How to find Tom Riddle's grave in Greyfriars Kirkyard

  1. Enter Greyfriars Kirkyard.
  2. Skirt to the right of the yellow church, aka 'Kirk'.
  3. Continue the loop around the Kirk towards the Flodden wall arch.
  4. After passing through the arch turn immediately right.
  5. As you come upon a fork, where the path splits, continue straight on down. STRAIGHT ON DOWN.
    ⚠️ Please do not turn right, Edinburgh council doesn't want a muddy trail scarring the cementery, don't spoil it for everyone.
  6. At the bottom of the hill, turn right & follow the trail around.
  7. Tom Riddle is the second grave from the bottom, beside the wood fence. A place where grass won't grow.
Inside Greyfriars Kirkyard Edinburgh facing Yellow Greyfriars Kirk
Skirt to the right of the yellow church (Kirk)
Heading right of Greyfriars Kirk
This way
Main public entrance to Greyfriars Kirkyard
Stick to the loop passing the Kirk's main entrance 
 Please buy their £1 map
Approaching the Flodden wall Greyfriars Kirkyard
Continue beyond the Kirk towards the Flodden wall arch
Main public entrance to Greyfriars Kirkyard
After passing through the arch turn immediately right
Turning right away from George Heriots School Greyfriars Kirkyard
Head downhill
Following the rubble track down towards Tom Riddle's grave
At the fork continue straight down ON THE TRACK. Please don't zag off to the right, Edinburgh council is 😱
turning right towards Tom Riddle's grave Greyfriars Kirkyard
At the bottom turn right towards the heart of all evil
Tom & the Riddle family's grave stones in profile
Tom Riddle's grave
Tom Riddle's grave close up
Light a candle, begin incantations...
Voldemort rises from a cauldron reborn
Let Wizarding War III commence
Once through the stone Flodden wall arch, turn right onto the rubble track & follow it downhill to the bottom of the graveyard 🛑 Do not follow the flodden wall around, Edinburgh's Muggle council doesn't want a mud slide. They want you to use the rubble track straight 👇

Some folk in the congregation of Greyfriars Kirk are not so much Harry Potter fans. Some have not read the books. In fact at least one old lady has become so bothered by Harry's endless hordes she confessed "I *sometimes* wish the books had never been written".

Most Edinburghers are quietly proud of Rowling, she's ours, she overcame here, her epic is a luminous pillar of our childhoods, the Ministry of Magic is a Tory government, naturally, we're fond of her. Except perhaps when she has her towering hedges cut & cherry-picker lorries block the roads: traffic forms, teeth grind.


Anyway, you are wanted in Edinburgh and you will receive a warm welcome in the historied world heritage graveyard of Greyfriars Kirk; which boasts a broad congregation. However, you will be loved all the more, by all of Greyfriars' community, if you give back for your visit.

Whether that's by donating £1 inside the Kirk for their map of Graves or taking our Kirk's own loving & encyclopedic historical tour. Or book one of the many Potter tours that visit, which are expected to pay an ENORMOUS levy to preserve & enhance the Kirkyard for future generations.

And if your just not £1 into Harry Potter's inspirations, better not go, you'll get skinned, these people, or that one old lady anyways - boomin' dangerous. Bloomin' lethal. You should visit Camera Obscura world of illusions instead. That is truly wicked fun & ridiculous too.

Baby Lord Voldemort upon an armchair suckles from Nagini the snake
Perfectly normal, thankyou very much

Go well

“Gulpin’ gargoyles, Harry, people are still scared. Blimey, this is difficult. See, there was this wizard who went… bad. As bad as you could go. Worse. Worse than worse. His name was…”
Hagrid gulped, but no words came out.
Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone

The desperate lives of the Riddells

Tom Riddell Senior died 72 years old in 1806. Unhappily he lived to see his son die aged 26.

  1. What was his son's profession?
  2. Where did Tom junior die?

According to Newt Scamander's Fantastic Beasts, Tom Riddell junior died the same year a Norwegian Ridgeback was reported to have carried off a Whale Calf off the coast of Norway. Co-incidence?

