Review: Chamber of Horrors at Madame Tussauds

Chamber of Horrors, Madame Tussauds London

The Chamber of Horrors at Madame Tussauds London returned in October this year after a five-year hiatus.

One of the waxwork museum’s original signature attractions since the 1840s, the chamber’s removal for the Sherlock Holmes Experience in 2016 was rightly questioned.

Now restored and featuring new and refreshed scenes – usually based on serial killers – the Chamber of Horrors can still intimidate by name alone.

And it is seemingly this fear that ensures the chamber is the quietest part of what is a very busy Madame Tussauds on this late-December day.

At the entrance, actresses not fully into their roles shout out safety warnings and invite those under 16 or of a nervous deposition to bypass the chamber. Many people oblige.


Both the exterior and interior scenes are somewhat reminiscent of Madame Tussauds operator Merin Entertainments’ Dungeon attractions.

There is however less atmosphere than at the Dungeons, including a notable absence of smell effects, but the dark lighting is effective.

A seated Ronnie Kray figure creepily greets people as they walk through at their own pace, but the John Haigh scene is more akin to management of nuclear waste rather than dissolving bodies in acid.

As you approach Dennis Nilsen’s cell, his figure is a little unnerving, but you cannot help but recall David Tennant in the recent ITV drama based on the killer.

It is at this point that the only two actors in the chamber begin their sparse interactions with guests, but they are strangely dressed on Victorian attire which is conflicts with the 1980s-era Nilsen.

The best moment of the chamber is well-retained until its end, but timing is everything and entry disappointingly is not controlled by staff.

But time it right and Jack the Ripper, concealed initially as only a silhouette, progresses very effectively to provide a good jump scare before you next this otherwise slightly underwhelming revived Chamber of Horrors.