The nights are drawing in, the leaves are falling and Halloween is fast approaching.
Last week we got in the Halloween spirit by travelling down to York for the day to visit York Dungeon and their latest pumpkin-filled seasonal production, which runs until the 3rd of November.
One of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, the Dungeon explores the darker side of York’s history, from the Roman invaders to the Vikings and the plague, with a healthy dose of torture and witchcraft.
As you enter the venue you’re plunged straight into the dark and murky side of the city. But it’s not all drama, there’s a good dose of black humour too. Before the tour starts, visitors are invited to pose for a photograph – complete with replica stocks and giant axe. My husband was only too happy to volunteer me for the stocks whilst he wielded the axe…
Once the comedy photograph is taken and you’ve paid your entrance fee, you wait for the tour to begin in a creepy holding room complete with a crazy eyed figure who repeats a sinister monologue on the doom you are about to face.
The experience is made up of 11 shows, some of which feature actors, whilst others use talking animatronics.
We were part of a fairly big group, perhaps about 15 people. You’d think this would provide safety in numbers or give you somewhere to hide, but you’d be wrong. Just ask my hubby, who was twice called on to take part in the shows, as were many members of our group (except me – ha!)
The tour starts in a doctor’s surgery as a manic assistant describes the effects of the plague whilst pulling grisly looking organs from a dummy. He runs around, gleefully getting in people’s faces, before sending the group off on the next stage of the tour.
And so it goes on through a potted history of Guy Fawkes’ capture, Viking invaders, courtrooms, torture chambers and the burning of a witch. The group wandered through dark and smoky corridors, narrow tunnels, low doorways and mirrored rooms.
The tour is full of fascinating and unusual facts, brought to life in all their grisly glory. It’s like Horrible Histories, but for grown-ups. Of course, this is a family attraction too. And there isn’t anything too scary, as long as you’re not the nervous type.
I expected crazed figures jumping out on me and mysterious objects brushing against me in the dark, but there was none of that. Aside from a couple of shouts and door slams it isn’t even too jumpy and I’m the girl that always loses it during a horror film.
It might be a bit dark and spooky for young children, but the older ones should love it.
So if you’re looking for a day trip this Halloween, York Dungeon is worth a visit.
Please note, I received free entry to this attraction, but all opinions here are my own.