Riddell senior passed failing to see his daughter Christian married; she followed him 2 years later aged 31, missing the 1809 Quidditch world cup in West Siberia Russia. Which is a pity, it was spectacular.

Romanian Beater Niko Nenad, an extremely volatile man, jinxed the forrest adjacent to the pitch, the trees sprang to life and attacked the stadium resulting in mass panic and several deaths including Nenad's own.

Neither Death nor Cupid was kind to the Riddell family, but Tom's eldest child, Mary Jane Riddell, was made of sturdier stuff. She eked a life as a spinster and just as British cities began to be lit by gas lamps she snuffed it, dying in 1819 aged 47.

Great! God bless you.
Ask them what the money goes to.

Alternatively or additionally you could make a £2+ donation inside the Kirk & light a couple of candles. One for Jesus, one for He Who Shall Not Be Named.


This is a ritual that should only, ONLY be exercised after expressing gratitude to the Christians, earning safe passage. Recite aloud on arrival & don't forget to fully document our proud new dawn for later broadcast #Edinburgh #darkLordCometh

Dark Lord we summon thee.
To break through this solid turf
To claw the sticky Mud aside
To proudly bestride the Earth,
with us by your side.

We are your dedicated, devoted servants
Countless years we dreamed your resurgence
Release us from Disgrace's shackles
Spare us from M*d-blood jackals

For you are the greatest Wizard of all time
No crypt nor law can curb your climb
Raise Pure-blood to its rightful constitutional apogee
Abort the Ministry's infernal liberal calamity!

Let every Witch & Wizard quail
As power rises in our hands
For our 3rd, Supreme Darkness shall prevail
And smother these sickly lands

Now spit on your fingers & place them upon the sacred earth (or blow on your fingers if anyone's watching)


Effect may not be immediate. Needs a Grave tone. The Gravest. Rain also helps... Maybe wait it out over a Fleur's Fantasy cocktail in the famed Elephant House?

PS. The look on Voldemort's face right?!

JK Rowling's iconic Voldemort on a Royal Mail stamp

Why is Tom Riddle iconic?

JK Rowling says "all enduring fictional bad guys encapsulate primal terrors and share certain traits. Invincible to the point of immortality, they commit atrocities without conscience and cannot be defeated by the ordinary man or by conventional means. Hannibal Lecter, Lord Voldemort and Big Brother: all are simultaneously inhuman and superhuman and that is what frightens us most".

For some time JK Rowling considered killing Harry in his final battle with Voldemort. She felt it would a neat ending and a good way to kill off the merchandise. Warner Brothers executives had to come to Edinburgh for Rowling's approval - she protects her family life. They would sweat.

Rowling ultimately decided killing Harry would have be a betrayal, because she wanted her hero to do what she thought was the most noble thing. "So I had him come back from war and try to build a better world".

Learn more about Rowling's motivations & experience less-inhibited magical madness on an award winning, 3¾ hour walking tour about the writing of Harry Potter.

Soothe the mighty Puff, click-le freely.

Magic is Might!
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Announcement from headmistress Mcgonagall

All Gryffindor's must pay their respects today to my distant relative William.

They may then break to the Elephant House cafe (a complete guide) & the miscellaneous wonders of Hogsmeade, on presentation of their guardian's permission.
Apart from Ronald Weasley who will be cleaning the Trophy room. Thankyou.

Ron: Typical.

Or make it memorable...

Play the Dark Lord's Quiz

10 Questions.
Award 10 points for each correct answer, deduct 150 for each wrong.
Tap an answer to reveal.

You can see that Thomas Riddell jnr was an adventuring British Empire Army Officer. Who died younger: Harry Potter's nemesis Voldemort or our sacred Thomas Riddell?

