‘Dark tourism’ involves travelling to places associated with death, suffering or the macabre. The term encompasses a huge range of destinations – from dungeons, cemeteries and battlefields to medical museums and haunted pubs. The purpose of these sites varies considerably; some, like the London Dungeon, are about entertaining visitors with gory stories. Others, including sites of human atrocity like camps of genocide and the memorials and museums dedicated to their memory, are important places of remembrance and education.
Recently theorists have become interested in why dark tourist sites, and the people who visit them, are on the increase. Undoubtedly part of the fascination with ‘dark’ places is a human interest in the more morbid aspects of life – queues of traffic resulting from rubbernecking at car crashes is perhaps testament to this fact, or receiving a link to something you really don’t want to click on, but sort of do… But many of these places also touch on something deeper than that. They offer people opportunities to contemplate life, death, health, illness, history and humanity in modern society. Travel Darkly is a resource for people wishing to visit these sites.www.traveldarkly.com