Dundee is currently finding itself in a flurry of an arts revolution and continually interesting developments are coming to the fore. Several theatre, dance and arts groups are thriving within the city. There is of course the Dundee Rep continuing to lead the way as an important arts venue with an astonishingly good ensemble and soon being added to the mix is the V&A Museum which is a revolutionary new frontier on the city’s horizon.
Mulling away mischievously within this new development of a vibrant city is one of the most informative and darkly gruesome ventures in town, Dark Dundee. The company are currently providing a variety of tours that delve into the bleaker tales of Auld Dundee. With two highly engaging leaders of the tours: Stuart and Louise, Dark Dundee is providing a thoroughly enjoyable and extremely engaging hour of ghoulish tales.
I went along to the Dead Centre tour last week, which recounts the deaths, executions and diseases that plagued the city hundreds of years ago. Much of the tour takes us through the Howff graveyard – a mighty and intimidating cemetery found directly in the centre of the town. Many a Dundonian has probably drunkenly stumbled past this location at 2am, kebab in hand looking for a taxi after a night out and not given the place a second glance (myself included!) That may well change for those who attend this well researched tour as we find out tales of some of the inhabitants who lie buried under the grounds. In fact, there’s a fair few more bodies in there than you may realise. Full of truly informative facts (I won’t give too much away here) the entire tour is a thrilling listen and Stuart and Louise have a casual, skilfully balanced repartee between them that keeps the audience fully engaged throughout.
Dark Dundee don’t provide cheap shocks or scares as the tours are proudly accounted tales of true stories that will fascinate both locals and visitors to the city. The tours are picking up quite a fanbase already and the team are currently offering some exciting special events in the months ahead, including Witch Hunt, a tale of the last woman hanged in Dundee for witchcraft. Also have a look at their website which is regularly updated with spooky tales from Dundee’s past. I’ll definitely be going along to check out the other tours – and from now on I’ll be drunkenly eating that kebab on the other side of the road.