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.”

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Screenings of 2004 hit comedy Team America: World Police have now been hit by the Sony hacking.

Read more

Johnny Depp is thought to be planning a secret wedding with Amber Heard for New Year’s Eve.

Read more

Brad was sent back home as officials decided it would be too distracting for the other jurors to have him there.

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

The mother of seven of the children suffered serious stab wounds. She remains in a stable condition in hospital.

According to the MoD, the answer is a resounded “yes”.

Lewis Hamilton’s metaphor for life is particularly deep, with many turns.

TOP Stories

7 minutes ago
Alison Morrison was stabbed near her home in Harrow yesterday morning (Picture: Google Streetview)

A woman stabbed to death outside her home in west London was allegedly locked in a bitter dispute over a shared driveway with her neighbour, who has been arrested on suspicion of her murder.

Police believe this woman can help in their investigation [Photograph from BTP]

Police want to speak to the woman in this photograph after a 23-year-old man was subjected to a ‘prolonged verbal tirade’ by a woman on the Metropolitan Line.

The £175m bridge has been approved by Boris Johnson (Picture: Arup)

Boris Johnson has given the go-ahead the controversial £175million Garden Bridge over the Thames claiming it will be ‘a stunning oasis of tranquillity in the heart of our city’.

London Bloggers

Thursday, November 27, 2014
The main room at the Museum of Comedy (Pic: Steve Ullathorne)

This week I visited the Museum of Comedy located at the corner of Museum Street and Bloomsbury Way in the crypt under St George’s Church.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Bird Lovegod

I genuinely and honestly have only a slight problem when it comes to buying domain names.

Friday, November 14, 2014
Bird says back up your data

What happened after a friend of mine lost basically everything he’d created in the last 5 years: