Gardyloo - 20 minutes

Gardyloo - Horror

Gardyloo by John McDermott

Short film            Horror


An Edinburgh tour guide must remain professional on a Halloween ghost tour, even though he can now see real ghosts, some friendly, others malevolent, to save the souls on his tour.


On Halloween the sunlight starts to vanish. The full moon shines on gargoyles and angel statues adorning roofs on this spooky Halloween in Edinburgh.  TOURISTS admire the ACTORS dressed up as witches, maids, ghosts, and ghouls who promote their ghost tours or dungeon attractions.  

TOURISTS get ready for the 7 pm ghost tour. MICK and his wife BETH study the ghost tour map and check their cameras are working. Their son JOSH is less than impressed and listens to music in the hope that this hell will be over soon.

WILLIAM is dressed up as a 19th-century gentleman. He smiles at GRACE who pulls her hood over her head. He discusses the possibility of seeing Bloody Mackenzie at the Greyfriars Graveyard. Beth shakes with fear. SIMON the tour guide dressed in spooky make-up welcomes everyone and assures them any ghosts they see are real, no stooges on this ghost tour.

Simon starts the tour and points them in the direction of a small CHILD who is trying to get the attention of a POLICEMAN. No one else on the tour sees the boy or the policeman. A death coach with headless horses speeds by. This means death and destruction are close by. Simon presumes it is remote-controlled and part of the Edinburgh Castle Halloween celebrations.

Two female FIGURES get Simon’s attention. They ask if he is dead, but Simon says he is very much alive. He gets the rest of the tour to look but again they don’t see anyone.

The group enters Mary King’s close. Grace picks up a tartan doll on the steps. Mick and Beth shiver and they can see their breath. Simon explains that this happens when ghosts are close by. Grace screams. She states she saw the ghost of ANNIE who is looking for her tartan doll. Then the doll disappears. The group looks stunned.

The next top is the Edinburgh vaults. The entrance is dank and dingy. The lights flicker before cutting out. Simon switches on his torch but the batteries fail. The group can’t move, they are frozen to the spot. The group all screams and runs to the door, but it is locked. They all see a tall dark FIGURE lurking in the shadows. Simon tries to open the door. Mick tries. At last, the door unlocks and they run outside.

BEN, the tour manager welcomes them back. They all put paper money into the tip jar and thank Ben for the most authentic tour ever. Ben asks who took them out. They say, Simon. Ben explains that this is Simon’s stag night, so he couldn’t have taken them out. They laugh at the idea that a ghost took them on a ghost tour.  

In the tour guide booth, Simon stares at BEAN-NIGHE, a female spirit in Scottish folklore and an omen of death. With her help, Simon remembers being on his stag do and being knocked down by a car. He is dead. He is a ghost. Bean-Nighe snaps her fingers and they transport to an ambulance taking Simon’s body to the hospital. All the ghosts Simon saw on the tour gather in the ambulance. Something isn’t right, Simon shouldn’t be dead. Ghost Simon starts to vanish as his body starts to come back to life. All the ghosts vanish as Simon regains consciousness.