Appeal to recover ‘Tartan Barbie’ psychic doll stolen from Edinburgh tourist attraction

A an appeal has been launched to help find a psychic doll after it was stolen from a top Edinburgh tourist attraction.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 19th April 2019, 1:13 pm
Updated Friday, 19th April 2019, 1:24 pm
The psychic doll was stolen on Wednesday. Pic: contributed

The doll and its story have been a popular feature of The Real Mary King’s Close since it was left there by a Japanese psychic, Aiko Gibo, in 1992.

Gibo felt the spirit of a young girl while visiting one of the remaining 17th century households within the Mary King’s Close site.

According to Gibo, the young girl, called Annie, was left to die in this building after her parents abandoned her during the plague, a common tale on the 17th century close.

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The 'Tartan Barbie' doll.

The spirit was lifted from the room when the psychic returned with a gift of the tartan dressed Daisy doll that she bought on the Royal Mile.

The doll is known to tourist guides and visitors as the ‘Tartan Barbie’ but was recently confirmed to be a taratn clad air stewardess Daisy doll.

Daisy was a 1970s doll designed by British fansion designer Mary Quant, who is currently the focus of an exhibition at the V&A museum in London.

The story of the psychic doll, which was stolen on Wednesday this week, has captured the hearts and minds of visitors from all over the world who have since left all sorts of mementos. This included several badges from police officers as a mark of respect in what has become a shrine to Annie’s spirit.

Paul Nixon, general manager of The Real Mary King’s Close, said: “We are shocked at the theft of the doll. It’s especially hard for the guides who tell our stories with the utmost integrity — the story of Annie, Aiko Gibo and Tartan Barbie have been a significant part of our history for 26 years.

“It’s disappointing and incredibly frustrating that someone would take it without any thought for the meaning it has for so many. All we can do is hope that someone can help track her down and the Barbie is returned to the Close.”

There is no CCTV in the close so the hope is that someone will be able to come forward with information about the theft.

The Real Mary King’s Close is a VisitScotland five-star accredited visitor attraction located on Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile.

Bringing Edinburgh’s hidden history to life, visitors are taken on a journey into the past as they delve into a warren of streets under the city frozen in time.

Visitors embark on a one-hour social history tour through the uniquely preserved 17th Century streets and spaces, accompanied by a costumer character guide.

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