SF Dungeons- San Francisco’s Newest Attraction

Pictured Above: Colonel Jack Gamble tortures his victims in the San Francisco Dungeon in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday June 18, 2014.
Pictured Below: “Scabby” the rat catcher demonstrates his surgical abilities to victims (guests) at the San Francisco Dungeon in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday June 18, 2014.
Photo credit: Beck Diefenbach

When I first heard about the SF Dungeons in early summer of 2014, I didn’t have much of an idea as to what I should expect. I had watched the promo videos and found the concept intriguing, somewhat of a cross between a well done haunted house and a visit to Alcatraz at night.

I experienced the Dungeons firsthand with a few AsianFusion team members who love scary, disturbing things and the “experience” took a full hour that flew by in what felt like minutes.

Without giving away too much, I can say that SF Dungeons is quite unlike anything I’ve ever encountered. It’s part walk-through, part sit-down shows and part boat ride. It’s a well orchestrated, unique manner of looking at the sordid, dark aspects of San Francisco history from the mid-1800’s to 1907, aspects that many people are likely to be unfamiliar with. Even for an almost SF native like me, I found myself learning new, interesting facts about the romantic city by the bay, facts that actually make San Francisco even more intriguing and complex.

Don’t let the super touristy Fisherman’s Wharf location deter you from visiting the Dungeons. Whether you actually are a tourist to San Francisco or a local, I highly encourage you to experience the “historic thrills.” If you’ve ever wanted to step back in time and know what a mafia-run saloon in olden day San Francisco was like; if you’ve ever wondered how criminals were brought to justice; how people dealt with plagues; if you’ve ever dreamed of being a “victim” in a horror movie set in Alcatraz- the SF Dungeons is definitely a can’t miss.

While I usually avoid Fisherman’s Wharf like a plague, the hour-long interactive journey into San Francisco’s sordid past was well worth the trek. For families or groups of friends, this is a really fun way to get spooked while immersing in old San Francisco, though I caution that it is not for people with heart problems nor for very young children.

My favorite part? Hands down the “Alcatraz” experience. Unlike other news outlets that have covered the opening of the SF Dungeons, I really don’t want to give details away. If you don’t have a heart problem and you enjoy the scary, the creepy, the odd, you should experience this for yourself. You won’t regret it!

Tickets range from US $16 to $26 depending on age and whether you purchase online or at the door. 

SF Dungeons Website