How Haunt Fans Can Kill Time in Scotland: The Edinburgh Dungeon

Chuck Campbell offers a look at the Edinburgh Dungeon, a tourist attraction in Scotland that will interest theme park haunt fans.

From Chuck Campbell
Posted May 20, 2004 at 8:33 PM
So, you toured the Edinburgh Castle, you've walked the Royal Mile to Holyrood, climbed to the top of Calton Hill and Arthur's Seat, taken in all the local culture you can stand. And you're left with one burning question: "How do I kill an hour or two while waiting for the London train at Waverly Station?"

You could try going around the corner and descending into the dank, moldy depths of the Edinburgh Dungeon, a celebration of torture, depravity, and, of course, plywood (like certain theme parks during the month of October). Oh, and bathroom jokes--plenty of those--all for 7.5 pounds.

The Dungeon isn't a maze as much as a series of exhibits and brief skits--all having to do with the less savory side of Scottish history--that is, torture, cannibalism, and body snatching.

You start with a museum, of sorts, celebrating some of Edinburgh's colorful history, such as witch trials and the expolits of Deacon Brodie (the inspiration for Jeckyll and Hyde--hoist a pint at his pub later). From then on, you're led through various set pieces, such as a 19th-century operating theatre (for a wee bit 'o' dissection, of course), the cave hideout of Sawney Bean's cannibal clan (best not ask about the menu), and a lonely McDonald hut on Glencoe (where you await the coming of the vicious Campbell Clan--hey, don't look at me). There's even a "boat ride" (on rails) through a cave of vampires.

Most of this is more for laughs than scares. The cast is energetic and keeps things hopping, although the screechy Scottish accent of Sawney Bean's wee wisp of a daughter could cause serious brain damage with prolonged exposure. The sets and effects are on a par with what you'd see at a theme park haunting--but be wary of looking up if someone yells "gardaloo," lest a quaint, medieval Edinburgh tradition splatter all over your face.

Edinburgh Castle, by the way, has an excellent walkthrough exhibit through its old prison--more educational and just as entertaining as the Dungeon.

From Philip Curds
Posted May 21, 2004 at 1:36 AM
Although, I'm sure Edinburgh Dungeon offers an outstanding wal-through attraction, I would prefer to tour the London Dungeon, outside London Bridge Station. At least, that has some attractions, including I believe a ride that is very 'scary'. What is it with Dungeon's being next to stations? Oh well.

From Chuck Campbell
Posted May 21, 2004 at 8:47 AM
We didn't check out the London Dungeon, but we were pretty amused that there seemed to be a "chain" of such operations. Wonder what it costs to get a dungeon franchise? Do you have to proivde your own iron maiden and ankle chains? I wondered about the train station connection, too. Maybe there's plenty of cheap warehouse space near old stations. Or maybe they are trying to catch the "waiting for a train" crowd.

From Jason Lester
Posted May 21, 2004 at 6:19 PM
The London Dungeon is beneath a train station so the trains rumble overhead

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