The Edinburgh Dungeon is one of a chain of “Dungeon” exhibitions across the UK, but it has a distinctly local flavor taking as its inspiration some of the more gruesome events from Scottish history. Each macabre show has a darkly comic side, but there are some genuine scares to be had and this attraction is definitely not for young children or squeamish adults.
Edinburgh Dungeon — Photo courtesy of Edinburgh Dungeon
Live shows allow the visitor to learn about infamous Scottish characters such as Sawny Bean and his clan of cannibals who preyed on unwary travellers in the fifteenth century; Burke and Hare (the famous Edinburgh serial killers who sold the bodies of their victims to Edinburgh University doctors to be used in anatomy classes); Maggie Dickson (also known as half-hangit Maggie after she survived a hanging); and William Wallace (the great Scottish patriot who was tortured and murdered by the English and later immortalised in the largely fictional movie “Braveheart”). There are also a number of interactive shows such as the visit to a sixteenth century courtroom, the vertical fall ride “Dead Drop” and the Labyrinth mirror maze.
The Edinburgh Dungeon is one of the thirty-one UK attractions covered by the Merlin Annual Pass, and there are also discounts available for large groups and for those who plan ahead and book online. Each visit to the Dungeon lasts for a fear and fun filled eighty minutes, but you may need to factor in a couple of hours recovery time in one of Edinburgh’s many reassuringly cosy bars once you emerge from the shadows of the Dungeon with your sanity largely intact!