th century..once owned by a merchant of great wealth, the tour shows off the original furnishings and decorations, all quite elaborate, demonstratring the taste of the times...Gladstone Estate is run by the National Trust and conveys the feeling that it's still lived in today.
    There are quite a few other historic sights to see on this Royal Mile but it was the alleyways and the small neighborhoods called "The Close", where strange goings on have always intrigued those who have been there...myself included!
    These alleys leading off the main street certainly have had their share of "ghostly going's on....The most famous is called Mary Kings Close....It was here that the plague struck very hard, killing more people than anywhere else during the epidemic of 1645...in order to prevent the disease from spreading the magistrate sealed off the Close so, all those poor unfortunates, who were within the enclosure were trapped and doomed to death.


Nothing like a little fog to make a castle more eary


    Those who were outside couldn't get in either so more tenements were hastily built for the destitute but eventually the homeless made their way back inside the Close...Soon strange ghost stories were told, folks who died of the disease were seen again, more and more stories came out, even about dogs that fell sick, roaming the streets. It became so bad, that the Close was eventually abandoned. Then a fire broke out destroying all that had been left behind to decay and rot.....Now there is a big gate where once the entranceway stood leading off into different directions.......Nobody but nobody is allowed in, but there are whispers in the night, are they keeping us out? Or something in?
    Another tale that has been documented has to do with music which seems to come from under the ground The story goes like this: once there was an underground tunnel that ran from the castle dungeon all the way to the Palace...a young piper was told to explore the pathway and was ordered play the entire time, so those above could follow him. But, only halfway through, the music stopped. This poor young man was never seen again... It is said that pipe music can be heard today.



Supposedly some pictures of ghosts


    Other stories are rampant. One, called the death coach...a ghostly wagon is recorded in some old documents as being seen, just before a disaster strikes, galloping from the Palace to the Castle led by a headless horse, breathing fire as it races through the streets.
    There was always something strange going on in and around the Mile. Our story wouldn't be complete without a tale of witches. Edinburgh was once thought to be the principal center for witchcraft. Between 1479 and 1722, more than 300 women were burned to death on Castle hill after being found guilty of "working with the devil". Today a plaque in a wall at the foot of the esplanade, opposite Cannonball house, marks the spot. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Presbyterians of Scotland, under strong Puritan influence, gave the go ahead for the burning, no matter how flimsy the evidence.



Some of the catacombs

   Most of the women had probably never committed a crime, but we have to remember, those ancestors were extremely superstitious and truly believed that some seemingly ordinary women took the form of old hags at nightfall, to fly through the air on brooms, dispensing evil spells like confetti. They were not allowed any defense and were always proven guilty. Even some men were considered witches and were similarly punished.
Edinburgh is also famous for some very heinous crimes and murders...In 1827-1828, two men, Burke and Hare, are said to have strangled 16 people, at least, in order to sell the bodies for medical experiments and research...at first corpses were dug up from graves but those gruesome men decided it was easier to kill then to dig...
    And, last but not least, one of the most famous pubs, Deacon Brodies Tavern, opened in 1806, (which is pointed out when you are on a tour), has another myth most of us have heard about...Deacon Brodie, the owner of this tavern, is said to be the inspiration of Robert Louis Stevenson's famous book, "The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"....Brodie was a model citizen by day but at night he was said to be a thief and probably a murderer....He ended up being hung in October, 1778.....today, the tavern is a very popular one for locals and of course visitors, many who come just to say they have been there, to the house of Dr. Jekyll.



The ghost in the pictures is circled


    The Castle itself has many stories of strange sightings and things that go bump in the night...It would be no surprise since so many people had been murdered or just disappeared after being brought to the dungeon.
    It seems to me that if ghoulish happenings, unexplained noises, witches tales and strange disappearances seem to happen often along this famous Royal Mile, they shouldn't come as any surprise...with all that went on for so many centuries, I certainly wouldn't want to be there alone, on All Hallows Eve, or, at any time, for that matter...Would you?

HOLIDAYS TO CELEBRATE IN JULY!




    When you think of July holidays, Independence Day is probably the first that comes to mind. There are a lot of holidays in July; here is a list of observances to celebrate each day this month - and, of course, ideas for clebrating them.





July 1: Zip Code Day - Honor this holiday by memorizing the zip codes for all the neighboring cities.
July 2: I Forgot Day - Today you don't need an excuse; just say, "Sorry - I forgot."

July 3: Compliment Your Mirror Day - Take a good look in the mirror and compliment the person you see on the other side.

July 4: Independence from Meat Day - No, it's not just Independence Day on the 4th of July; it's also Independence from Meat Day!

July 6: Take Your Webmaster to Lunch Day - I wonder who made up this holiday...?








