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REVELLERS in Edinburgh were getting ready to celebrate Hallowe'en in style yesterday, with long queues forming outside shops such as Costume Ha Ha on the Grassmarket.
FROM haunted vaults and an old eerie underground city hidden deep below the streets, to tales of grave robbers, witch hunters and executioners, Edinburgh is shrouded in myth and mystery with a very real and terrifying dark history dating from the 1400s. And, as the annual witching hour arrives, our historic Capital is the only place to be.
VISITORS to the city's canal are being asked to keep their eyes and ears open for spooky sightings this Hallowe'en.
THE WIND is howling – or is it a werewolf? An eerie haar hangs in the air and pumpkins with slit-cut eyes glow menacingly in the dark, but little Hallowe'en monsters and ghoulish party guests can easily be subdued and wooed with spooky treats.
A couple of years ago, a tourist from Minnesota visiting Ballindalloch Castle came across Clare Macpherson-Grant Russell, the Lady Laird, in one of the corridors, and stopped her to ask if she'd seen the beautiful lady in the pink crinoline dress who lingered in one of the rooms. "You should know about her," he said. "She's a relative of yours from 1750. Her child died aged five, and when you moved to the castle at the same age she mistook you for her long-lost infant."
The doors of the Almond Valley Heritage Centre in Livingston will re-open after dark for terrifying performances, candlelit tours, a ghost train and traditional Halloween games on Wednesday from 6pm. Come dressed to kill. £4/£3.
PUMPKINS are in short supply this Halloween because of the summer downpours, farmers warned yesterday. Poor weather means the squashes are not ripening.
A PURSE was taken from a woman's handbag after she gave money to two boys out guising.
POLICE are blaming breakfast TV for a spate of egg attacks in West Lothian.
WITH the scariest night of the year almost upon us, ditch those garish pumpkins and celebrate a truly Scottish Halloween with a terrifying tumshie lantern.
GIE'S oor Halloween ... The traditional cry of the guiser grows ever fainter, driven into the outer darkness of what was once All Hallow's Eve by strident shrieks of "trick or treat". The once-ubiquitous reek of burnt neep is dissipated under the glare of the pumpkin, that transatlantic yellow peril which has all but usurped our native turnip as lord of Halloween misrule.
YOUNGSTERS are facing a ban on buying eggs in a bid to cut down on Hallowe'en attacks.
THE days when glowing turnip lanterns grinned out from the windows of Scottish homes on Halloween are becoming a thing of the past as new figures show pumpkin sales are at their highest ever.
I LOVE all excuses for a party, and Halloween is no exception.
WHEN did Halloween become such a big deal? When someone realised October was a quiet month at the tills and there was money to be made, that's when. That's why for the past fortnight the shops have been full of a whole range of orange and black plastic rubbish. All at child height, for maximum pester potential.
A LANTERN walk and ghost stories will be held at Craigmillar Castle tonight.
A HALLOWE'EN farmers' market is set to be held in Castle Terrace, with stall holders dressing up in spooky costumes.
WELL, it's only days to go before we can all go legitimately scaring the living bejesus out of the little 'uns on Tuesday night. As it's a school night the annual Stott Spook Fest is being moved to Saturday and as I type I have two huge pumpkins staring at me from the kitchen needing carved for the weekend.