Dark Heritage

Dark Tourism is a funny thing that says an awful lot about the psychology of human beings. While I have participated in more than my fare share of this kind of tourism (my mother LOVES haunted hotels and I’ve been to all kinds of battlefields), there were some kinds of sites listed in the articles that I would have never thought of as ‘dark tourism locations.’ One type of heritage site I would not have classified among these other sites was slavery heritage sites. First, I was unaware that there was an active market for slavery heritage dark tourism outside of the associated Civil War sites. Second I had never considered purely educational sites to be a part of dark tourism, which is silly because the author of the Dark Tourism Spectrum article makes a great case as to why particular exhibits or entire museums would fall somewhere along that spectrum. What was obvious to me when looking at the Old Pen and Little Bighorn was much less obvious when considering the Holocaust Museum. Perhaps I am under the influence of more biases than I had previously considered.

I had also not fully considered the political and moral implications of some kinds of dark tourism. Certainly the photo series “Yolocaust” had made me reconsider what proper reverence for sites of great tragedy looks like. But I had not taken the cognitive leap to the assumption that there is a certain level of expected exploitation present at things like the human body exhibits in medical museums. I am interested to see how popular dark tourism continues to be in the intervening years.

3 thoughts on “Dark Heritage”

  1. I am also interested in direction of dark tourism. While I think most of the dark tourism that was talked about in our readings seemed pretty normal and not really harmful, it’s interesting to think about how much darker it really could get. People are into some weird stuff…

  2. I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t necessarily associate dark tourism with authentic educational experiences. Perhaps unfairly, I mitigated dark tourism to the cheesy tourist traps of haunted Civil War hospitals. I too am curious to see where dark tourism goes in the future.

  3. I feel like the idea of dark tourism is dependent on the mind frame you visit a site with. For some Gettysburg certainly could be dark, for others simply educational… I am both exited to see where dark tourism is going as well as just a touch hesitant because… well as stated people can be creepers lol

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *