Dungeon Lates at Warwick Castle - review
Warwick Castle has come up with a frightfully good idea for a new night-time event that is guaranteed to be a real scream.
If you thought the dark dungeons and grim gaol were creepy enough in the daytime – try wandering around them late at night.
And just imagine if some of the characters from the past were to return to this historic site to regale their stories once more for those who dare take part in the Dungeon Lates tour.
Billed as an ‘evening of scary storytelling with wicked humour and manic theatrics’, I couldn’t help thinking ‘how scary can it be?’ The fact that the tours are over 18s only should have been a clue!
It is certainly not for the faint-hearted as, without giving too much away, there are some ghoulish happenings and quite chilling characters. Not to mention the terrifying – audience participation.
The tour begins in the freezing, eerie jail where the first character – a mad Jester – appears, insane cackling and beginning the tour into the depths of the castle.
Brave visitors – or sinners/peasants as we all became - travel through a series of rooms ranging from the chapel, to the morgue, courthouse, execution room and torture chamber.
Through a series of brief history lessons that every child dreams of – if only in nightmares – we are graphically taught about the Black Death, torture instruments of medieval times and how justice was served from the mouths of the dungeons dwellers.
The most spine-chilling experience came as we learnt of the execution of ‘witches’ – and how they took their revenge!
Dungeon Lates is a rare chance to tour the dungeons in an exclusive group (there were a dozen in our party) after dark and it certainly is a lot of fun. The ‘audience participation’ is fairly gentle and there are some laughs to be had – honest.
It is a clever mix of special effects and wonderful theatrics in a unique setting – a great experience.
Helping to settle the nerves were a few rest stops along the way beginning with a Strawberry Woo Woo cocktail in the gaol cell – although I dread to think what was in the test tube in the doctor’s room, tasted nice though.
The tour lasts around 50 minutes and culminates in the Coach House where food is provided – a hot food buffet – and the bar is open. With the music pumping, this unusual venue is a great party room where visitors can stay until late.
This is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a night out with a difference with a group of friends – it will literally be a scream.
There are just four further Dungeon Lates being held this year, the next is on April 20, so be sure to book up soon. The evening costs £24 and more information can be found at www.warwick-castle.com