Film office for Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders
Edinburgh Horror Films
Film office for Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders

Edinburgh Horror Films

From the subterranean vaults beneath the city to former residents Burke and Hare, Edinburgh is well known for its macabre history. With Halloween around the corner, when better a time to take a look at some of the horror films shot in the Edinburgh city region over the years.

The Awakening (2011) | Nick Murphy

This ever so creepy 1920s-set horror-thriller follows ghost-debunker Florence Cathcart as she is called to a boys' boarding school to rid the place of ghosts only to find her beliefs shaken by the spooky goings on.

Rebecca Hall plays Cathcart while Dominic West and Imelda Staunton both appear as employees of the school.

The majority of the shoot was completed on location in the Edinburgh city region.

Filming took place at a house in Earlston in the Scottish Borders, the wonderful stately homes of Gosford and Manderston as well as St Bernards Crescent in Edinburgh.

Outcast (2010) | Colm McCarthy

The feature film debut of The Girl with All the Gifts director Colm McCarthy.

Outcast tells the tale of Scottish/Romany girl Petronella and her boyfriend Fergal, a mysterious Irish traveller. As their doomed relationship plays out, a beast stalks the estate where they live, killing the locals.

Hanna Stanbridge and Niall Bruton play the lovers while also featuring an impressive Scottish supporting cast including Kate Dickie, James Nesbitt and James Cosmo as well as an early role for future Doctor Who companion and Marvel Cinematic Universe star, Karen Gillan.

Multiple Edinburgh housing estates were used including locations at Sighthill, Greendykes, Wester Hailes and Muirhouse.

Scenes were filmed on the Grassmarket and outside of The World’s End pub on the Royal Mile.

Book of Blood (2009) | John Harrison

The framing stories from legendary horror author Clive Barker’s Books of Blood series were the basis for this 2009 feature.

Two paranormal experts played by Sophie Ward and Paul Blair discover what they believe to be a haunted house and decide to move in. They invite along Simon who they hope will be able to use his psychic abilities to uncover more about the house.

Doug Bradley, who played the iconic Pinhead in one of Barker’s other adaptations Hellraiser, appears in a supporting role as does Clive Russell.

Co-produced by Edinburgh based production company, Plum Films, Book of Blood was shot across the city in 42 days between December and February 2007/2008.

A town house in Abercromby Place was used for two and a half weeks filming. Various general views of Edinburgh appear including shots in High Street and Grassmarket while filming also took place at Dundas Castle in South Queensferry.

The Jacket (2005) | John Maybury

Adrian Brody and Keira Knightley starred in this psychological horror that took over Bangour Village Hospital for 35 days during January and February 2004.

Oscar winner Brody plays a Gulf war veteran who is wrongly sent to a mental institution for insane criminals where he becomes the object of a doctor’s disturbing experiments. Kris Kristofferson plays Dr Becker while Daniel Craig appears as a fellow inmate.

A horror story in it’s own right, Bangour Village Hospital has a reputation amongst former employees and nearby residents for its sinister goings-on.

One of Scotland's first village plan-style psychiatric hospitals, the institution opened in 1906 and for almost 100 years housed patients with mental health problems from across Central Scotland.

The institution officially closed not long before filming of The Jacket began and remains abandoned to this date.

Doomsday (2008) | Neil Marshall
Bloody action adventure set in a future Scotland which has been quarantined because of a deadly virus. Filmed on location at Blackness Castle.

The Wicker Tree (2011) | Robin Hardy
Robin Hardy's sequel to cult classic, The Wicker Man. Filmed on location at Arniston House and Gosford House

Under the Skin (2013) | Jonathan Glazer
Jonathan Glazer's feature film of Michel Faber's novel, starring Scarlett Johansson. Scenes filmed at Tantallon Castle in East Lothian.