Looking for something to do in London this Halloween? The London Dungeon is inviting you all to SCREAMFEST; the ultimate Halloween event.
With twenty haunting tales and two thrilling rides, those who are brave enough will come face-to-face with London’s scariest and most notorious characters of the past. Head down for a perfect mix of humour and horror.
WHAT IS LONDON DUNGEON LATES?
The tour is essentially a history lesson of London’s darkest centuries, focusing on the grimmest aspects of the capital’s past, such as its diseases, serial killers, and cruel punishment methods. The dungeon is a walk through tour that is brought to life by special effects and live actors, making it a truly immersive experience. Ticket-holders are grouped together with a time slot, so you move through each zone without missing anything.
I was invited along by Stripe Communications to check out ‘Dungeon Lates’. The events are adult-only experiences, lasting approximately 75 minutes and contain two alcoholic cocktails on arrival. The great thing about these events is the lack of crowds and children running around. A few other London attractions put on late events, such as Madame Tussaud’s and The London Aquarium. Check out my post on Madame Tussaud’s Lates.
Immediately upon entering, we were measured up for our coffins (there is a rare chance you will make it out alive) and proceeded to the waiting area aka ‘the bar’. I received a gin cocktail and began sipping to calm the nerves!
Once the tour begins, you are plunged into total darkness, as you take a medieval lift from 1536 down into the dungeon. I found this segment particularly creepy as the elevator operator just stands and stares at you, reminding me of something out of a horror movie. It definitely sets the scene for the 1000 years of horrible history ahead.
I don’t want to give too much away but here are a few of my favourite time zones!
Entering 1665, the Black Plague is rife amongst the streets of London. Wandering down the alleys, you come face to face with some of the Plagues most unfortunate victims. As you pass houses with red crosses on them, it can only mean one thing – rotting bodies and black rats. We entered the ‘Pest House’ and met with the doctors assistant who was on the lookout for anyone infected! In this zone, you learn how the Plague began, and discover the symptoms behind this horrific epidemic that killed a quarter of London’s population within 18 months.
In need of a haircut? Take a seat in the infamous barber’s chair and find out what it’s like to have a close shave…(I actually did!). I ended up being the chosen victim by the man himself and was called up to the chair. Suddenly the lights went off, it was pitch black, and all I could hear was Sweeney whispering in my ear that it was time for my “cut”. Terrifying!
Mrs Lovett’s Bakery:
If you manage to make it out of Sweeney Todd’s Barber shop alive, you will no doubt be a little hungry, and what better way to get your strength back than one of Mrs Lovett’s pies. You will discover what the trap door behind the oven is used for (I’ll give you a clue – it’s not pies!)
One of the scariest segments of the evening was the séance. I was called up to take part and was told to place my finger tips on the Ouija board. I soon regretted complying when a demon appeared in the mirror staring right at me! To make things worse, when we asked who the spirit wanted to hurt, my name was written on the board in chalk – it was like that scene out of Matilda. There are other scary surprises at the séance but you’ll have to visit to find out.
Jack the Ripper:
You’ve heard the stories, now it’s time to experience this infamous killer for yourself. Its 1889, and Jack the Ripper is on the loose. We were invited into the Ten Bells Pub which is where most of his victims drank. After grabbing a beer, we settled down for a ghost story with the landlady; who revealed who the Jack the Ripper suspects were, his victims, and whether he has returned to strike again.
Its 1783 and punishments are a lot more cruel than they are today. The judge calls people out from the crowd to confess their crimes which range from a naughty dance on Westminster Bridge to stealing a local sheep. This is one of the more comical aspects of the night as opposed to scary, and contains adult humour which acted as a nice break from all the horror.
Drop Dead Ride:
Inevitably we were found guilty of our crimes and were sentenced to death by hanging. As we proceeded to Newgate Gallows, an executioner placed us onto the chairs and raised us upwards as the crowd cheered on. The floor opened, and our dungeon journey came to a perfectly fitting end.
We weren’t really hung of course! Drop Dead is an exhilarating 10m vertical free fall drop ride, that sends you into the unknown faster than the speed of gravity (although you can opt out of this if you are too scared!)
There are lots of other segments including The Great Fire of London, Whitechapel Labyrinth, and a spooky boat ride along the Thames that are all equally scary and informative. I think that is what makes this experience unique – it’s educational. Aside from the incredible actors and the interaction from the group, it is also incredibly informative and I learnt a lot about the history of London’s dark past. As interesting and as fun as it was, I am glad I live in the 21st century; the 1500 – 1800’s don’t look much fun!
For more info on what to expect at SCAREFEST, availability, and prices, please check out their website here: London Dungeon Lates Website
* I received complimentary tickets to review this experience