The mysterious dolls of Arthur’s Seat

The Harbour and Arthur’s Seat from the Studio window.

Another creepy story for you today as Halloween looms.

Have you heard the tale of the Arthur’s Seat dolls? Arthur’s Seat, for those who don’t know, is the angular hill that rises up out of Edinburgh – you can clearly see it over the water from the Studio window!

Back in 1836, five boys out hunting for rabbits stumbled across some spooky treasure in a cave on Arthur’s Seat: 17 tiny coffins containing little wooden dolls. They are now on display in Edinburgh’s Royal Museum.

The origins of the dolls remains a mystery. At the time of their discovery it was thought they were something to do with witchcraft, but the list of theories is long, and getting longer all the time.

Some believe they were placed there as surrogate burials for the 17 victims of Burke and Hare, others think sailors placed them there as protective charms. At recently as 2018 new theories have emerged about the figures being created by the workers who built the ‘Radical Road’ around Arthur’s Seat, to keep the flames of the rebellion alive and honour those who had lost their lives in an uprising in 1820.

What do you think?