I STOOD in the dock accused of a heinous crime – mince pie munching last Christmas.
And I couldn’t argue with the judge – because for one reason he was right, and another, he just wouldn’t let me.
I was mocked and derided by my fellow guests in the Cromwellian courtroom on the very first tour of the actor-led Blackpool Dungeon, and told to get back to my seat.
Others faced the same treatment for crimes including witchcraft – and being from Burnley.
The courtroom is just one of 10 different areas of Blackpool’s latest attraction, opened ahead of schedule this weekend, with a grand opening set for September 1.
Visitors to the Tower-based Merlin-run Dungeon are in for a treat from the very start. Before entering the Dungeon, you’re even asked to pose for pictures beheading each other.
From the first character visitors meet – the crazed lift engineer – to the last, it’s a high-quality and well-put together affair.
Those brave enough to dare the Dungeon – and there’s more than a few shocks to be had – will visit the dark chapel of Lytham priory, a plague room, torture chamber, courtroom for the judgement of sinners, Viking settlement, smugglers in Skippool, Pendle’s witches, and the crazy characters associated with each.
And all that’s before the (optional but included in the price) witch-themed Extremis drop ride – which despite looking small, could easily hold its own as a ride on theme parks across the country.
General manager Gary Blackadder is delighted with his attraction.
He said: “We’re very excited by it.
“The actors – including the four recruited from open auditions in Blackpool – have worked so hard, as have the production and theming teams.
“We’ve been so excited about finally getting the doors open to the public. We’re ahead of schedule and will open the doors this weekend.”
The Blackpool attraction is building on a brand that is spreading into Europe; there’s already Dungeons in London, Edinburgh, York, Warwick Castle, Amsterdam and Hamburg.
But they all pale in comparison, according to Gary. He said: “Undoubtedly, Blackpool is the best in the group.”