London Dungeon

I have been in the UK for ten years now and have heard a lot about the London Dungeon but never thought to go.  I thought: nah, too touristy, too not my thing, too silly, too not like anything I’d be interested in.

A few weeks ago we received an invite to attend the London Dungeon in time for Halloween and as our trip to Madame Tussauds really changed our minds about the event, we decided to go along to see what it was all about.

The invite was to show off their new Helloween 2010: Jack O Lantern and the Sounds of Hell set-pieces.  We were met with drinks and snacks and made to feel welcome (I kept reminding myself not to punch any actors should they leap at me) before we were quietly prodded along through the Jack O Lantern exhibit to take part in the tour.

Our group had a nice mix of both girls and boys and we had no small kids with us, but everyone was very squeaky and leery of walking around corners and past dark hollows as you just knew something and someone was going to leap out at you.  We had to navigate this insane hall of mirrors which kept turning us around and messing with our depth perception.  Eventually, we managed to get out of it after much laughter and craziness.  We were ushered to listen to a scary actor intoning that we are due to be judged for our sins.  This lead to a court of justice where several of us were tried for witchery and various other crimes.  We were sent for a practical demonstration on how torture was inflicted which was really pretty gruesome and the actor who took this part had just the right level of menace and relish needed for the part.

We progressed from one set-piece to the next.  By far the most creepy was the Sweeney Todd room where the lights were turned off and with the clever use of audio we got to listen to Todd chatting to us.  We could also feel our hair being tugged at and the spray of blood (water) on our faces as he eventually slices us up a bit.  Very grim.

We also had the chance to experience the drop on the Extremis Drop Ride to Doom.  Which was a bit squeal inducing to say the very least.

I am really pleased I got the chance to go.  You have to enter into the fun and spirit of the event.  But, also pay attention to the amazing detail and lengths the designers went to, to make these various attractions as real as they could.  The actors were all amazing and very focussed on giving us our frights and telling their stories.  It’s an attraction I was really prepared to walk away from and be ambivalent about, but am happy to say that it really blew me away.

The London Dungeon is open 7 days a week with longer hours at half-term.  Now is an excellent time to go, with the days becoming shorter and the nights longer.

3 comments

  1. Looks like it was a fun trip. I’m intrigued (especially, the Sweeny Todd bit!!) to go back myself now as it’s been a long while since I last went. I wish there were more of these immersive types of experiences in London. It was a shame when Alien War in the Trocadero closed down as that was a real treat back in the day.

    • Keith – I was so surprised. I really didn’t think it would be my thing, at all, yet I had a complete blast.

  2. Juan /

    Liz, you should schedule a new visit to the Dungeons as they are to launch the new 5D ride soon: http://www.the-dungeons.co.uk/london/en/attractions/vengeance-5d-ride.htm

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