Down in the depths of the London Dungeons

In early 2020, my daughter and I took a trip to the Dungeons of London and it was Spooktacular!

Situated along London’s South Bank, the Dungeons tells us the historical horror story of London spanning 1000 years. This popular tourist attraction has many special effects, rides and re-enactments of the dark and dingy London scenes. It opened up in 1974 by Anne Geddes, containing some shady characters such as Queen Mary (also known as Bloody Mary, for her horrific burnings of non-Catholic believers, and Thomas Becket (who fought with Henry II, but was murdered after a feud with the King). 

In the late 1980s to mid 1990s, it was taken over by Kunick Leisure Group, then acquired by Vardan Attractions in 1992, which later became Merlin Entertainment. At this time the story of Jack the Ripper and the The Great Fire of London was already in place at the Dungeons and it involved the audience in the role play.

Jack the Ripper

In London in 1888, the killer known as Jack the Ripper was let loose in the Whitechappel area. He killed women of the Street, and later forensic scientists believed him to be a Polish man called Aaron Kosminski. In 2014 Aaron was named as the Ripper and also 100 years previous to that. Winding our way through the streets of London, my daughter and I were frightened by the grim tales of the Ripper.

The Great Fire of London

The Great Fire of London

It was the year 1666, and a fire broke out in a bakery. Little did people know that it would rage through the city for five days! The fire destroyed the medieval city of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the homes of 70,000 of the 80,000 inhabitants. The fire was believed to have been ceased by the strong east wind drop, and the Tower of London Garrison who used gunpowder to create fire breaks.

Sweeney Todd

What a wonderful barber he was, so good in fact, that he chopped off patrons heads and sent them down a chute into the bakery next door. These severed heads were then baked in pies to sell on to hungry customers. This particular ride was brought in 2006, using surround sound and sensory effects that had us on the edge of our seats, and at the end the chairs were flipped back for a dramatic effect.

Guy Fawkes

His aim was to blow up the Houses of Parliament therefore killing King James I, however his scheme did not go according to plan and he was caught beforehand. Guy was taken into custody and kept where the explosives were situated, and he was later executed along with other conspirators. Guy Fawkes wanted greater religious acceptance for Catholics, so he therefore wanted King James out of the way. Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated every year in Britain on the 5th November with fireworks, bonfires and parades. It is also commemorated in a number of other countries that were originally part of the British Empire.

London has so much history that it would take a lifetime to tell the story, the Dungeons was an educational as well as a scary experience.

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