Empty

Total: £0.00

Happy Burke-Day to the World's Smallest Museum!

By Alexander Clapperton, January 27, 2018 - 2:07pm
The Mad Monk celebrates with William Burke's skin

Has it been a year already? Yes, this weekend our small but perfectly-formed exhibit of awfulness celebrates its frightfully festive first anniversary.

The William Burke Museum, which displays only ONE exhibit, a calling card case made out of the skin of notorious Edinburgh "bodysnatcher" William Burke, celebrates its first birthday on 28th January 2018, exactly 189 years after the execution of William Burke which took place on the 28th January 1829.

What is a jumper-ooter?

By Adam Lyal, January 9, 2018 - 5:19pm
Agnes Fynnies numbering two, lining up a "gardie loo!"

The term jumper-ooter (or jooter, for short) was  invented by our co-founders Robin Mitchell and Colin Macphail on a warm summer's night in June 1984. In those ancient pre-jooter mullet-haired days of auld, Robin and Colin, resplendent in the full Highland garb, conducted personal walking tours of Edinburgh's Royal Mile.

I see no reason...

By Adam Lyal, November 5, 2017 - 7:31pm
The Gunpowder Plotters, with added Lyal

Although we have recently been preoccupied with some other popular-culture boondoggle that apparently ought to be worthy of a scribble, this year I thought I'd focus my attention on that other festive date that's often a bit of an afterthought, falling as it does in the wake of that merchandise-bloated celebration of death and all. I speak, of course, of Guy Fawkes' Night.

The It Ghoul

By Adam Lyal, October 12, 2017 - 4:07pm
Pennylyal. Or Lyalwise. Whatever.

It has been a while (if ever) since your corpsish correspondent has ruminated upon matters of contemporary cinema (or the "wazzock's lantern" as it was affectionately known by people living centuries after my death), but a recent release has made it justifiable.

Princess prepares to pump again

By Web Monster, July 3, 2017 - 3:04pm
Princess Pumpalot: The Super-Farting Bean Mystery front cover

As our keenest followers will know, Witchery Tours founder Robin Mitchell also created the windy, rugby-loving Princess Pumpalot in the successful children's book of the same name.

The Princess and her Wiffyville chums then took a step further, jumping from the page to the stage at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013. They haven't left since, with 2017 marking an astounding fifth year of full-throated flatulent fun.

The Life and Crimes of Adam Lyal

By Alexander Clapperton, March 27, 2017 - 5:01pm
Adam Lyal (deceased)

As today marks two hundred and six years since the execution of Adam Lyal (nice round number), we take the opportunity to look back at the life of Edinburgh's best-known working stiff.

Almost nothing has been learned of Adam's parentage or early life, other than that he was born in 1785 (he gave his age as 25 at his arrest), and had a younger brother John, born in 1789, and a sister Catharine whose age is unknown.

At a Crossroads

By Alexander Clapperton, March 10, 2017 - 3:42pm
Robin Mitchell as Adam Lyal and Cameron Pirie as Agnes Fynnie at the Loretto Lecture

Our co-Founder and the original Adam Lyal (deceased), Robin Mitchell, described his recent visit to Loretto School in Musselburgh to deliver the Loretto Lecture as 'a real joy'.

On This Day... 12 February 1829: Knox! Knox! Who's there? A lynch-mob

By Alexander Clapperton, February 12, 2017 - 3:30pm
Doctor Robert Knox (contemporary sketch)

12th February 1829 - Just over two weeks after the execution of William Burke for the notorious West Port murders, a crowd gathers on Calton Hill. Bearing an effigy of Dr Robert Knox, they march to his house in Newington and there, after hanging their effigy from a tree in view of his window and setting it alight, stage a riot.

Anatomical Anniversary Antics

By Adam Lyal, January 26, 2017 - 3:09pm
Skeleton of William Burke, in Edinburgh University's medical school

The twenty-eighth of January is a date very well-known to all my ghosts: it's the date when, in 1829, the notorious "Body Snatcher" (or more accurately, multiple murderer) William Burke made his appointment with the hangman's noose at Edinburgh's Mercat Cross, on The Royal Mile. The execution is said to have been attended by a crowd numbering in the thousands, with the cheer that arose at the fateful moment being clearly audible three miles away in the port of Leith.

Pages