Repeat after me "I am a wizard not a baboon with a stick" 🍌

In the books Thomas Riddle, son of Thomas Riddle Senior, lived to 71 years old. Clearly he must have staged his death in Edinburgh, embracing a new life as immortal Voldemort. He also spelled his name wrong. One day I’m going to have ten names and spell them all wrong.

Potterheads sometimes leave notes here for the Dark Lord, they're a joy to read... "RIP Tom, thank you for making us all believe in magic. You are an inspiration."
Another sneered "Dear idiots, you know there's a difference between fiction and reality, right?"  Ah, go boil yer head.

Who's killed more?

Mass grave

Some countries say 'never again', some multi-nationals say 'Once is never enough'. Genocide is wrong. Sandemans & at least 1 other multi-national, headquartered outwith Scotland broke our rules.

Why do you think they did this? 
Is it because they love the families & peoples of Britain?

When visiting choose local tour companies whose executive can be faced by families they may mutilate & whose prosperity will contribute most to the city & Scotland. Or if you 💘 murderous global brands, maybe just use an app?

Sadly I have little hope for your OWLS*, but girls bathrooms are forever in want of lumbering, knuckle-dragging bone-heads.

The Dark Lord does not trifle with death tallies. The Dark Lord simply seeks to emancipate all members of society to their rightful station, murder is merely an unfortunate neccessity to lubricate the wheels.

* Ordinary Wizarding Levels 🙄

The ministry of magic statue proclaims 'magic is might!'
Muggles, maybe fugitive Mudbloods too, struggle in their proper place beneath the Pure Blood boot: 'Magic is Might'

Where did Thomas Riddle grow up?

Well I guess we shouldn't expect too much, Potter the boy who fell off the back of a broom 🤕

In the Half Blood Prince we see how a neglected, loveless beginning in Wool’s orphanage, led Tom to a desire for domination and punishing people. Dumbledore could have perhaps shown him love and developed him much like he did for his counterpart, the unloved, parentless cupboard-dweller Harry, but he didn’t.

The name "Thomas" is the Greek form of the Aramaic name Ta'oma’, which meant "twin". Both Harry and Tom grew up unwanted & bullied & were half-bloods. If they lived in Edinburgh they might both well have been sorted into a house at George Heriot’s school, founded as a school for poor and fatherless ‘bairns’ (kids). But Rowling has said Voldemort being a literal relative of Harry would be a bit "Star Wars".

By the time Dumbledore arrived at the orphanage to invite Tom to Hogwarts he was too far along. A loving relationship was impossible because Tom was compelled to withdraw to avoid the shame of Dumbledore’s disapproval. It’s hard to like those who distrust and dislike us, so in time Tom came to despise Dumbledore.

Rowling said everything would have been different if Tom’s mother Merope had survived and raised him herself, she says ‘love wins’.

Dumbledore is, on this occasion, a mentor by counter-example. If we treat everybody as precious, even those who have wronged, or we disagree with, then we do not drive people to become twisted in their hatred of us or our values.

Potter's touched in the head, I've seen more liveliness in Merlin’s saggy left testicle 🥜

At Hogwarts Tom found his world. Disowning his Muggle past, Tom embraced a new identity. How is Tom’s Wizard supremacist name pronounced?

Hold your Hippogriffs! ✋ Potter's not the swiftest wand in Ollivanders.

Rowling pronounces it "Voldemoor", but she confessed she is the only one in the whole world. In JK Rowling's smash hit play The Cursed Child all the character's pronounce his name properly.

In the Chamber Of Secrets we learn that Tom Marvolo Riddle, a half blood like Harry, chose to turn his back on his Muggle side and embrace his wizard heritage declaring 'I am Lord Voldemort', which is in fact an anagram of his original name.

To preserve this anagram in the foreign translations his middle name had to change. In Iceland: Tom Trevor Delgome, perhaps Neville Longbottom's toad had a duel identity, he did go wandering a lot. Norway: Tom Dredolo Venster, half of 'dread' it sounds suitably ominous, France: Tom Elvis Jedusor, nobody can beat the French.

