Edinburgh: Dungeon of Fear

So this is the adventure that I am least happy to write about. On our last day in Edinburgh we decided to give The Edinburgh Dungeon a go.

As I have said before I like a good horror movie and am even a fan of real life crime and gore but this is an experience that I will not be running to do again.

Don’t misunderstand me it is a great attraction if you like a good scare but it was just too frightening for me.

It is described as the ultimate thrill-filled journey through Scotland ’s murky past and with this I do not disagree. Featuring eleven live shows, and 80 minutes of laughter (some), screaming (lots), theatre, history and special effects.

I will admit that I did not quite make it to the end of the 80 minutes. I enjoyed the shows but my nerves could not handle the actors jumping out at you from the dark and some of the special effects that were just felt like a being from beyond the grave even if it was just air.

I left fifteen minutes before the end of the tour  but have it on good authority that the full tour is one that is not to be missed.

Here is a quick rundown of the shows with some of my personal comments thrown in so take heed and delve into the dark depths of the dungeon if you dare.

Firstly you are escorted into the courtroom where a judge will find you guilty or not guilty of any crime they see fit. I and my two companions were found guilty of crimes to fashion which I was quite insulted about but too scared to argue. You now need to be punished for your crimes so on to The Torturer.

Here a ‘willing’ volunteer will be guinea pig as The Torturer demonstrates his craft. After he has shown you how to use his tools he will let you in on the local and gruesome legend of Sawney Bean before sending you in search of the mythical creature.

Legend has it that Sawney Bean and his family live in the caves of Galloway preying on travellers. When a man and woman were returning from market and happened across savages on the road. The King’s Men were sent out to capture the savages and you have been enlisted to help.

Venture into the Caves of Galloway by boat in search of legendary cannibal Sawney Bean and his incestuous clan. This part is incredibly scary and dark. The darkness can be deceiving making the boat ride even more terrifying.

The ride is not quite over when you find the Bean family. It has been a while since they have eaten and unfortunately you are looking delicious. The clan’s lair is vile smelling and as you stumble through it you discover the leftovers of previous guests as the hunters become the hunted.

After a quick getaway a student doctor comes to the rescue with an autonomy lesson. The Doctor will see you now! Step into Dr Knox’s Anatomy Theatre as 19th Century medical students and witness the autopsy of another of Burke and Hare’s victims. Watch out when the bladder is removed, it might not be empty!

Running from the police you find yourself in dark and creepy graveyard. Here Burke and Hare are lurking and they’d kill for a body like yours. If they decide to let you go with all your limbs in place you will be transported to 1646.

An overwhelming smell hits you as you enter the mysterious Mary King’s Close. You are suddenly struck by the horrific realisation that this is the resting place of abandoned plague victims! Here the scariest part is the noise which always takes you by surprise.

Here is where I took my less than elegant exit to the cry of scared six year old boy. I do however have a description of the rest of the tour  from some very reliable sources.

Once out of Mary King’s Close you are escorted to the day that Scotland’s greatest freedom fighter, has been executed by the English for the crime of treason… William Wallace! Hear what happened to Wallace upon his capture, and what the Scots do with their best enemies the English.

Next travel to St Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest building in Edinburgh. Meet Half-hangit Maggie; she’s known for “hanging” around in the Grassmarket. She’ll prepare you for your last drop, and unfortunately it’s not Whisky. Hundreds of screaming bloodthirsty Scots are waiting to see YOU meet your doom. Step through the door, and prepare to DROP DEAD..

You’re nearly there, you’ve made it to the Grassmarket and a crowd has gathered to see you pay for your sins. Lucky you! You had better put on a good show/death for the awaiting crowds. Your executioner will show you the ‘ropes’.

It’s nearly over you may be delighted to find out you are now in the Afterlife. Try not to bump into anyone that looks familiar.

This attraction is certainly a jump fest not to be missed. If like me you are unable to handle people jumping at you from the dark and chilling drafts coming from no where then this is not the place for you.

However if you want to give it a go a students ticket will set you back for £15 with an adult ticket costing you £16.20.

If you’re not sure if this is for you or not visit the website by clicking here and take the test before your visit.

My two friends seem a little bit too happy to have me in this position.
My two friends seem a little bit too happy to have me in the stocks.

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