The London Dungeon is a tourist attraction about various tortures from the Medieval Age. It recreates various gory and macabre historical events in a grimly comedic ‘gallows humour’ style, which attempts to make them appealing to younger audiences. It uses a mixture of live actors, special effects and rides.
It opened in 1976, initially designed as more of a museum of "horrible history", but the Dungeon has evolved to become an actor-led, interactive experience.
SCENES OF THE LONDON DUNGEON
Surgery: Blood & Guts
We see a doctor who tries to operate on a dead body: pulling out the intestines; the bladder, which squirts supposed urine at the audience; and finally the heart. A visitor is then ‘operated’ on, including being ‘trepanned’, having their ‘blood’ ‘let’, and having a hand amputated. As the blade falls on their hand, the lights go out, and air jets and water are aimed at the audience.
Traitor: Boat Ride to Hell
After being sentenced to death by the courtroom judge visitors are taken to an execution dock. The show is a boat ride, themed to replicate the last journey through Traitors’ Gate into the Tower of London. The ride is in almost total darkness, including the ascent the boat makes once it has gone beyond Traitors’ Gate. Riders rotate 90 degrees and are shot downhill into the dark sewers below. This ride incorporates sudden loud noises.
Bloody Mary: Killer Queen (New for 2010)
Bloody Mary: Killer Queen opened during the February half-term period. After a short introduction to the story of Mary Tudor, also known as Bloody Mary, a visitor is sentenced to death by burning for heresy. Light, sound and smoke effects conceal the visitor who is replaced by a model of someone burnt to death, complete with dropping eyeball.
Great Fire of London
This exhibit is set in the year 1666, when much of London burnt to the ground in the relentless Great Fire of London that started down in Pudding Lane, from the Royal bakery. Visitors are shown a short educational film, in a set representation of the bakery.
Jack the Ripper
Set in Victorian London, an actor talks about the first three murders before leading visitors to a room where a short film mentions the next two. A third room then shows an autopsy, and various possible identities for the identity of ‘Jack’ are mentioned. As it is suggested that whoever it is, he is in Hell, a gas jet shoots out, warming the faces of visitors. Visitors are then led to a scene of a pub, ten years after the last murder. At the end of a talk, ‘Jack’ suddenly appears with a knife.
After walking past Mrs. Lovett’s pie shop, and being greeted by Mrs. Lovett herself, they enter Sweeney Todd’s barber shop which is filled with seats. At the front is a chair with a covered up bloody model supposedly from having his throat cut. Visitors are seated in animatronic barbers’ chairs, and special effects are used to try to make them feel as if Sweeney Todd were right behind them, giving them a very close shave. Afterwards the chair is pulled back, as if falling into a cellar (which is what Sweeney would do with his victims). This attraction incorporates the same binaural audio technology that Walt Disney World’s Alien Encounter used. Sweeney Todd was supposedly a barber that was around in the mid 18th century. He of sometimes is known as "The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street", and slit the throats of his customers with his razors, supposedly giving the carcasses to Mrs. Lovett to be baked into large pies. Despite the Dungeons’ claim to base their exhibits on historical fact, it is almost certain that Sweeney Todd never existed.