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A tribute to the tough justice of Edinburgh's past

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Torture Chamber
Burke & Hare
Be grateful that you don't live in Edinburgh's past. The history of Scotland's capital is full of interesting stories, but they're rarely pleasant. They tell of people being imprisoned, tortured, beaten and murdered! If you think you've got the guts for it, you can take a look back into these dangerous times. Step inside the Edinburgh Dungeon, under the stern gaze of the castle. In this place, the law was at least as tough as the law-breakers. You'll meet a 17th century judge, who decided the fate of the city's smugglers, thieves and murderers.
If their tongues weren't loose enough, the criminals were "encouraged" in the torture chamber. All sorts of endlessly inventive devices were put to use in this cold, dark room. You'll be introduced to these deadly gadgets, and shown how they work. Even if someone managed to walk out of here alive, they would never be the same as when they went in.
For some people, imprisonment was deemed to be too kind. If that was the judge's decision, then there was only one place left to send them. They were taken to see the hangman, who'd place a noose around their neck before cutting the ground beneath them. If you've committed a misdeed lately, then you may like to experience the same fate though without the same dire consequences. The Extremis ride simulates the feeling of being executed for your crimes.
Back in the 17th century, it wasn't just the criminals who met a grisly end. The city was in the grip of the deadly plague. Anyone could catch it at any moment. You'll meet the ghost of Mary King, a victim of the disease, who was abandoned and left to die. The bodies ended up in the graveyards and burial grounds, but even then they weren't left to rest in peace.
Among the tombs were the mysterious figures of Burke and Hare. In the 1800s they sold human corpses on the black market, to line their pockets with gold. The buyer was a man called Dr. Knox, who dissected the dead in order to study the workings of the human body. Once inside his operating theatre, you'll soon realise that the medical profession has come a long way since those vile days. Dr. Knox obviously cared little about cleanliness and hygiene, as his work surfaces are covered in various bodily fluids.
Elsewhere in the dungeon are many more of Edinburgh's unsavoury characters, from bloodthirsty cannibals to medieval soldiers. The stories are told using a mixture of rides, special effects and live actors. A visit here is enough to put anybody off ever misbehaving again.
Visitor Information
Edinburgh Dungeon is open daily from 11am to 4pm (extended at weekends and in Summer). Entry costs around £16 for adults, £12 children (discounts online). 31 Market Street, Edinburgh EH1 1QB. Tel: 0131 240 1001

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