To put it simply, dark tourism is considered tourism in places that have seen death and suffering.
History is full of places that would be considered dark tourist spots, from the Colosseum in Rome to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City.
These are the dark tourism spots we have visited, usually with children. We have visited these spots in connection with their history and not out of any ghoulish interest (especially because my kids are definitely not what you would consider super-brave). They heard the story of Annabelle the evil doll from a school friend, saw the YouTube movie trailer and wouldn’t sleep alone for a month.
We would consider our foray into these type of historic sightseeing dark tourism lite.
Prisons and Detainment Centres
- Wild West Syle Justice at the Wyoming Frontier Prison in the USA
- Racism and World War II at Heart Mountain Japanese Internment Camp in Wyoming, USA
- The Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia in the USA
- Bodmin Jail in Cornwall in England
- The Tower of London in England
- The Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town in South Africa
- The East Side Gallery (the street art on a former section of the Berlin Wall) in Berlin in Germany
- Visiting the D-Day Beaches from World War 2 in Normandy in France
- Visiting the atomic blast site turned memorial peace park in Hiroshima in Japan
Memorials and Museums
- The Inquisition Museum of Toulouse in France
- The Garden of Reflection in Pennsylvania: A local 9/11 Memorial
- The District 9 Museum on Apartheid in Cape Town in South Africa
- The Stories Behind the Warfare at the Imperial War Museums