Guest author: Roberta Eaton Cheadle ~ An adventure in the Edinburgh vaults

The South Bridge Vaults in Edinburgh, are hidden beneath one of the city’s busiest street, and can be accessed by the public through guided tours of a few of its subterranean chambers. The vaults comprise of a series of approximately one hundred chambers which were built in the nineteen arches of the bridged in 1788.

The vaults were originally used by local businesses as workshops and for storage but they were abandoned when the chambers began to flood. Subsequent to the businesses moving out, the vaults developed into a slum area, inhabited by people needing a place to stay. Unfortunately, the slums also attracted a number of human predators. Crime quickly became rife and the vaults are purported to have become a hunting ground for the infamous body snatchers, Burke and Hare, who murdered people and sold their bodies to Robert Knox, a Scottish anatomist, zoologist, ethologist, physician and lecturer on anatomy in Edinburgh, who used them for dissection at his anatomy lectures.

During our recent visit to Edinburgh, we decided to go on a day ghost tour of the Edinburgh vaults. Our guide pointed out some sights on the bridge and shared some interesting information about them and then took us down into the vaults beneath it.

Entering the famous vaults, we found ourselves in a wide and cold tunnel with three rooms built into its left hand side. I went over and looked into the first chamber. It was a museum which had been used by a group of local Wiccans for their rituals up until fairly recently when the leader of the Wiccan group died. The group had taken responsibility for freeing the vaults from the disturbing presences of the various ghosts a poltergeists that resided in the chambers. The museum featured a pentagram and wands hung from the walls. There was also a stone circle in the centre of the room.

The second chamber was empty and fairly ordinary although it is rumoured to have been inhabited by a poltergeist comprised of the souls of various historical residents who had passed away in the vaults as a result of disease, hunger and crime.

The third vault was the most interesting. It was empty except for a circle of stones in the middle of the room. The guide explained that this room was the one originally chosen by the Wiccan group for their rituals. They had encountered a demon in the room which they were not able to exorcise or convert to positivity.

The demon had plagued the group with sudden drops in temperature, sensations of being pushed or choked and other unpleasant experiences.  The leader of the group attempted to rid the room of this demon by spending the night there and performing healing rituals, but he was unable to rid the vault of the disturbed and unaccommodating spirit. The group laid a circle of stones in the middle of the floor within which the demon’s evil influence is said to be contained.

People who had ventured into the circle were said to have experienced unpleasant sensations and some had become quite hysterical and upset.

I have never had any experience with spirits or poltergeists and have never really given them much thought outside of supernatural or horror stories and books I have read. Michael and I, however, both had most extraordinary experiences in this particular room. I was overcome by fatigue. I have trouble with my upper back and neck due to stress and working for long hours on a computer. While in that room I experienced the most awful pain in my back. My backpack dragged on my shoulders and upper back as if it was filled with something heavy. I also developed a headache.

Within moments of entering this chamber, poor Michael started complaining of feeling nauseous and unwell. He also developed a bad headache. I was glad when we left this chamber and the tour ended shortly thereafter. Michael was ill for the rest of the day and couldn’t eat or exert much energy. It was a most unusual occurrence and it has made me wonder about the negative energy that may be trapped in that particular chamber.

If you would like to go on an Edinburgh ghost tour, you can book here.

A new book from Roberta Eaton Cheadle..

Through the Nethergate

Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own. In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise. With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.

Purchase links

It is available from here:

It is also available from TSL Publications as a soft copy book here: TSL Publications

It will be available on Amazon shortly.

About the author

Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with five published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton).

All of Robbie’s children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications. Robbie has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differentiate her children’s books from her adult writing, these will be published under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie has two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.

Find and follow Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Roberta Writes Blog   Amazon Author Page    Twitter    Facebook

While the Bombs Fell

TSL Publications     Lulu

What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?

Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.

Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.

Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes.

Robbie also writes as Robbie  Cheadle

Robbie’s Inspiration Blog      Goodreads    Facebook    YouTube

Amazon author page   Twitter: @bakeandwrite

Books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

The Sir Chocolate books are a delightful marriage of story, verse and cookery

… a perfect recipe for sharing with children.  Silly Willy goes to Cape Town tells the adventures of two very different brothers…and includes five party cake ideas.

You can purchase the Sir Chocolate books from:

Amazon    TSL Books

or you can buy them in South Africa directly from the authors by emailing Robbie Cheadle at

Tell me a story…

If you are a writer, artist or photographer…If you have a poem, story or memoirs to share… If you have a book to promote, a character to introduce, an exhibition or event to publicise… If you have advice for writers, artists or bloggers…

If you would like to be my guest, please read the guidelines and get in touch!

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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45 Responses to Guest author: Roberta Eaton Cheadle ~ An adventure in the Edinburgh vaults

  1. I think I’ll give that tour a pass! lol.
    When I was a young teen, my family bought a house inhabited by ghosts. At first, they did minor things like moving bottles across the floor or making the curtains sway even though the windows were closed (and no, the heat wasn’t on).
    But then, things took a turn for the worse.
    Mom had a sewing room at the rear of the house and swore someone was watching her whenever she sat in there. Her bedroom had a large mirror over the dresser and she would often catch a shadowy glimpse of… something.
    I lived in the basement. There was a large yard light outside my window which gave me plenty of light at night.
    Until it didn’t.
    I woke up from a nightmare and the room was pitchblack- so dark I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face, nor could I breathe. It was like a giant weight was on my chest. I stumbled up the stairs, heart pounding, thinking the power had gone out, but no, the yard light shone like a beacon of hope outside.
    After that, I started sleeping on the couch upstairs and moved out as soon as I was able.
    True story.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. Thanks for hosting me with this post, Sue. A rather unusual experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Daniel Kemp says:

    Reblogged this on The Words of Daniel Kemp and commented:
    A very interesting blog post

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great to find Robbie Cheadle and her books featured on you blog today, Sue! 🙂 Sharing…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. dgkaye says:

    Wow Robbie, that would have scared the beejeebees out of me. You are brave. I also wouldn’t venture near unknown spirits. I had enough scares through the Ouija board as a child, lol. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: Guest author: Roberta Eaton Cheadle – An adventure in the Edinburgh vaults – Roberta Writes

  7. How extraordinary! Look after that neck. I must admit this makes me want to go. As weird as the mummified dressed up corpses in the catacombs of Palermo, perhaps?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Norah says:

    Oooh! Scary stuff, Robbie. You were braver than I would be to venture there. I’m pleased you made it out alive.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Staci Troilo says:

    A ghost tour sounds like so much fun. Well, maybe you guys got a little more than you bargained for. But still, very entertaining.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Mary Smith says:

    I’ve never been in the vaults or Mary King Close which is also underground. We were going to go one evening but son took fright before we got to any scary bits and we decided not to continue. I hope Michael felt better the next day.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. memadtwo says:

    Vividly described Robbie. I have felt uneasy in some places but never this intensely. (K)

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Robbie this sounds like such a fascinating tour. How cool that you got to go. I enjoyed tagging along virtually. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mae Clair says:

    You are far braver than I am, Robbie. I won’t do ghost tours. If by some bizarre quirk of fate I had been on that one, I would have fled shrieking the moment I was down the steps. That is far too creepy. I’m glad you and Michael were both able to eventually shake off the negative energy.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Joan Hall says:

    I have done ghost walks but I think I would pass on that one. How weird that both you and your husband became ill after visiting that one chamber.

    Liked by 2 people

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