The London Dungeon
By Amelia Meyer
Opened to the public in 1974, the London Dungeon remains one of this epicentre’s most haunting and popular attractions amongst tourists. This gory lure features different exhibitions of murders, torture methods from the Medieval Era and creepy methods used in days past, which are sure to invoke imaginations and get spectators’ hair standing up on end. In fact, the Dungeon covers approximately a millennium of the more insidious side of human history.
The London Dungeon’s success lies in its use of a mixture of media, including live actors, two exciting rides, impressive special effects, and a total of 13 shows. There is a macabre sense of humour that permeates all exhibitions, making it suitable for young and old alike. The London Dungeon is managed by Merlin Entertainments (which is also responsible for Madame Tussauds, London Eye and Lego Land, amongst a host of other tourist favourites).
The entance to the London Dungeon – Photo taken by C. G. P. Grey
The various scenes on show include:
Labyrinth of the Lost
Visitors are led into crypt and left to find their way around the maze of mirrors. During their exploration, they are constantly interrupted by live actors in costume as well as the thousands of reflections of themselves in all the mirrors. Eventually, they are rescued and shown the way out.
The Great Plague and Surgery: Blood and Guts
Depicting the horrors of the Bubonic Plague in London in 1665, this scene creates a feast for the senses. Offensive smells and the sounds of screams set the scene perfectly as visitors are led to the scene of the doctor performing a ‘live’ operation. Prepare to get a little sprayed!
A funny look into the courtroom system of yesteryear as visitors are sentenced to death for some terrible crime.
Traitor: Boat Ride to Hell
This boat trip is one of the two rides that make up an official London Dungeon tour. Visitors are taken on their last journey into the Tower of London, climbing slowly, until they plummet into the darkness below.
Sweeney Todd was believed to be a psychotic barber that slit the throat of his clients as they were being shaved and gave the corpses to Mrs Lovett to be cooked into her famous pies. Visitors on the tour are seated in the barber shop and undergo a virtual haircut, only to be plunged back into the cellar, where Todd would perform his gruesome murders.
ack the Ripper
The five famous murders are narrated, both by a live actor and by a video presentation. Then, visitors are led into a room in which an ‘autopsy’ is being performed as onlookers are guided through the thoughts of Jack the Ripper’s possible identity. Mystery shrouds the scene and visitors should expect the unexpected.
Bloody Mary: Killer Queen
Do not get too attached to those with you on the tour as one will be burnt on a stake for heresy by the famous Bloody Mary (Mary Tudor) right before your eyes. The lights, sounds and effects complete this torturous scene, leaving one wondering about its validity.
The Great Fire of London
London experienced an enormous loss in 1666, when a mammoth fire ravaged England’s capital. A short film tells visitors more about this disaster using exciting imagery and narration.
Extremis: Drop Ride to Doom
Get ready to face your punishment as you are led from your holding cell and taken to the top of the Dungeon. The noose drops and visitors are suddenly released to meet their fate. This is the second stomach-lurching ride of the tour.
The London Dungeon is ideal for families as well as tourists looking for a fun day out in the city.
For more information, please view: http://www.the-dungeons.co.uk