Fans of things that go bump in the night toured a secret underground location in Dundee while hearing grisly tales of the city’s past.
Dark Dundee tour guides took urban explorers through the basements of the Upper Dens former jute mills while sharing stories of 19th century murders, witch-hunts and mysterious disappearances.
Although the mills have been re-developed as flats, the spooky basements – which are normally out of bounds – have remained unchanged.
The Mills & Doon tour, organised in association with Hillcrest Housing, raised over £3000 for Tayside Children with Cancer and Leukaemia.
Louise Murphy, founder a tour guide at Dark Dundee, said: “It has been overwhelming.
“We have had so many people on the tours over the two weeks that they ran.
“People have really appreciated being able to get into this space, which they previously knew nothing about.
“It is normally locked and not even the residents have access to it.
“We’ve had about 615 people and we’ve raised £3,100, which is great.
“Dundee has so many places like this, that are still to be explored and ‘dark tourism’ is definitely on the up.
“People like hearing dark stories and imagining what life was like in the past.”
As well as the mill basements, the tour took in some other areas that have now been populated by Hillcrest Housing.
The tour guides told stories about incidents that happened in those spots throughout history including the stabbing of a “lady of the night”; the disappearance of a child who was never found; witch hunts; and a particularly gruesome fight where a man had his eye gauged out by his sister-in-law.
Reporter Nadia Vidinova took part in the Mills & Doon tour. Here’s how she got on…
I’ve always been fascinated with old, spooky buildings – but I’m too much of a wuss to explore them on my own.
On the Dark Dundee tour there was safety in numbers as around ten of us made our way down a narrow spiral staircase, into the bowels of a former jute mill.
As the heavy door closed behind us, it shut out the modern-day sounds of TVs and people getting ready for a night out in the flats above us.
We were plunged into semi-darkness, our footsteps echoing around the exposed brickwork, thick with decades’ worth of dust.
I tried to imagine this magnificent building in its hey-day – the workers’ voices rising above the jangle of machinery, the smoking chimneys, the long hours of relentless graft.
In keeping with the grisly stories of Dundee’s witch trials and murders, there was some spooky paraphernalia placed around the basement. The stocks were a definite favourite.
The mills may no longer be a hive of industrial activity, but tours like this help preserve the heritage for current and future generations.