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A search has been launched following the disappearance of Tartan Barbie, a popular feature of Edinburgh’s The Real Mary King’s Close.

The doll and its story have been features of the five-star attraction since it was left there by the Japanese psychic, Aiko Gibo in 1992.

She felt the spirit of a young girl while visiting one of the remaining 17th century households.

According to Aiko Gibo, the young girl, called Annie, was left to die in this building after her parents abandoned her during the 17th-century plague.

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

The story has intrigued visitors who have since left all sorts of mementos, including several badges from police officers has a mark of respect, in what has become a shrine to Annie’s spirit.

Manager Paul Nixon said they are shocked at the disappearance of the doll.

He added: “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 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.”

To find out more visit www.realmarykingsclose.com .

www.blackwells.co.uk