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Artist spotlight: Katy Jones

By Adam Lyal, February 14, 2016 - 4:19pm
Witchery Toons character illustrations by Katy Jones

The Cadies & Witchery Tours are proud to support Scottish artists, and our shop on Victoria Street boasts work for sale by several highly talented individuals, but our longest-standing and most prolific contributor has undoubtedly been portrait artist and illustrator Katy Jones.

A trip down Monk's Close

By Adam Lyal, January 22, 2016 - 3:18pm
Monk's Close painting in the Cadies & Witchery Tours shop, 84 West Bow, Edinburgh

There is a unique and remarkable life-size painting in our wee Edinburgh shop which goes by the name of Monk's Close. It was painted by contemporary Scottish artist David Martin, who is not to be confused with the other Scottish artist called David Martin (born in 1737).

A Nonsensical Nativity

By Adam Lyal, December 23, 2015 - 4:03pm
The Witchery Tours is born, as it happened. Photo by Mark Craig

Many moons ago (31 years, whatever that is in moons) in a cold, windy city called Edinburgh, an Angel appeared at the front door of our founder, Mr. Robin Mitchell. "Fear not Robin, your future is bright. You will do tours and become busy. It will be your baby".

However, business premises were badly required; and all Robin had in his possession was £22.87, a scrubbing brush and a second hand Morris 1100.

All the rented office suites were full. "No room in this office block, shove off." said all the estate agents (politely).

The Rise and Fall of Burke & Hare

By Alexander Clapperton, December 3, 2015 - 2:15pm
Burke & Hare visit Edinburgh's Police Information Centre

In the early 1800s, Edinburgh's intellectuals faced a dilemma. The enlightened doctors of the Medical School required a regular supply of human cadavers on which to conduct their research. Their students also needed bodies to study in order to learn anatomy.

Unfortunately, the Law only allowed the bodies of executed criminals to be used for medical research, and a Judge would usually only add this to a criminal's sentence for particularly heinous crimes. Demand for fresh cadavers soon outstripped the number that even the harsh legal establishment of the time could supply.

Meet West Bow Sheba

By Adam Lyal, November 11, 2015 - 4:22pm
West Bow Sheba, The Witchery Tours' guard-dog (and friend)

Residing in our wee shop in Edinburgh's Old Town is a lucky dog known as 'West Bow Sheba'. Trained to stay deathly still at all times, Sheba -- resplendent with four small modest wheels and a scary mask to protect her anonymity -- is presently employed as our in-house guard dog.

Halloween 2015: A Mexican Grave

By Adam Lyal, November 3, 2015 - 5:03pm
(l-r) Adam Lyal Clone #48, Mad Monk, Foule Clenger, another Mad Monk, Adam Lyal Clone #47, William Burke's skeleton, Giant Flea, Phantom Cyclist, yet another Mad Monk, Doctor 'Ell

It's over!

As my gravelly-throated ghouls claw their way gingerly out of the rubble to face another day, I pause to take stock of another memorable night out for the Cadies. It won't surprise anyone that All Hallows' Eve, Samhuinn, or whatever you care to call it, is by far the most exercise our creaky corpses get all year round; I think we covered that last time.

Book now for Halloween

By Adam Lyal, September 25, 2015 - 6:27pm
Ready for another Witchery Tours Halloween (with apologies to Francis Bacon)

It's time to start gearing-up for the most important night of the year for us spooks: Hallowe'en.

On This Day... 21 June 1864: A Drop Too Much

By Alexander Clapperton, June 21, 2015 - 8:39pm
The plaque on the High Street.

If you should happen to be stravaiging The Royal Mile today, near the corner of the High Street and George IV Bridge, you might notice three curious brass plates set into the pavement. If you were to then look around you, you might also notice a brass plaque on the wall nearest these plates, which records that it was on this spot, on the 21st of June 1864, that George Bryce became the last person to be publicly executed in Edinburgh. What it does not record, however, is why he was the last.

Sir Christopher Lee (1922-2015)

By Adam Lyal, June 11, 2015 - 11:27pm
Christoper Lee at the Berlin International Film Festival 2013 (credit: Avda / Wikimedia Commons)

News reaches us today of the death of Christopher Lee, a true giant of the horror genre, and one to whom my wardrobe-mistress owes a considerable debt.

On This Day... 21 May 1650: A Farewell to Arms. And Legs.

By Alexander Clapperton, May 21, 2015 - 9:12pm
The Arms of Montrose (and his sword)

It was on this day in 1650 that James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose, known as "the Great Montrose", was hanged and ritually dismembered for treason at the Mercat Cross in Edinburgh. Despite being one of the King's most loyal supporters, his refusal to compromise his principles had led to his repeatedly falling in and out of favour with those in power; both before and after his death.

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