5 – The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh
Many haunted pubs embrace their spooky histories – it’s good for business. Certainly the Banshee Labyrinth isn’t shy of mentioning the spirits that may lurk behind the fruit machine. Unlike our other pubs, the Banshee has arrived on an already haunted spot, the infamous Edinburgh Vaults. Lurking under the South Bridge when it was completed in the late 18th century, the Vaults were soon colonised by the city’s cheapest taverns and brothels, their darkness proving an irresistible lure to local ne’er do wells, including body snatchers Burke and Hare, whose entrepreneurial thirst for fresh corpses brought them in search of people who wouldn’t be missed. Soon the Vaults were one of the city’s worst slums, housing the very poorest of the poor in unhealthy, lawless style. The Banshee’s particular claim to ghostly fame is the scream of the beast after which it is named. This was heard as the pub was being refurbished. One of the workmen who heard it was phoned soon afterwards to be told of a death in the family. If you can handle the thrash metal nights and fetish clubs, you too can enjoy an evening of drinks flying against the wall for no reason.