Vacation of horrors

Published 2:41 pm Tuesday, February 17, 2009

For years, I’ve dreamed of visiting London when I become rich, so that I can see the many real places in that historic city that I’ve read about in fiction.

However, I now have one more destination to add to my list of places to visit if and when I am able to travel to the famed city: the London Dungeon.

As I was browsing a national news Web site on Saturday, trying to keep up with the latest happenings in the world, I noticed a headline that read “Forget love – ‘Hex your ex’ on Valentine’s Day.”


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Intrigued, I clicked on the headline, thinking that the story would be nothing more than a tongue-in-cheek list of curses spurned lovers may want to inflict on their exes.

Instead, I found an article about something much more macabre. Apparently, the European tourist attraction “The London Dungeon,” was offering a Valentine’s Day special where jilted men and women can bring a picture of their ex, rip it up and throw it into a smoking cauldron as they choose a “curse” to inflict upon their ex. Spokeswoman Kate Edwards told CNN the curses are mean to be taken lightly, and none involves anything too bad happening to your ex.

“It’s very therapeutic, but it means in times of the credit crunch, you get money off as well,” she said. That’s because in exchange for inflicting a curse upon your ex, you get five pounds (about $7.20) off the 11-pound entry price.

Because I had never heard of the London Dungeon, I did a little Google search and found out just how wonderful it is. The London Dungeon is actually a network of five tourist attractions in London, York, Hamburg, Amsterdam and Edinburgh. At the London Dungeon, you can endure horror attractions based on real historical events such as Jack the Ripper’s murderous rampage, the Great Fire of London, torture of prisoners, the plague and hanging executions. There’s even an attraction in which you can actually be “hanged,” except for the safety harness that stops you just short of breaking your neck and suffocating.

At the Amsterdam Dungeon, you can experience the “terrifying brutality of the Spanish Inquisition in a dark torture chamber,” the Web site says. “Your torturer is ruthless and determined to ensure that your suffering is as drawn-out and agonizing as possible.”

Sounds like just my kind of tourist attraction. I can’t wait to go. It certainly won’t be hard to come up with 11 pounds worth of American money. The harder part will be the plane ticket there. I wonder if a similar attraction will be coming to Busch Gardens soon?