What Is Dark Tourism?
Travel to places historically associated with death and tragedy.
Morbid right? But here’s the reasons tourists visit Dark Tourism sites
1 – Curiosity
2 – Step back into history & feel the impact of the events
3 – Understand what happened first-hand
4 – Pay respects & visit memorials
5 – Experience the creation of reflective memories
6 – Remember what it is to be human
People go for many reasons, but ultimately, it just means you are interested in learning about life and history.
If you dare to go…here are some of the top Dark Tourism destinations & most Haunted places in the world
Bran Castle, Romania
The home of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” seems to be based on this Romanian castle on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. The former seat of the infamous Vlad the Impaler, Bran Castle is now a museum for art and furniture collected by Queen Marie. You can also stay the night using AirBnB if you’re one of the brave ones!
Sedlec Ossuary, Kutna Hora, Czech Republic
Also known as the “Church of Bones”, this Roman Catholic chapel is located under the Cemetery Church of All Saints in Kutna Hora. It’s estimated to contain the skeletons of upwards of 70,000 people whose bones have been artistically arranged to form decorations for the chapel. Though it may seem eerie, the grim décor is intended as a reminder of the inevitable and to make the most out of life.
Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California
The Winchester Mystery House is a mansion built by Sarah Winchester, the widow of the inventor of the Winchester rifle. Believing herself cursed by those killed by the Winchester rifles, Sarah Winchester built the house continuously over decades as a form of penance. The resulting structure is a sprawling maze of indoor windows, stairways, to nowhere, and other strange architectural features.
Coliseum, Rome, Italy
Constructed in 70 AD, the Coliseum was where Gladiators fought, prisoners were executed, and actors performed in Rome. This amphitheater was used for bloody entertainment for 390 years and more than 400,000 people died inside, as well as about 1 million animals. Visitors have described ghostly figures wandering the staircases, and hearing crowds cheering from the empty arena. Some have reported feeling cold touches or even pushes. Sounds of animals can also be heard from the vaults.
Key West, Florida, USA
During the plague, thousands of bodies washed up on this island’s shores, giving it the Spanish name Cayo Hueso – “Key of Bones”. The site of numerous hangings of pirates and other criminals, Key West is consistently ranked as one of the most haunted cities in the US. Today, you can take a drink at a morgue-turned-bar, take one of the city’s innumerable ghost tours, or visit “Robert the Doll”, the original inspiration for the “Chuckie” movies.
Catacombs, Paris, France
A repurposed network of quarry tunnels used since Roman times, the Paris Catacombs are an underground ossuary holding the remains of more than 6 million people from Paris’s overflowing cemeteries. Later renovations allowed for visitors. There is also a room dedicated to the display of various minerals found under Paris and another room showcasing skeletal deformities of remains that were found during the renovations of the catacombs.
Pluckley Village, Kent, UK
This village in Kent was once crowned the most haunted village in England by the Guinness Book of World Records, with an estimated 12-16 ghosts. A highwayman who was stabbed with a sword and pinned to a tree is said to haunt an area called ‘Fright Corner’. An apparition named The Red Lady also haunts the churchyard after dark. And the village is also home to a number of haunted pubs and other buildings.
Farafra Desert, Egypt
The ghost of Akhenaten is reportedly said to wander this desert in Egypt. Legend says because Akhenaten abolished the Egyptian gods when he became Pharaoh, it angered the religious followers and priests of Egypt. Upon his death, the priests are believed to have cursed him to wander the desert forever as punishment.
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
New Orleans, the most haunted city in the United States, is where the dead refuse to rest. In fact, there is no solid ground to hold them as the water levels are very high – digging even only a few feet down fills the graves with water. This city is famous for its people practicing magic and the mystical arts, and you can join local followers in visiting the tomb of famous Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau to ask her spirit for help or harm. The area is rich in attractions based on Cajun lore such as vampires, witches, and the bayou-dwelling werewolf, the rougarou. The famous French Quarter is the oldest area in this historical city and reflects both French and Spanish architecture.
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