Except perhaps the Spanish translation, Neville's toad, which he's always losing, was translated as a turtle. "Which surely makes losing it rather more difficult" - JK.

Perhaps an interesting thing to ask about when chatting to Harry Potter fans who read them in translation.

It's a wonder Potter hasn't poisoned himself. We can all be thankful that delight awaits ⏳

Voldemort spent his whole life striving to conquer the ‘idiot humiliation‘ of death. He slaughtered a unicorn to try and restore himself. Broke into the Chamber of Secrets riding on the back of Quirrell's head to steal Philosopher's Stone & win immortality.

The saga is driven by Tom's thirst for eternal life, a deliberate contrast to Dumbledore's attitude “To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”

Can you guess Voldemort’s Boggart, the wardrobe dwelling creature that takes the shape of a witch's or wizard’s worst fear?

You think Voldmor feared Harry? He hated Dumbledore’s pawn perhaps, but mostly he was puzzled by him.

Dumbledore was a powerful adversary, the champion of liberalism, to be managed and outmaneuvered. He left Tom's boots quake free 🗿

Himself as a corpse. He most fears death - “Vol - de - mort”, French for theft of death. Ferocious matriarch Molly Weasley’s Boggart is the death of a family member.

If Voldemort stood in front of the Mirror of Erised - which translates to “I show not your face but your heart’s desire” what would he see?

He would see “himself all-powerful and eternal. That's what he wants." - JKR

Rowling intended a literal lesson to all readers with the mirror of ERISED, and Dumbledore’s caution ‘it does not do to dwell on dreams Harry and forget to live’. What does this mean in your life?

To my mind the most unusual things about Voldemort is he had empathy.

General Tagge: But that's impossible! How will the Emperor maintain control without the bureaucracy?
Governor Tarkin: The regional governors now have direct control over their territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station.
[ the Deathstar ]

Powerful line Fear. But Fear - where's the subtly? Where's the finesse?

Voldemort mastered people through empathy, preying on their fears and desires. In the Order of the Phoenix this heightened skill is called Legimency, the ability to reach in and decode peoples' minds; uncontrolled emotions render targets an open book.

But Tom's empathy is clearest in the Chamber of Secrets, when Tom Riddle's diary learns Ginny Weasley's secrets as she confides in it. It uses her fears and desires and shame to manipulate her.

In some respects it's similar to how The One Ring allows Sauron to look into Frodo, but Riddle's diary is more fully developed with the idea pivotal to the plot.

Whose diary was Tom's diary inspired by?

JKR: "My sister used to commit her innermost thoughts to her diary. Her great fear was that someone would read it. That’s how the idea came to me of a diary that is itself against you. You would be confiding everything to pages that aren’t inanimate."

Rowling's mother loved to read, their childhood cottage was stuffed with books. In fact one of Rowling's relatives was a reader for a publisher, and the Rowlings received yet-to-be published manuscripts from her.

One of Rowling greatest regrets is never telling her mother she had begun Harry Potter, and that she was never lived to see her success.

Not to our knowledge. She entertained her sister with stories and hungered for a large family like the Weasleys. She had a school friend with a large family, so Rowling had no illusions, the poverty of the Weasley family is based on her friend's situation.

Rowling liked to invent games and play them with her sister Di, who she bullied if she didn't play them to her satisfaction. She said a larger family would be more people to boss around.

Voldemort is “the one wizard who went as bad as you can go”. He has refined methods of torture and kills casually; he is without remorse. Can you tell me which tree his wand is taken from?

His wand, matched to him by Ollivander, is made of Yew, whose sap is poisonous and fatal to humans, it is supposed to endow it’s possessor with the power of life and death. Yew wood continues to be poisonous after a tree has died. There’s a circle of growthless ground surrounding his grave, perhaps Tom was buried with his wand.

Was Harry's wand. He shared a wand core with Tom, a Phoenix feather from Fawkes' tail. But Rowling's choice of wood was a deliberate contrast to Voldemort's wand. Rowling said "European tradition has it that the holly tree (the name comes from ‘holy’) repels evil".

