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

Conversation topics change in the glow of the camp fire compared to daily life.

Read more

US rapper Chris Brown said spending time in prison has helped change him into a better person.

Read more

Just moved into your new halls of residence? You’ll soon learn that all of these are true.

Read more

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 17:50
The fire broke out in high rise flats in Battersea. Picture by @EreenaC.

Around 80 firefighters tackled a blaze at a high rise block of flats in Ingrave Street, Battersea this afternoon - rescuing 18 people.

Yesterday, 18:58
Dead fish in Harrow Lodge Park lake, east London (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Mystery surrounds the death of around 1,000 fish, discovered floating in an east London park lake at the weekend.

Yesterday, 16:50
Steve Hooper and Mary Alexander with her unusual duck-shaped potato. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

A duck-shaped potato and “bitter and twisted” runner beans were the unlikely stars of a horticultural autumn show in Highgate.

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

London Bloggers

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit:

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.

Quizzes

(Photo by Ben Horton/Getty Images for Madame Tussauds Hollywood)

If there’s one thing that can change Londoners from nice, normal people into superhumans capable of extreme levels of rage and passive aggression, it’s the descent below-ground.

Read more
Do you fancy yourself as a football ground know-it-all? Try our devilishly difficult quiz!

How well do you know your football stadiums? This brand new quiz from London24 will seperate the men from the boys...

Read more
Do you know your Thames truths from the porkie pies? (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

So, you live (or work) in London, and you think you know the river well.

Read more