Edinburgh Dungeon to add spooky Calton Jail 'Death Cell' attraction this Halloween

Edinburgh attraction takes visitors back in time to old city prison
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Visitors to The Edinburgh Dungeon will be treated to an extra spooky new show in the run-up to Halloween, with its ‘Death Cell’ bringing to life the horrors of waiting on death row at Calton Jail 100 years ago.

Take yourself back to October 1923, as the last prisoner was hung in Edinburgh’s notorious Calton Jail. This great imposing fortress had some of the worst conditions ever encountered in prisons and the bodies of 10 souls are still to this day buried under the stones of what is now a car park.

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The Death Cell will run from October 7-31 at the Market Place attraction as part of the general admission ticket, which costs from £18 online, and bookings are now open for this Halloween treat.

Edinburgh Dungeon's Death Cell attraction runs from October 7-31. Photo by Nick Mailer Photography.Edinburgh Dungeon's Death Cell attraction runs from October 7-31. Photo by Nick Mailer Photography.
Edinburgh Dungeon's Death Cell attraction runs from October 7-31. Photo by Nick Mailer Photography.

Edinburgh Dungeon’s general manager Simon Beattie revealed more about this latest spooky addition at the city centre tourist attraction.

He said: “The Death Cell is a Halloween show we add in for that period of time. We turn our funeral room into a Halloween-themed room for the month. There’s always an excitement here when a seasonal show comes on.

"It’s something for the actors to get their teeth stuck into. Our performance manager Lyndsey Hebert, who has been here for 20 years, is responsible for all our seasonal shows and adds tweaks to our all year round attractions. She put a lot of research into this show. It features references to some of Edinburgh’s most notorious killers that were in Calton Jail and the Death Cell they were kept in leading up to their hanging.

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"The idea of the show is that the audience are there for a seance to bring back these criminals’ spirits. Summoning people back to the Death Cell. There are some jumps and scares. The cell isn’t empty, put it that way. The actors are rehearsing just now, so it’s good fun to see the performance and the actors enjoying it. It’s an entertaining and pretty scary show. I can’t wait to see the reaction of the audience. If people are scared it sort of floods through the room. This will be no different.”

Simon added how important is it at Edinburgh Dungeon to tell dark tales from the city’s past.

He said: "We like to try and tailor the seasonal shows to the local area and things that have happened in the area. So the Death Cell seemed like an appropriate thing to use. We are going back 100 years to when the last person was hung at Calton Jail, so it seemed perfect to tie into that anniversary. There is so much history in the city and there have been so many notorious crimes in Edinburgh in the past so it’s perfect.

"We think people should come to see Death Cell as there is nothing else like it in Edinburgh for an experience. It’s an immersive and interactive experience, underground, lasting for 70 minutes. We bring history to life here in a fun and exciting way. The Death Cell is a family show, but I think the show itself at Halloween is perfect. It brings a few fair scares with some great special effects, transporting people back to 100 years ago for a great experience.”

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