Wednesday

Summer Frights with The London Dungeon

Being a literal Master of Death an' all, you'd probably expect me to be pretty hardy when it comes to spooky stuff. You'd be wrong. I am a massive wuss! 15 years ago I put myself on a self-imposed horror film ban, which is still standing, because the nightmares I got afterwards would be ridiculous. Hearing a creak in the house at night, or the shadow of a tree branch brushing past my window, is enough to make me cower under the duvet in fright. Yet, for some reason, there is one terrifying pursuit that I absolutely love to put myself through: The London Dungeon (oh, and also graveyards, but that's not really relevant to this post). My first visit to the London Dungeon was for my hen do, and I loved it so much that I visited the Edinburgh Dungeon shortly after my wedding too. This summer, the London Dungeon are putting on special adults-only after-hours events, and I couldn't resist going along to check it out.
London Dungeon after hours events

The creepy experience starts as soon as you arrive, with cloaked stone figures flanking the entrance, and a deathly-pale undertaker prowling the foyer. I'd met up with Char and her friend Tessa, so I had somebody to witness my utter delight when the undertaker ushered me into a coffin for a photo opportunity. (You get given a card so you can view your photos at the end, but we ended up following the attraction all the way round until we found ourselves back outside City Hall, somehow completely bypassing the opportunity to see and buy the photo). After the photo, with undertaker hats firmly on our heads, we joined the short queue in the dark, anxiously awaiting our fate.

It was at this point that I remembered I can't see in the dark. I know that sounds like a pretty difficult thing to forget but I've only been undergoing my vision correction for 18 months and one very annoying side effect is the amount of time it takes my eyes to adjust to darkness after being in light. After about 20 minutes, I'd got used to the dim light but this definitely added a whole extra element as I clung onto Char for dear life, lest I lose her in the dungeons and be stuck there forever.
London Dungeon Summer Frights

We were shown into a bar just off the entrance, where there was a shot and a gin cocktail waiting for each guest. While we chatted, surrounded by chains and shackles on the walls, a Victorian widow came around asking us for advice. She'd just lost her third rich husband in mysterious circumstances and was wondering if we could help her work out how to prevent this happening again. My advice? Marry a rich old man and then he'll die of natural causes... 

Once our whole group of around 20 guests had arrived, our adventure began. We were led on a tour of London's dark history, from the Black Death and early medicine, to the legend of Sweeney Todd and the all-too-true Whitechapel murders. The actors, as you'd expect, were fully involved in their roles, meaning we were treated to a spookily immersive experience. Being after hours, and with only adults in the group, there was a bit of a party atmosphere, with strangers bonding to hold hands down black corridors and nervously crack jokes to relieve the tension. My favourite thing about the Dungeon is how interactive it is. You're not just standing there watching people talk. Instead, you're asked questions, pulled up to volunteer and, in my case, locked up in a cage. 

After handing out one more shot, the tour ends with a short drop ride. It's not quite Detonator, but it's a fun way to end the experience nevertheless. Then, of course, you exit through the gift shop. Only this isn't your average gift shop. There's been a refurbishment since the last time I visited and now there is a 1880s pub where you can relax to steady your nerves with a drink. If you sit at the piano, the staff might encourage you to join them in a rousing singalong and cockney knees up, which was one of the highlights of my visit. 
London Dungeon Events
If you're looking for something different to do in the capital this summer, you should definitely look into Summer Frights at the London Dungeon. No crowds, no kids, three free drinks. What's not to like? Just make sure you're prepared to scream! 

Buy London Dungeon Summer Frights tickets here

A huge thank you to Merlin Events for inviting me to experience the Summer Frights event at the London Dungeon. Entry was provided in exchange for review, but all opinions and cage experiences my own. 

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