Go back to news updates
Chamber of Horrors returns
- Wednesday 19th October 2022
- True crime, Our History, Marie Tussaud, Chamber of Horrors
First introduced to British audiences in 1818, while Marie Tussaud toured the UK with her travelling wax exhibition, the return of the Chamber of Horrors will again shine a light on some of London’s darkest crime scenes of the past 150 years, including those committed by:
- East London gangsters The Kray Twins - identical twin brothers, and the foremost perpetrators of organised crime in the East End of London, from the late 1950s to 1967
- Serial killer John Christie, active during the 1940s and early 1950s, who is known to have murdered at least eight people at his home on Rillington Place. Timothy Evans was wrongfully hanged for some of the murders - with the case playing a major part in the removal of capital punishment for murder in 1965
- John Haigh, commonly known as the Acid Bath Murderer - a serial killer convicted of the murder of six people, although he claimed to have killed nine between 1944-49
- Dennis Nilsen, a serial killer who murdered at least 12 young men and boys between 1978 and 1983 in London
- Ruth Ellis, hanged in July 1955 for the murder of her abusive lover. She became the last woman to be hanged in the United Kingdom
- Jack the Ripper, a serial killer active in the impoverished districts in and around Whitechapel in the East End of London in 1888. Whilst never officially identified, based on well documented historical theories, Jack the Ripper’s figure will take the form of Aaron Kosminski, a barber originally from Poland who emigrated to England in the 1880s
Whilst the crimes these individuals committed are all very different, each one had a significant impact on social and criminal history, as well as being well documented by the media at the time, and well into the present day.
David Wilson, Emeritus Professor of Criminology at Birmingham City University, said: “Our fascination with true crime and violent crime is not just normal, but necessary. Knowing when and in what circumstances someone will use violence helps society - and us as individuals - evolve by eradicating the circumstances in which violence is most likely to happen.
“Continuing to remember these perpetrators and what they did, not only allows us to see patterns of victimisation over time but also social and cultural change – and, sadly, sometimes continuity.”
Zoe Louca-Richards, Historian and Archivist, said: “Crime and horror have been embedded in the history of Madame Tussauds London since its inception. The original Chamber of Horrors first opened more than 200 years ago, and featured death masks and authentic relics, alongside the figures of the most infamous offenders of the time.
"Madame Tussauds London's archive houses a significant collection of historical artefacts, which help tell the story of some of the capital's darkest crimes. The return of the Chamber of Horrors will once again see some of these items back on display to the public."
Find out more here.