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Edinburgh Castle disappears

10 October 2006

It’s an impossible trick that many magicians would not be able to achieve, but this Wednesday night, residents of Edinburgh will all be asking the same question ‘Where’s the Castle gone?’.

For one night only, Edinburgh Castle will disappear into the darkness, and all because of one of the greatest magicians and escape artists of all time – Houdini.

This time, however it is not a magic trick. Due to filming around Edinburgh for the upcoming feature film Death Defying Acts about Houdini and his relationship with a Scottish psychic, it was decided the Castle being floodlit in the background would spoil the authenticity of the film which dates back to the late nineteenth, early twentieth century. To assist with this, Historic Scotland has agreed not to turn the floodlights on for Wednesday night only, leaving this iconic landmark as a silhouette against a moonlit sky.

Rebecca Hamilton, Marketing and Media Manager said: "We are delighted to assist with the filming of this exciting feature film. We host many filming and television productions each year, but it is fair to say that this is a more unusual request. Residents and visitors gazing out over the city may be surprised to see the Castle in darkness, but we expect it to look equally as splendid and dramatic lit up only by the moonlight, as it once would have been."

Edinburgh Castle was first lit up using ex-army search lights just after the war.  The present system has been in place since the 1970s, with the original idea being to make the Castle look as if it was floating on air.  There are seventy floodlights around the Castle and twenty three fluorescent reflector lamps, which give the contrasting colour on the roof of the Scottish National War Memorial, Gatehouse and Argyle Tower.

The Castle is usually lit from dusk until 1.00am, but on Wednesday 11 October 2006, for one night only, the floodlights will remain off.

For further information


Kate Turnbull
PR Executive
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8959
kate.turnbull@scotland.gsi.gov.uk