3 Fascinating Guidebooks to Help You Understand Dark Tourism

Dark tourism is an increasingly common phenomenon in today’s society. Instead of going away to beautiful vacation getaways, dark tourists are more interested in the more heinous side of human history. These brave souls prefer to go to unconventional destinations where terrible tragedies and mass death have occurred.

I recently watched the documentary The Dark Tourist on Netflix, and it’s pretty fascinating, check out the trailer! 




So, for the aspiring dark tourist, here are three guidebooks on some of the most desolate, abandoned, hostile, and over all grisly locations on Earth. 


1. The Darker Side of Travel: The Theory and Practice of Dark Tourism




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Richard Sharpley and Philip R. Stone both use their expertise in their study of tourism to craft a welcoming entrance into the lesser-known attractions of the world. Offering somewhat of an academic approach mixed with guides on what to see and how exactly to do so, the authors also provide much background detail about each specific destination. The book expands deeply on the theory of dark tourism and tries to answer as many questions to any dark tourism skeptics out there.



2. Dark Tourism: The Beauty of Death




Image via Rebecca Bathory


Rebecca Bathory uses a collection of photographs to help not only define what dark tourism really is, but also to elaborate on the aesthetic of “beautiful” death or destruction and its meaning to a person, dark tourist or not. Pictures tell us a thousand things per view, and Bathory’s spectacular, yet horrific shots capture both the stigma associated with a specific location but also the shock factor that pulls tourists to visit all year long.


3. I Was Here: Photographs of Dark Tourism 



i was here

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For dark tourism, photographs provide an excellent perspective and the perfect first view for finding potential dark destinations. Ambroise Tézenas is another on this list who uses her photographs to not only offer some interesting locations but to also honor the tragedies and death at every location. The title says it all; when people often become dark tourists, they become somewhat desensitized to the horrors of each destination. The author not only wants to introduce people into the world of dark tourism, but also wants to show how to treat each place with dignity and respect while enjoying the tour.





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