Many people plan traditional summer vacations to places like Disney World, Hershey Park, the Jersey Shore, Hollywood, etc. Most people do not plan visits to lakes made by nuclear blasts, haunted forests, or voodoo rituals, but not everyone is journalist David Farrier. If you share David’s touring sensibilities, Netflix’s new travel docuseries Dark Tourist may be for you.
Dark Tourist’s eight episode first season is currently available on Netflix and the sites that Farrier visits are filled with both theatrical and real life horrors. Episode to episode, the subject matters varies greatly. On one of the episodes, Farrier dines with “vampires” in New Orleans, while in another, he experiences what it is like to cross the US/Mexico border as an illegal immigrant, so the host casts a pretty wide net in terms of the tone of each place he visits.
The term “Dark Tourism” was coined in 1996 by J. John Lennon and Malcolm Foley, two faculty members of the Department of Hospitality, Tourism & Leisure Management at Glasgow Caledonian University, when they published the article “JFK and dark tourism: A Fascination with Assassination” in The International Journal of Heritage Studies. Since then, many academics and television hosts have examined the phenomenon of visiting abandoned prisons and mental hospitals, battlefields, and former disaster areas, as well as places associated with death and tragedy (such as the Mount Fuji’s Aokigahara “suicide forest”).
Check out the trailer below, and whatever you do, be sure to pack appropriately for each destination!