London Bridge Experience – Full Review

London Bridge Experience is a Haunted Attraction located in London, England.

2-4 Tooley Street, London, England SE1 2SY
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This attraction was reviewed on October 20, 2023 by Team Crypt Seekers.

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Final Score: 7.43

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Deep beneath London Bridge, a mysterious world awaits, concealed within the bowels of the city – the London Bridge Experience and London Tombs. Throughout the year, this immersive attraction offers visitors an engaging tour through the history of London, beginning from pre-Roman times and spanning various historical eras, all within a themed environment that brings each period to life. Yet, as the calendar turns to the darker months, the attraction undergoes a dramatic transformation, shedding its historical mantle and adopting a more sinister façade. It becomes a playground of eerie thrills, filled with seasonal theming and a cast of dedicated scare actors. Much of this sinister spectacle is unique, unrelated to London’s history, offering an experience that transcends time and place.

Each year, the theme changes, and in 2023, you’re invited to join us at the circus – or, should we say, the Cir-Curse! The circus-themed scares and spectacles promise a spine-tingling adventure.

Cast Score: 7.58

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Cast Review:

The first half of this Halloween experience had some lovely, terrifying, and interactive vignettes from a variety of spooky characters, including an introduction by the circus ringmaster, a cup-cake selling ghoul, a wedding gone wrong, and two mad clowns asking one of the audience members to oink like a pig. There was a lot of audience interaction, and the actors we met along the way were making huge efforts to portray their characters. These were easily the best moments of the night and what makes Cir-Curse so unique.

However, as we delved deeper and deeper into the underground tunnels, there were fewer and fewer actors, with almost no actors in the rooms that were mostly special effects and animatronics. The balance was a bit off, and we definitely missed a bit of an actor presence in some of the rooms, as well as how the characters were connected to each other in this story of the cursed circus.

Nevertheless, we really applaud with how interactive some of the actors tried to be with their performance, as almost every member in our group felt singled out at times, which definitely made us feel like we were a part of the broader story.

Costuming Score: 7.68

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Costuming Review:

Cir-Curse placed the art of costuming and makeup at the forefront, immersing visitors in a nightmarish circus experience that oozed eeriness and the macabre. From the ringmaster’s twisted attire to the insane clowns, most characters embodied the unsettling circus theme.

Costume and makeup choices adhered to industry standards, with each character being well-designed. Prosthetics, however, were employed sparingly, and it would have been nice to see some faces go beyond makeup.

Because the further you ventured into Cir-Curse, the more into the madness you became entwined, some of the circus-themed costumes had dwindled by the ending. But this seemed natural as the experience moved further from reality and more into horror.

Customer Service Score: 9.03

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The London Bridge Experience is located smack dab in the city centre, making this a prime haunt for those living in London, and especially those without a vehicle, as public transport to the location is easy. Directions on the website make finding the location simple, but it might be a bit more difficult (or at least a bit pricey) to find parking nearby. Yet there is plenty of information about this online. Once you do get to the location, it is very easy to find the premises, although queueing alongside a busy street is always an interesting process!

We found nothing particularly dangerous about this haunt, as all stairways are well-lit. Since this haunt is indoors, there isn’t anything like muddy or slippery paths to contend with, and while there was one area where the pathway rose and fell that we nudged our toes against, everything else was uncomplicated and safe to navigate.

The staff at the attraction, while limited, were also lovely and accommodating, which is great to see when a lot of security and staff in London might not always be this way. The only downside we came across in terms of service was only the information on their website. There’s a great trailer video for the experience and some helpful FAQs, but we do think the website would benefit from a bit more information about what patrons might experience at this haunt and any information that might be additional to what is usually publicised for their year-round experiences.

Immersion Score: 7.25

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Immersion Review:

The attraction’s location is inherently unsettling, being buried (as it were) beneath the storied streets of London. Before the attraction begins, you experience a themed waiting area and staircase that begins to put you in the mood for fear. It’s definitely apparent from the looming tunnel the entrance is located under and the line itself that this is a professional haunt.

