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Hanging Around in York!
York Dungeon (York)
Member Name: Suzan
York Dungeon (York)
Date: 10/01/02, updated on 10/01/02 (317 review reads)
Advantages: Very entertaining, educational, great value
Disadvantages: Not for the timid
On a recent visit to the beautiful city of York, my husband and I decided we just had to visit the York Dungeon…and was I glad I had someone to grab!It might have been better if it had been my husband...but that's another story!
Anyway, this is a decidedly scary experience. The Dungeon is actually underground, which adds to the chilling,ice-running-through-your veins atmosphere. As you descend you hear the pitiful wails of torture victims, the bloodcurdling screams of those poor souls condemned to be bricked up alive, the terrifying cries of those being sent down for a stretch (on the rack!) or strung up on the gibbet.(He got a suspended sentence - they hung him!)
Moving cautiously along, our first shock came when one of the “exhibits” reached out and grabbed us. Yes, these are the guides, dressed in costume,and an evil-looking bunch they are too.A lot scarier than Anne Robinson!
We were invited to visit the plague doctor in his surgery, where he was administering to one of his patients (more like finishing him off!) The doctor wore a long beak-like mask, filled with sweet-smelling herbs to ward off the plague.(From where we get the slang term “quack”)
Since the doctor could do nothing for us( we were NHS patients) we moved along to witness the trial and subsequent execution of the notorious highwayman Dick Turpin, who mounted the scaffold with an air of dignity, except for the tremor in his right leg.Being a bloodthirsty lot,we cheered as the trapdoor opened and Dick went down in the world.
Next we met the conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot (a brilliant display), passing on the way various poor souls on their way to meet their Maker by some of the cruellest punishments imaginable (boiling in water, or, if the executioner was in the mood, pitch: judicial drowning, where the victim was tethered to the river bank and left for the tide to rise-unless the rats got there first: flaying, whe
re the victim was skinned alive: guillotining, by a heavy axe rather than the more efficient blade as favoured by the French: and the exquisitely cruel punishment meted out to traitors,hanging,drawing and quartering.) I can tell you, I was glad I hadn’t eaten…the exhibits are gruesomely realistic.
York is reputed to be one of the most haunted cities in Britain, and in the Dungeon you will meet the ghostly lost Roman Legion…who disappear through a brick wall (wonderful special effects.)
Finally, gaze upon the tortured body of St George, who was executed for being a Christian.The manner of his death was especially terrible. He was first tied to a cross and his flesh raked with iron combs, then nailed to a table and chained.he was fed poison, placed between two wheels, his body sawn in half before being decapitated and the remains cast into a cauldron of molten lead. (That just about finished him off!)
If you like being scared witless, you will love York Dungeon, and even the most sceptical will be relieved to get back above ground. As well as being entertaining, the Dungeon is informative because the really scary part of it all is that everything you see really did happen. Talk about Man’s inhumanity to Man!
I think we were over an hour in the Dungeon (seemed longer)and we went at our own pace..no-one hurried you along.Mind,you didn't want to linger in some parts.
We arrived quite early in the morning,so we did not get stuck in a queue,but be prepared to have a wait at peak periods.
I would not advise, though, anyone of a nervous disposition to visit the Dungeon, and it may not be suitable for young children (parental discretion here)
I think the admission charge was £6.50 for adults (look out for special offers at times in newspapers - we had a 2 for 1 voucher.)
There is a similar attraction in London - I’ve not yet visited, but hope to in the future.