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The London Dungeon: a sneak preview

As the London Dungeon open its spanking new South Bank venue, we pick seven of its must-see horror highlights

1. Rats and cockroaches

With a nod to ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!’, the Dungeon has introduced warrens filled with scurrying creatures. Get up close to rodents in the rat den which features a see-through inverted dome with just enough space for your head.

2. Mrs Lovett’s ‘meat’ pies

Tummy-turning continues in Sweeney Todd’s barber shop where a new pie emporium installation sees Mrs Lovett selling baked goods stuffed with the remains of murdered humans.

3. Drop dead

If you’ve ever wondered how an eighteenth-century death sentence might be, er, carried out, this stomach-plunging thrill ride will satisfy your curiosity. We don’t want to spoil the surprise but we can tell you that you’ll be greeted by an unforgiving executioner in a Newgate prison room and led to the gallows. After that, things get pretty dark and it’s downhill all the way…

4. Mirror maze

With ‘Jack the Ripper’ on your tail, you’ll need to negotiate a complex labyrinth in order to escape. Smoke and mirrors make the task just a touch harder – and a lot more panic-inducing.

5. Ten Bells

The maze of mirrors culminates in a visit to a reproduction of East End boozer the Ten Bells – but rather than a pint, you’ll be treated to the landlady’s gruesome tale of Jack the Ripper and his macabre killing spree in 1888.

6. Fake poo

There’s bucketloads of it. As you approach a recreation of a medieval City Gate, you’ll come across a ‘gong farmer’ – a man required to clear out human turds from cesspits and outhouses – and lots of revoltingly realistic poo.

7. Brian Blessed (photo: Daniel Jones)
photo: Daniel Jones

Brian Blessed fills the royal shoes of wife-slaying Henry VIII. His booming performance has been transformed into a high-tech 3D projection as part of a new-and-improved boat-based thrill ride.

The new London Dungeon (opens Mar 1) has lost none of its old gore and grime, it's just gained a bigger, flasher venue. This celebration of torture, death and disease lets intrepid visitors journey back in time to London's once plague-ridden streets. Rotting corpses, rats, vile boils and projectile vomiting all come as standard, and a cast of blood-splattered actors joined by 'virtual' guests, such as Brian Blessed as Henry VIII, make a gruesome appearance. If you're not yet scared silly, there's two rides to raise the adrenaline: a turbulent boat trip down the Thames towards execution, and a dark drop ride plunging three stories in the pitch black.

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