London Dungeon fright tests find French and Italians are biggest scaredy cats

11:22 07 June 2012

The London Dungeon scare testing. Photo: Mikael Buck

The London Dungeon scare testing. Photo: Mikael Buck

© Mikael Buck

Who would have thought it – the French and Italians have been revealed as the world’s biggest scaredy cats following research by the one of London’s scariest attractions.

London Dungeon biggest scaredy cat rankings:

1. France

2. Italy

3. Brazil

4. England

5. Scotland

6. Sweden

7. India

8. Hungary

9. USA

10. Germany

The London Dungeon wanted to see how different nationalities react to its gruesome shows so it commissioned ‘thrill engineer’ Professor Brendan Walker to conduct tests into the ‘scare thresholds’ of visitors and come up with top 10 rankings.

Stimuli such as live rats and maggot-infested meat were used to study people’s responses, including heart rate, sweat levels and facial expressions.

At the end of the research Prof Walker and his team concluded the French were easiest to frighten followed by the Italians and Brazilians.

Next came the English and Scots, with Americans and Germans proving to be much harder to scare.

Prof Walker said: “Most of the ratings are in keeping with what one might expect in terms of predicted national responses but there are some curve balls in there.

“I would certainly have anticipated that France, Italy and Brazil would come high up the list of most ‘scared’, but am surprised at some of the Anglo countries’ (USA, England and Scotland) relative ‘squeamishness’ – hardly in keeping with the stereotypes of the unshakeable British bulldog or Scotland the brave.”

The attraction is now using Prof Walker’s research and its own observations to classify its shows by nationality, with ratings reflecting cultural sensibilities as opposed to the more commonplace age classifications given for films and games.

London Dungeon general manager Ben Sweet said: “The results have enabled us to introduce an international rating system across our shows so guests know what level of scare they are in for.

“It will also be very useful for our team of actors, enabling them to ramp up or tone down the experience for different groups.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

More Quirky London

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Eugenie Bouchard (Picture: PA Images)

BBC Tennis tweeted that Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard was given a dress code penalty at Wimbledon for having her bra strap showing, but tournament officials told London24 this was not the case.

Monday, June 29, 2015
Make mine an Earl Grey (Photo: Brew)

There’s nothing Londoners love more than having a nice cuppa, and going to the pub. But until now, these two things have normally been separate.

Friday, June 26, 2015
Metropolitan Police Commissoner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe

A drink driver has written an incredible letter to police praising the officer who arrested him and helped turn his life around.

Thursday, June 25, 2015
(Picture: Supper Tub)

It was inevitable, really, after the hot tub cinema and an endless cycle of pop-up theme restaurants, that someone would try to combine the two - and now Supper Tub is here.

Thursday, June 25, 2015
Batman Cape and Cowl exhibition (Picture: Tom Dymond)

Just in time for the launch of massive new video game Batman: Arkham Knight, celebrities and artists have designed life-size versions of the hero’s costume to go on show in Shoreditch.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Colourful condoms (Picture: Getty)

Three Ilford teens just won the TeenTech Awards with their idea for an STI-detecting condom that turns different neon shades for herpes, chlamydia and syphilis.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Read more
Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Read more
Adrenalin junkies, this one's for you!

An icon of British engineering and a consistent favourite of James Bond, there are few names quite as legendary in motoring as Aston Martin.

Read more