She said that wands of Holly are matched to wizards "engaged in some dangerous and often spiritual quest"

Dumbledore's, Voldemort's and lastly Harry's wand, The Elder wand, also known as the Death stick, was allegedly made by Death and much like Frodo’s ring it chose it's owner. It is generally of opportunistic temperament choosing the wizard who has the greatest power. Ultimately it chose Harry over Voldemort. Harry had love, love wins.

‘Wand of elder never prosper’ is a witch saying, echoing a line from the Wiccan Rede, 'Elder is the Lady's Tree, burn it not or cursed ye be!’. Wiccan’s believe cutting Elder enrages the Mother Goddess, provoking her to seek vengeance.

More delightful commentary on the Elder Wand can be found in Rowling's "Tales of Beedle the Bard", a book every Potterhead must read.

Tom’s mother was from an ancient pure blood wizard family the Gaunts. Who in particular did they like to marry?

Nobody much liked Tom's mother Merope, not even her own father. She drugged Muggle Tom Riddle snr, the love of her life, with a love potion. She was a black sheep 🐑

👛 You lost a Galleon and found a knut. -145 points.

Great sizzling dragon bogies, how is it possible to be this hopeless?

Their cousins, to keep their bloodline pure. Prince Charles’ ears anyone?

Violence flourished through the generations due to their habit of marrying their own cousins, Tom believed ‘Magic is Might’.

Tom murdered his grandfather, a bovine-brained Muggle. What was his grandfather’s job?

Your body should just quit, pointless sloshing around those dungbrains all day 💩

He was the Squire of Little Hangleton, meaning a village leader and possibly a member of parliament, thus all answers are arguably valid.

‘Tomos’, is Ancient Greek for "slice" or "piece", when Tom killed his grandfather he sliced his soul in half.

Tom murdered an MP. Don’t do this at home kids.

🔪 If I were you I’d chop that Dunderhead right off, save you a great deal of trouble and embarrassment.

You’ve made a pilgrimage to the resting place of the worst wizard of modern times, perhaps we should learn some Dark Magic. How many forbidden curses are there?

Ordinarily I’d suspect you were under control of the Imperius Curse, but no Legilimency can penetrate a bone head 💀

  1. Instantaneous death “Avada Kedavra!” - ”Ave-a Cadaver”
  2. Excruciating pain “Crucio!”
  3. Total control “Imperio!”

Outlawed by the ministry of magic, to maintain civilisation. Punishable by trial before the Wizengamot. Sentence of life in Azkaban. Voldemort knows them like the inside of his eyelids.

Harry Potter however was hopeless. At the battle of the Department of Mysteries he was unable to effectively cast the Cruciatus Curse on Bellatrix Lestrange, despite his fury with her for the murder of his beloved godfather. Harry lacked the desire to cause pain for its own sake.

Once again Potter proves the value of a cauldron with holes, you fill him with valuable ingredients and they just shoot straight out 💸

Tom spent his summers at Wool’s orphanage London. Where’s Tom’s favourite station?

Tom was born in 1905. He was killed by Harry in 1998. His broken and mutilated soul is now trapped in the Limbo* of Kings Cross station for all eternity, waiting for a train-on, that never comes. Your standard London commute. King’s Cross also launched him to the only home he ever knew.

*Limbo derives from the Latin “limbus”, meaning "edge, border". So in Latin "in limbo" would mean "in a condition of neglect or oblivion".

Rowling studied Classics at university, find out more about the saga's grounding on a tour.

What can we expect? Of a boy too solid to apparate a meter.

🐸 Potter, some words of advice, don't leave anything behind. The only way you're coming back next year, is as somebodies' pet. It's perhaps fortunate that Longbottom's always losing his.

Well I think it is often the case that the biggest bullies take what they know to be their own defects, as they see it, and they put them right on someone else and then they try and destroy the other and that's what Voldemort does.  -  JKR

So you made an event out of it.
Tut, tut, I suppose you think you’re clever now Mr Potter?

