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Last Updated:  Saturday, 12 April, 2003, 13:18 GMT 14:18 UK
'Haunted lane' opens to the public
Mary King Close
Tourists will see models of plague victims
An Edinburgh lane bricked up since the 17th century is being re-opened to the public.

Local legend says that hundreds of plague victims were shut into Mary King's Close and sentenced to certain death.

Now tourists can walk through the street led by actors dressed in period costume.

The project is run by Continuum, the organisation that runs the world famous Viking-themed Jorvick Centre in York.

The company was brought in to create an attraction that would bring in tourists without compromising the area's eerie atmosphere.

"It has to be entertaining for people," said manager Gordon Stewart.

"It has to be atmospheric - but that can be done without shock tactics."

Operators insist the project has kept true to the historical record.

Mary King Close
Actors lead tourists through the re-opened lane
Researchers have been working to uncover evidence about life for the residents of Mary King's Close, at the same time as debunking local myths.

Plague victims were actually quarantined in their houses with charitable donations brought in to people who were ill.

While Mary King herself can be traced in the record books a Japanese psychic claims to have encountered a ghostly child.

The Mary King Close, incorporating a whole level of streets and houses beneath the city chambers, opens from 12 April.

Tourist plan for 'haunted' lane
17 Oct 02  |  Scotland
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