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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Dark tourism, tours and DIY how-to guides

The term 'dark tourism' is generally thought to have first been coined by UK academics John Lennon and Malcolm Foley in the mid-1990s. They were the first to publish a book on the subject, 'Dark Tourism: The Attraction of Death and Disaster' in 2000, which explores the rise of this phenomenon in the late 20th century. Lennon claimed in 'Tourists who yield to the lure of the macabre' (The Independent, 2001) that it was actually a Schindler's List tour that inspired their research. For those averse to organized tours, sites such as eHow provide step-by-step do-it-yourself 'dark tour' guides, such as How to Take a JFK Assassination Tour, while wikiHow gives advice on How to Plan a Dark Tour or Halloween Vacation, with links to Find a Grave (so you can locate famous burial sites) and the Dark Destinations database, where you can get more ideas - or add your own.


jen laceda said...

I use to think Pere Lachaise in Paris and Arlington Memorial in the US were the extent of dark tourism / how-to-find-a-grave kind of tours, but like you said, anyone can do a custom DIY 'dark' tour nowadays. This calls to mind the Blair Witch Project tour, The Killing Field's tour, London's Jack the Ripper tour, serial killer tours (Manson, Dahmer)...come to think of it, there are LOTS out there!

Lara Dunston said...

Hi Jen

Oh, I love the Lachaise cemetery in Paris, actually, and yes there are so many out there, it's incredible. I've been so surprised by what people are doing tours to. Yep, the serial killer ones really baffle me.