There's more. There's better.
Edinburgh is JK Rowling's home, Harry Potter is in the rock, the magical world opens up down every twisted alley. Transmute your passion into an experience, come on a loving Potter tour. Or...

The Elephant House

While you’re near retire for a restorative hot chocolate or expresso in Rowling's fondly remembered Elephant House cafe. They even have a Fleur's Fantasy tipple which is just how you imagine, expensive but dreamy.

Victoria Street inspiration for Diagon Alley? Is 3 minutes walk through the bottom gates of the Kirkyard or at the weekend back out the slideshow entrance & down Candlemaker Row - Victoria Street looks most convincing from the bottom looking up.

Mount your broom!


NEW: ½ day bike tours of JK Rowling's greater Edinburgh with a dash of Harry Potter inspirations.

While our nucleus, the Old Town, is Harry's maternity ward & creche, Rowling's long written most in Edinburgh's quiet hinterland, it's her world. Discover new JK stories: new struggles & triumphs, sleepy villages & crenalated skylines.

Riddell's legacy

Mystery novelist & former British Prime Minister Theresa May was asked 'Who is your favourite fictional villain?' Was it...

From Sherlock Holmes, true. But not a competent answer is it?

It's a pity your not as skilled in my class as you are on the Quidditch field, or you might dream to graduate.

David Cameron was Theresa May's predecessor as PM. Master Cameron oversaw a boom in homelessness, gave us the Brexit referendum, resigned & purchased a £25,000 shed. Sadly none of these things are fictional.


Nevertheless I would buy Fancy-shed Dave a Butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks because I, Sam, am mostly civil, although my charming sister will eagerly tell you I smell. Despite that I doubt all the treasure in Gringotts would persuade Madam Rosmerta to serve Muggles 🤷

Class, this is one of those rare rare occasions, like an eclipse: we are compelled to marvel. The boy who can fall a mile from his broom, then land on his head without complaint, is, behold; correct.

Theresa May favours Lord Voldemort & Sherlock's Moriarty saying

They are proper villains. I think it's good when you have a villain who you know is a villain... I enjoy books with happy endings & definite endings. I find books difficult when they kind of fade out.

Harry Potter having none of those.

As the creator of the century's most celebrated epic Rowling was solicited to do a reading for the London Olympics opening ceremony. She was resistant, Rowling suffers performance anxiety.

She was only roped in when the ceremony's director, Danny "Trainspotting" Boyle, called her up & said 'Look we've got the Queen jumping out of an aeroplane', the Galleon dropped, Rowling realised no one would ever remember her.

We have free WiFi in the Old Town:  EdiFreeWiFi

James Bond escorts HM Queen Elizabeth to the opening ceremony. Magic, ladies first

Rowling said:

It was most terrifying thing I've done in my life but it was a moment I'll remember on my Deathbed. It was the most epic event

Now watch 2 dozen Mary Poppins sail from the sky and defeat the darkest wizard of our age at the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony. They do in three minutes what took Harry 7 years.

There was a genteel tap of the knocker & the musical voice asked, again, ‘Where do vanished objects go?’ ‘Into non-being, which is to say, everything,’ replied Professor McGonagall.
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows

Voldemort is in us all.

Not booked a tour yet?

Galloping gargoyles! Voldemort demands his name is the French Voldemor

Oy, Brains, don't steal!

Can be used by non-commercial, non-competitive bodies, obviously not entirely original, leaned on Harry's biography ain't I? Nevertheless all help to a struggling independent Potterhead deeply appreciated.

Contact Sam
Art Credits

Voldemort reborn by Dylan
Warner Brothers Voldemort meme: thankyou Bros for some magical movies.
Christian Wallenius fabulous lairy badger.
Rusty Currier created the truly horiffic, stomach churning, picture of Nagini suckling baby Lord Voldemort, bravo!



Was this blog interesting or useful to you? Have you cracked the crypt & befriended the Dark Lord? Please react, it encourages me to improve.
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