When I was in London, I braved the London Dungeon, and I survived to tell the tale. So knowing that Edinburgh also had a Dungeon, naturally I decided to brave it as well.
I had just as much fun in the Edinburgh Dungeon as I had in the London Dungeon, and I managed to get through it only being slightly terrified. It was similar to the London Dungeon, in terms of the types of attractions we went through (there was a boat ride, a drop dead ride, a maze, etc.) but they were all tweaked and altered slightly so that it was different within its similarities, and of course the stories they told were different. I kind of want to visit all the Dungeons now, knowing that they’re more fun than they are scary (I remember seeing the Amsterdam Dungeon when I was there, but as I was alone at that point and hadn’t yet done the London Dungeon, I didn’t dare brave it).
I think I liked the London Dungeon a little bit more, but that’s probably mostly bias talking, it being my first experience. They were both great. I was probably a little more scared throughout the London Dungeon as well, no doubt because it was my first experience and I still didn’t know what to expect. Plus, I had my boyfriend to hide behind in the Edinburgh Dungeon, so that helped.
I definitely had my scares in the Edinburgh Dungeon too though, the actors made sure of that.
Our first stop was the Courtroom. There, the Judge condemned people to death, cracking jokes the whole time. It ended with the sentencing of one of the girls in our group as a witch, and from there we were herded by the Witch Pricker into the next room.
We were taken through a witch trial, which ended with one of the witches getting loose and cursing us all. This was a very cool spectacle. Things were flying around, the whole room was shaking, lights were flashing, loud crashes and bangs came from everywhere. Among the chaos, the witch flew up into the air, screeching and howling at us. I am continually impressed by the Dungeon’s special effects.
We managed to escape, ending up in a dungeon, where we were met by the caretaker, who taunted us about our imminent death at the hands of the Torturer. She set us loose in the dungeon, cackling that we’d never find our way out, that the Torturer would capture us all.
Sure enough, we came face-to-face with the Torturer and she talked us through some of her most favourite toys with us, demonstrating techniques on the crowd of “volunteers”.
Then it was the boat ride! This was, by far, I think the scariest part for me, but also the most fun. We gathered in a room where we were warned about a family of cannibals who lived out in the woods and sea caves and attacked passersby, dragging them back to their lair to be eaten alive. Soldiers were out hunting these cannibals in the woods, but we were the group selected for the mission of searching them out in the caves.
We were piled into the boat. Here’s where the boat ride differs from London: instead of a bunch of small boats, this was one large boat that the entire group climbed into. We were sent on our way, the boat moving slowly. We entered a darkened cave, and at this point I’m getting pretty tense. The boat slows and we stop. All these whispers rise up – it’s the cannibals, they’re all around us, and they’re about to attack! Things go pitch black suddenly, and the voices are much closer now. Bang! In a flash of light, a body swoops over our heads, and I shriek, cowering into my boyfriend, where he of course is laughing at me.
The boat finally starts to move again, and we arrive at a ledge, our place to disembark and continue the adventure. Here we’re met by a member of the cannibalistic clan, and he’s eager to MEAT us. He ushers us into a cavern, and he’s running around getting all excited about his great catch, warning us about the arrival of his father, treacherous and fear-mongering leader of the group Sawney Bean. Just when we think we’re doomed, the soldiers come and they’ve done it, they’ve killed Sawney Bean! The ceiling opens above us and a body drops out, scaring the shite out of me, and Sawney Bean is swinging by his toes over top of us.
We’re taken to the Anatomy Theatre. We’re told about the medical school needing bodies, and about the grave robbers who provide said bodies. Burke and Hare, the murderous duo who go one step further by killing the people they wish to provide to the medical school, are brought up as well. The lady of the Anatomy Theatre starts to take about the body she’s been working on, pulling out the heart, stomach, intestines, and bladder which she subsequently squirts at us. Yuck! The police are suddenly banging on her door, and she rushes us out, disposing of us in a cemetery, leaving us with the ominous comment that Burke and Hare have been spotted here recently.
We’re seated on tombstones, awaiting our fate. The lights flutter out, and footsteps approach. Voices can be heard. It’s Burke and Hare, and they’re ready for some fresh bodies. We can hear them walking around us, saying things like “Well how about this one? Seems good and firm.” Occasionally you feel something tapping your shoulder, like they’re testing you out. What happened next still scared me, even though I was expecting it, this section being like the Sweeney Todd section of the London Dungeon. Our tombstones were jerked backwards, and I just about peed myself.
We’re herded into an alleyway, where we’re told about the plague and disease that’s been spreading. There are windows overhead that open, and people are shouting for a doctor. We get sprayed as they toss their waste out the window into the streets below. The Plague Purger insists that fire will wipe out the disease. Then the doctor does come, and he’s furious with the Plague Purger. All around us the walls start collapsing and we’re quick to get out of there.
We’re taken into a room where we learn about the Green Lady. She was a woman who fell in love with a soldier, but never learned his name. They were separated and she was forced to marry a horrible lord. Partway into their devastating marriage, his son returns from battle, and to her horror she recognizes her soldier lover. They share one last kiss, which her hubby walks in on, and in a rage, he kills her. The next day, he’s found kneeling over her body, blood dripping from the gash torn through his throat. People claim the Green Lady still haunts the house where her life was torn apart.
Of course, we don’t get to leave without our ghostly friend paying us a visit. Everything goes dark, things crash around, in the flashes of light we see portraits and shelves falling, and there, the Green Lady moving swiftly among us. The lights turn back on, and she’s no where to be seen.
We meet Maggie Dickson next, who I believe was convicted of witchcraft and hung for her crimes. She tells us we’re about to meet the same fate. We enter the Dead Drop Ride, get lifted up, and in one swift movement, are dropped to our deaths.
We end up in a misty labyrinth, mirrors and fog everywhere, and we wander in circles trying to find our way out. At last, the way out is revealed to us and we can escape.
And that was it. It was a lot of fun, and definitely kept me on my toes.