Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Didn't We Have a Horrible Time At The London Dungeon!

WOULD YOU go inside a deep, dark, dank dungeon that you know is full of ghouls, killers, torturers and possibly rats?

Worse, dare to take your children with you knowing you’re going to have the most horrible time of your life?

Absolutely! That’s exactly what we did yesterday when I dragged my hubby, seven-year-old son, his friend and our 22-month-old daughter along to the London Dungeon.

And it was so bad we can’t wait to go back for more.

I must admit I was a little bit scared when I was first offered tickets to take a peek up close at the visceral activities of the criminal, er, underworld at the Dungeon.

Was it really a good idea to take a toddler and two blood-thirsty schoolboys to see what the likes of Jack the Ripper, Sweeney Todd and Bloody Mary, Killer Queen got up to in ye London of olde?

Would they scream, faint or bolt at the sight of tongue torturing, hangings or plague sufferers vomiting blood?

No, not a bit of it, though squeamish old me felt a little bit wobbly when I saw where an inventive torturer would really use a meat hook or the four-metre drop in the dark on the Extremis, Drop Ride to Doom.

From the moment we entered the pitch-black dungeons, right next to London Bridge tube, and posed alongside our children brandishing axes, I knew they were going to love every spine-tingling minute.

‘Are you alive or a zombie?’ my son, Deme, demanded when he came face to face with a blood-splattered member of staff herding us into a chamber to watch a mortician dissect a still-breathing victim.

‘Is this real or a special effect?’ his little friend, Luke, asked when Bloody Mary Killer Queen sent a woman to burn at the stake before our very eyes.

‘Where are the rats?’ they both asked relentlessly, peering into the gloom, hoping to find a furry creature to grab and befriend. ‘And when do we get to the go on the ride?’

‘Ssssh,’ I told them time and time again as my little girl curled herself around me, peeking out from under her curls as we learnt about the Great Fire Of London and the detectives hunting Whitechapel killer, Jack The Ripper.

‘Do you want to leave?’ I asked her every time we were plunged into darkness but she insisted on staying and proving her bravery to the boys.

We watched drunken judges condemn the innocent to death, Mary torch the heretics, and the exact techniques every infamous murderer in our capital has ever used on unsuspecting victims over the centuries.

The boys had a stronger stomach than me, rushing to the front of every bloody demonstration – and asking in-depth questions at the end.

But they left the best to last – a terrifying ride that plunges the equivalent of a few houses in the dark to the backdrop of bloodcurdling screams.

Luckily, Anais was too young to go on that, so I could bow out without anyone realising that was one plunge too far for me.

I did scream when I saw the picture of the boys falling through the air alongside my husband, each of their faces scrunched up in fear. But that was only with laughter.

‘That was absolutely brilliant,’ Deme said as he tried to persuade me to buy him a plastic axe and several instruments of torture afterwards from the attraction’s shop. I resisted, but have had to promise to take him back soon for another truly horrible time.

Verdict: A killer day out for all the family. Not recommended for toddlers, anyone scared of the dark or who faints at the sight of blood and gore. (Though, whisper it, none of it is real!)

The London Dungeon invites you to delve into the capital’s most blood-curdling history. Live actors, two hair-raising rides, shows and special effects transport you back to those black, bleak times…are you brave enough?


  1. Kids are so daring and are not scared of anything. We, on the other hand know too well what horrible things there are in the world, like people falling off cliffs for real or the possibilities to choke on a peanut. Unfortunately we take this places for real. They should always put a sign saying "not for woossies aged over 25"... :)

  2. Lol throughout my teenage years friends attempted to drag me to the dungeons and at the age of 20 I can safely say I havent been and dont plan to yet! Glad you had fun :D

  3. Thanks for your suggestion to my question on South Coast Mums and Dads!