On the evening of Halloween I headed out with some friends to the nearby town of Falkland to take part in a ghost walk. We’d fancied doing one for a while, and this was conveniently close at hand. Falkland is one of my favourite places to visit in the daytime, a beautiful town with lots of history, but I hadn’t explored it after dark before!
We were led from the gates of Falkland Palace to the cellars, and after spending a short time there “The Undertaker” led us out and through the town to the graveyard (which is unusual in that the bones are not actually there, the gravestones having been moved from another site).
We picked our way carefully through the darkness to the middle of the graveyard, and there we met the spirit of one of the old keepers of Falkland Palace, who was to be our guide.
He led us round the town, telling us about some of the places and people of the past. Balmblae pond, now dried up, was where the witches were drowned. The Covenanters Hotel has been said to have a ghost who appears at a particular window.
It was lovely to see many families going about the traditional Scottish Halloween tradition of “guising” – going round the doors in costume and performing a poem, joke or song.
At the Palace we heard more of the history and were followed around the gardens by many ghostly apparitions! In the gardens, our guide shone a torch up at a plaque I’d seen many times before, but, having just returned the day before from Italy, I immediately thought, “That looks like things I saw in Tuscany!” to then hear the guide say, “And this comes from Florence!”. I later discovered it is from the Hospital of the Innocents, which is now on my list to visit next time I go to Florence!
At the end we returned to the cellars for some snacks and a chat. The performers had all been from a local repertory company, and the majority of them were teenagers. They did a great job!
If you’re going on something like this yourself, I’d recommend taking a torch. We went through many poorly-lit areas with uneven ground, so it would have been very useful.