The London Dungeon – London, England - Atlas Obscura

The London Dungeon

One part local history, 99 parts gruesome haunted house. 

1761
1544

When you bring history into the equation, gory haunted attractions aren’t just for Halloween, thus the London Dungeon is always ready to give visitors a blood-soaked tour through London’s past.

This tourist attraction is by no means hidden, but its sidelong devotion to history amidst the animatronics, fake smoke, and theatre blood make it unique among its kitschy brethren.

Part of a small European chain of attractions that are each tailored to the local history of their city, the London Dungeon features dramatic and shocking recreations of such real life horrors as a mad King Henry VIII, Guy Fawkes’ bombing plot, and of course a fully explorable series of Whitechapel alleys stalked by Jack the Ripper.

The London Dungeon was opened in 1974 by Annabel Geddes. Originally, it comprised a wax exhibition of gory and macabre local history. Over the following decades, it grew to feature walkthrough theatrical shows. In the 90s, the Dungeon was rebranded, with a shift towards interactive horror, and away from historical accuracy.

Covering London’s instances of plague, torture, and murder, the attraction is clearly more invested in scares than facts. However none can say that the London Dungeon does not make the city’s history seem much more interesting than any textbook might.