The Missing Faces of Greyfriers Graveyard

While we were visiting Greyfriers graveyard we were told an interesting tale by the man who works in the tiny shop which is within the graveyard’s grounds. It was one I hadn’t heard before and I can’t seem to find anything about it on the web.

Not far from the infamous Bloody MacKenzie tomb stands an equally majestic tomb with four statues in it’s roof. The statues look out from each corner, well they would look out – if they had faces. The rest of the statues are beautifully made, but why no faces? These were not the only statues with no faces around the graveyard the more you looked the more you saw. I first thought that they had been lost to the Scottish weather.

It was explained to us that the faces had been removed, in an attempt to cheat death. The belief was you couldn’t die if death didn’t see you. So the statues of people were thought to have been the eyes of death, and for this reason they had their faces removed. I’m planning a trip back to the graveyard to document these missing faces.

I would be very interested to hear if anyone else knows this story.


About Amanda Moffet

I run with Rodger Moffet. Live in Edinburgh and love travelling around Scotland gathering stories.

View all posts by Amanda Moffet →

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