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I think Edinburgh still has a spooky atmosphere, especially in winter. The graves in the old graveyards have hefty iron fences around them like cages to stop anyone from digging up the body. Stone mausoleums were built to stop the body snatchers too. I haven't read this one by Stevenson, maybe I will for Halloween.


This sounds like a wonderful October read - lots of atmosphere. (I love when the weather in real life cooperates by making me want to cosy up in doors.)


I would Love to visit there and I imagine it probably is the perfect setting--both literally and figuratively for a story like this! I had not heard of the murder case before I looked up Stevenson in relation to the story--though I knew that body-snatching occurred quite a lot in Victorian times. I didn't know that people had actually been killed with it all in mind--now that is one way to get rid of your enemies, I guess! This was a great read and definitely a perfect October/Halloween story.


I like this weather for just the same reason! All the stories in this Gorey collection have been really good. Not necessarily scary exactly but good fall reading. I am already reading the Nesbit and so far it's one of the best in the collection I think!

vicki (skiourophile / bibliolathas)

I was in Edinburgh in summer ("summer") last year and it was so misty and cold one could easily have believed in body-snatchers. It really is a spooky place - I can see how JK Rowling could write the first Harry Potter book there! ;-)


I think that I have either read this story or heard about it as it sounds very familiar but then I suppose that the activites of Burke and Hare must have formed the basis of quite a few stories over the years.
I haven't been to Edinburgh for years but my son and his girlfriend went a couple of years ago and went on a tour of some tunnels under the oldest part of the city.
They both got very spooked very quickly but had to keep going with the tour because they were afraid they would get lost if they tried to retrace their way to the entrance. I think that it is fair to say that neither of them plan a return visit any time soon.


Oh, what a delicious sounding story!

Kristen M.

I reread this recently in my Oxford collection and thought it was really creepy, and yes, it would have been more so at the time!


It does seem nicely atmospheric, doesn't it? I would Love to go to Scotland--maybe that should be my next travel destination goal. I wonder what it must be like to live there all the time? Hmm. All this talk of Scotland now makes me want to find a good book set there (must get back to my R. Pilcher novel I see...).


I hadn't heard this story (of Burke and Hare) before, though I knew that grave robbing was a big problem at one point. Many a good story has been written about the gruesome activity! I'm envious of so many people who have been lucky enough to travel there. Does your son not want a return visit to Edinburgh in particular or just the tunnels? :) Oh, and aren't there some good crime novels set in Scotland? I still have yet to read Ian Rankin by the way (as an aside)....


Yes, another good RIP entry! Nothing like a little body snatching on a cool October afternoon! ;)


I really need to pick up one of my other collections I checked out from the library (and still want to read the Elizabeth Taylor story someone mentioned). This was a good story--quite something to put in a Christmas collection, which I think was where it first appeared.

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