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Major Thomas Weir’s House


According to an article by Oliver Norton in the Daily Mail on 7 February 2014, part of the home of the occultist Thomas Weir still survives.

‘Neighbours from hell: Remains of wizard's house of horrors are found... hidden inside a Quaker meeting place’

Home of 'evil' 17th Century occultist was thought to have been demolished

But new research reveals the house was in fact built into a Quaker House

Major Thomas Weir and family were executed for shocking crimes in 1670

Among the charges they admitted were bestiality, incest and necromancy - talking to spirits

Their crimes were so awful that they were executed and their house – thought to be teeming with evil spirits – was abandoned and left to decay for centuries before being knocked down.

But in the best traditions of horror movies, it seems the Edinburgh home of occultist Major Thomas Weir and his sister Jean is back from the dead.

The Weirs were executed in 1670 after admitting to shocking crimes including bestiality, incest and necromancy.

According to folklore, their house, said to be the capital’s most haunted home, then stood empty before being demolished in the 19th century, this month's edition of the Fortean Times said.

But researchers have discovered that the builders of a church, now the Quaker Meeting House in Victoria Terrace, actually incorporated the old dwelling into the structure

Historian Dr Jan Bondeson, of Cardiff University, said: ‘Major Weir’s house in the West Bow was recognised as the most haunted in Edinburgh.

‘Although no person dared live there, its windows were lit up at night, with weird shapes flitting past the dirty panes and strange music coming from inside. But contrary to local belief, it still stands today.’

After the Major’s death, people spoke of hearing his coach and horses thundering down the road, while it was claimed his staff, which was burned with his body, was seen floating along the street searching for its master.

The house was eventually bought in 1780 by an ex-soldier and his wife who were said to have fled on their first night after seeing the form of a calf appear at their bed.

In his Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft, written in 1830, Sir Walter Scott, noted: ‘It is certain that no story of witchcraft or necromancy, so many of which occurred near and in Edinburgh, made such a lasting impression on the public as that of Major Weir.

‘The remains of the house in which he and his sister lived are still shown at the head of the West Bow, which has a gloomy aspect, well suited for a necromancer.

‘At the time I am writing, this last fortress of superstitious renown is in the course of being destroyed.’

The property has been used by the Quaker religious community for around 25 years.

Anthony Buxton, manager of the Quaker Meeting House, said: ‘This was the first time I had been told Major Weir’s home was actually here.

‘I thought it had been demolished by people who didn’t want anything to do with it.

‘That said, one of my staff some years ago said he had seen Weir walk through the wall. If Dr Bondeson is right, Weir’s house is in our toilet, which seems appropriate.’


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