July 7: Chocolate Day - Finally, it's here! You can eat all the chocolate you want - for the whole day - without the guilt.

July 8: SCUD Day (Savor the Comic, Unplug the Drama) - Sounds like a scuddy holiday.

July 9: Martyrdom of the Bab - I was curious who the Bab was, so I looked it up. No wonder I didn't know what it was; Martyrdom of the Bab is a Baha'i holiday. Silly me.

July 10: Don't Step on a Bee Day - Every day should be don't step on a bee day. I've done it. It hurts.

July 11: World Population Day - You make up less than a billionth of the world population. Don't you feel special?









July 12: International Town Criers Day - I bet you didn't know the town crier had a day of his own, did you?

July 13: Embrace Your Geekness Day - Come on, we all have an inner geekness. Embrace it!

July 15: Gummi Worm Day - Mmm...another excuse to celebrate sugar!

July 16: Hot Dog Night - How will you celebrate Hot Dog Night 2010?








July 17: Yellow Pig Day - If you can't find a yellow pig, just paint one yellow. I'm sure no one will notice.
July 18: National Ice Cream Day - Have it any way you want.

July 19: National Get Out of the Dog House Day - What were you doing in there, anyway?

July 20: National Lollipop Day - Jeez, whoever makes up the national holidays sure likes his or her sugar! I won't complain, though.

July 21: Legal Drinking Age Day - Hmm, I wonder what you're going to do on Legal Drinking Age Day?








July 22: Rat-catchers Day - What would we do without them??

July 23: Gorgeous Grandma Day - To celebrate all you hot grandmas out there!

July 24: Tell an Old Joke Day - Tell everyone you see the oldest, moldiest joke you've got.

July 25: Thread the Needle Day - Apparently this is a game, but I've never played it.

July 26: One Voice - You've only got one voice, so be sure to use it.








July 27: Take Your Houseplant for a Walk Day - What?? You've never taken your houseplant for a walk? No wonder it's getting so big.

July 28: National Milk Chocolate Day - Wow, are there really two days in a month dedicated to chocolate?!

July 29: Rain Day - I wonder if it always rains on July 29th...








July 30: Cheesecake Day - This is my favorite, so make sure you don't forget to celebrate Cheesecake Day.

JULY FOOD HOLIDAYS!!






Beyond Independence Day Barbeques, There’s A National Food Holiday Every Day!
It's National Food Day of?
Day-Long Observances
Ice Cream Sundae Day is the third Sunday in July

July 1 -

July 2 - National Anisette Day






July 3 - National Chocolate Wafer Day / Eat Beans Day

July 4 - National Barbecued Spareribs Day

July 4 - Caesar Salad Birthday

July 4 - Sidewalk Egg Frying Day





July 5 - National Apple Turnover Day

July 5 - Graham Cracker Day

July 6 - National Fried Chicken Day

July 7 - National Strawberry Sundae Day

July 7 - Chocolate Day






July 7 - Macaroni day

July 7 - Ice Cream Cone Day

July 8 - National Milk Chocolate with Almonds Day

July 9 - National Sugar Cookie Day

July 10 - National Pina Colada Day






July 11 - National Blueberry Muffin Day

July 11 - Vegetarian Food Day

July 12 - National Pecan Pie Day

July 12 - National Blueberry Muffin Day

July 12 - Eat Your Jello Day (Bill Cosby's Birthday)





July 13 - National Ice Cream Day

July 13 - National French Fries Day

July 14 - National Grand Marnier Day

July 15 - National Tapioca Pudding Day

July 15 - Gummi Worm Day





July 16 - National Corn Fritters Day

July 16 - Ice Cream Sundae Day

July 16 - Fresh Spinach Day

July 16 - National Ice Cream Day

July 17 - National Peach Ice Cream Day 






July 18 - National Caviar Day

July 19 - National Daiquiri Day

July 20 - National Lollipop Day

July 20 - National Ice Cream Soda Day

July 20 - Fortune Cookie Day 






July 21 - National Junk Food Day

July 21 - National Ice Cream Day

July 21 - National Creme Brulee Day

July 22 - National Penuche Fudge Day

July 22 - Maple Syrup Day

July 23 - National Vanilla Ice Cream Day





July 23 - National Hot Dog Day

July 24 - National Tequila Day

July 25 - National Hot Fudge Sundae Day

July 26 - National Coffee Milkshake Day

July 27 - National Scotch Day

July 27 - National Cream Brulee Day 





 

July 28 - National Milk Chocolate Day

July 29 - National Lasagna Day

July 29 - Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day

July 30 - National Cheesecake Day

July 31 - National Raspberry Cake Day





July 31 - Cotton Candy Day

July 31 - Jump for Jelly Beans Day