From your first cautious steps into the London Dungeon, you’re on high alert for things that will make you squeal, jump and possibly scream at the top of your lungs. Passing the (real) rats and taking the creepy elevator ‘down’ into the depths of the building, your tour begins. A series of scenarios, each hosted by costumed actors, trace the history of executed traitors, murderers, plagues and tortures. It’s all done with enthusiastic theatrical flair and a great sense of humour, so it’s lots of fun… but that won’t stop you getting chills.
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Five interesting facts about the London Dungeon
In 2011 one of the skeletons at the original London Dungeon was discovered to be genuine human remains, believed to have been on display since the attraction first opened in 1975. Ewww.
Make-up doesn’t just make people look beautiful. At the London Dungeon, professionally trained make-up artists carefully design the bruises, blisters and weeping wounds to look horribly realistic every time a new character is introduced to the tour.
The London Dungeon was originally located under the railway arches on Tooley Street but moved to the South Bank in 2013. When it left its original home, lots of the props (severed limbs, instruments of torture, that kind of thing) were sold off at a car boot sale in Pimlico.
The tour changes regularly, with a few permanent elements and seasonal scenes to keep things eerily fresh, but one thing you won’t see here is a ghost. Sure, you might get to hear about creepy séances, but at the London Dungeon, everything is based on fact – even if they have a lot of fun bending the truth.
At the end of your tour you can raise a glass in a recreated old East End tavern to celebrate surviving your visit. But beware, some of your fellow drinkers might have a few last gory stories to tell, before you venture back out onto the streets of twenty-first-century London.
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