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Scottish Mysteries. / Writings · 1 June 2022

Scottish Mysteries. Arthurs Seat.

Tiny Coffins discovered on Arthurs seat.

You would think that after nearly 200 years, there wouldn’t be many mysteries still unsolved, but the ‘fairy’ coffins on Arthur’s Seat is still one of them.

A spooky occurrence that continues to creep out Edinburgh locals, the tiny boxes are still without an explanation, with many historians giving their theories over time.

To those who haven’t heard the tale, back in 1836 a group of young lads were having a fine old day in Edinburgh as they hunted rabbits and walked around Arthur’s Seat.

However, instead of finding some hares, the group actually discovered something much more sinister at the hill.

While exploring a cave on the north-east slopes of Arthur’s Seat, the boys came across a whopping 17 miniature coffins that were stacked in a specific design on the ground.

If that wasn’t weird enough, each coffin encased a tiny little wooden figure, adorned with its own unique set of handmade clothes.

After making the strange discovery, the group returned to town to share the news, but no one was ever able to claim ownership of the artifacts or prove why they had been put there.

Now, eight of the coffins are actually on display at the National Museum of Scotland, but the mystery around them still remains unsolved.

However there are some theories which have never been proved, such as that the coffins actually represented the victims of notorious Edinburgh murderers Burke and Hare.

The frightening duo had been some of the worst bodysnatchers ever known in the years before, however some claim this cannot be true as 12 of the people killed by the murderous duo were female, and all of the corpses found inside the coffins were dressed as men.

Another suggestion is that the coffins were actually part of some serious voodoo witchcraft, and that the dolls were used in a ritual or ceremony in the cave.

Despite the claims, many arguments have been made against the magical theory, since the dolls were found in such a pristine condition.

Finally, others have said that the dolls could have been in memory of sailors who were lost at sea, and believe that they acted as talismans for good luck when out on the choppy waters.

But unfortunately, none of these explanations have ever been proved, and to this day the tiny figures in their strange coffins continue to creep out anyone who hears about them.

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