The narrative revolves around the enigmatic ringmaster and his ill-fated Romani bride. A tragic curse has befallen the circus, a consequence of her family’s vehement disapproval of their union, and we, as visitors, are plunged into the horrors born of this dark history. The haunting unfolds through a series of theatrical vignettes featuring the ringmaster, clowns, and fortune-teller, creating an atmosphere of immersive theatre that surrounds the entire experience.

The circus theme was woven into every aspect of the attraction, with the faded white-and-red stripes of the big top recurring throughout most of the maze. Still, as the haunt’s journey transitioned from the reimagined themed areas above to the traditional London Tombs below, the circus motif faded away in the latter part of the experience. While this might be attributed to the eerie ambiance of the tombs themselves, the contrast was quite noticeable.

Upon leaving the haunt, guests walk directly into the Bermondsey Bierkeller, the associated bar and food establishment. Whilst the transition is not themed, it still has an appropriately spooky and vaultlike atmosphere.

Special FX Score: 7.25

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Special FX Review:

There were two music themes in the haunt; one focused on the circus setting of the attraction, and the other was more ominous music for the rooms that weren’t circus-themed. This ominous soundtrack was especially great for the more crypt-like part of the tour, where we were immersed with being underground in the tunnels beneath London. Because of this unique location, the haunt is able to utilise the natural architecture of the underground space in the worlds they build beneath the ground, using old-worldy and decrepit props to tie into the cave-like nature of the lair. To balance these crypt-like spaces, there were also specific rooms the haunt created for the vignettes we saw, including pews and an altar for the wedding scene, a mini fairground for the clown shooting gallery scene, and a market-style shop for the cupcake ghoul to sell us her wares.

We were most impressed by the maze of circus flaps nearer the end of the trail, which we tried (and failed) to navigate, as we felt we were stuck in a horrifying circus maze with no ability to escape.

While the newer sets for Cir-Curse mentioned above were quite realistic, the second half of the maze, which utilises the year-round set and props of The London Bridge experience, feels a bit more outdated. There’s a lot of effective animatronics in this part of the maze, however, and we were especially taken aback by the lights, sound, and movement of a London tube carriage, which almost ran us over!

Scare Factor Score: 6.69

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Scare Factor Review:

We do find The London Bridge Experience a fun jaunt, and look forward to the immersive performances and dedicated actors every year. While we don’t think it was the scariest experience, there are many moments where we were startled, and we were taken out of our comfort zone by the actors asking us to do quite spontaneous things in the vignettes, which we were completely unprepared for.

The actors in the bigger scenes made sure that everyone was involved in the experience, even those that weren’t the obvious easy targets actors usually go to. They made sure to include everyone no matter what order they were in the queue going into the experience. By the end, everyone in our group got included in some scares or another, especially when we all seemed to get lost in the circus maze, and all had different experiences getting out!

All in all, while not an intensely terrifying maze with slightly predictable scares at times, we think this haunt is full of super fun spooky moments, and we were definitely creeped out when going through the disorienting circus and the ominous crypt!

Entertainment & Value Score: 7.25

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E&V Review:

Let’s be frank – this is one of the only haunts in central London, in a prime location next to London Bridge. So, of course, tickets are going to be at a premium. But you’re paying for a lengthy experience with actors who are putting in their all, and for those in London who can’t travel miles and miles to another scare attraction, this is a fantastic find in the centre of the city.

There is also lots to do nearby the experience, including a fun food and bar establishment and a brand new immersive cocktail experience with a prison theme, which goes great in conjunction with the haunted attraction. So, while there’s no extra entertainment included in the ticket price other than the maze, you’re in the right place to continue having a night of fun. We’re interested in seeing how the experience grows in the years to come in terms of their relationships with these other businesses and what additional entertainment could be in store with their collaboration!

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