7 Dark Tourism Spots Around The World Bound To Give You Goosebumps

7 Dark Tourism Spots Around The World Bound To Give You Goosebumps
HBO's hit series Chernobyl has given rise to dark tourism in the disaster area , Photo Credit: Shutterstock

It may not be to everyone’s liking but dark tourism spots are drawing people by the thousands...

Daniel D'souza
July 28 , 2019
09 Min Read

For years, people have been fascinated with places that have stood the test of time, despite having an unfortunate past. The morbid fascination of clicking selfies with iconic structures is gaining popularity and ‘dark tourism’ is becoming popular as the current trend that is captivating a number of travellers, including Indians. It can be defined as “travel directed to spots that are identified with a historic connect to a natural catastrophe or a disaster”such as war zones or nuclear blast sites.

From the disastrous Chernobyl site, to the Gandhi Smriti shrine, here are 7 of the most spine-chilling dark tourism spots across the globe:

Chernobyl, Ukraine

With the recent screening of the hit HBO series, the infamous site of ‘Chernobyl’ has yet again, peaked the curiosity of many. In 1986, Chernobyl experienced one of the worst nightmares in the form of a nuclear plant accident. As of 2018, more than 20,000 tourists have visited this spot, with many more expressing their interest to visit.

 
 
 
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Pompeii, Italy

Located in the South of Italy, Pompeii is one of the most frequently visited dark tourism destinations. Thousands of years ago, when Mount Vesuvius erupted, everyone within the town was left to die. Pompeii was discovered by archaeologists and the wrecks – and fossilised bodies can be visited and observed there, even today.

 
 
 
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Ground Zero, New York

The location of the infamous September 2001 terrorist attacks, the World Trade Centre site, formerly referred to as ‘Ground Zero’, is a significant place for people to pay tribute to the 3,000 people who lost their lives. This 16-acre plot is home to a memorial plaza, dedicated to honouring both the victims and survivors of the attack. One can also visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum, where they can learn more about those who lost their lives and also watch ‘Rebirth At Ground Zero’, an immersive film detailing the rise of the new World Trade Centre.

 
 
 
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Hiroshima/Nagasaki, Japan

Hiroshima and Nagasaki have instantly been at the top. The Hiroshima dome, which has survived both, an atom bomb and the test of time, is recognised as a symbol of its heritage and courage. Nagasaki showcases an atomic bomb museum—Hypocentre Park, where the bomb’s hypocentre was said to be. It has a series of other smaller monuments that have remained, post the nuclear bombing.

 
 
 
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Auschwitz, Poland

The largest and most terrifying Nazi Concentration camp, this site is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists annually. The camp site has extensive details of the horrific events, which are explicitly described and on display for tourists. Some other sites open to tourists are the "death block" and the "death wall". The main memorial hall has a theatre where a documentary film is regularly shown. The second and probably the most horrifying camp is a couple of miles down the road, which has barracks where the prisoners slept, as well as the rooms where they were gassed.

 
 
 
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Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar 

A memorial and a park in Amritsar, this place has witnessed one of the worst atrocities ever. A mass shooting, carefully and tactically organized by General Dyre, it was one of the most heartless acts by the British colonizers. Supposedly meant to only “disperse a crowd”, it was in fact, a proper bloodbath, a massacre--and it had significant repercussions. It set the course for India's fight to struggle for independence. Even today, on the walls of the Jallianwala bagh, one can see the bullet marks from that fateful day.

 
 
 
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Gandhi Smriti, Delhi

Gandhi Smriti is a shrine and an ode to one of the greatest leaders of India. It was the place where the Gandhi spent the last 144 days of his life, before he was assassinated. Today, this place has become one of the most popular dark tourism spots in India. Gandhi Smriti is now home to the Eternal Gandhi Multimedia museum. Right from the room where this great leader lived, to a number of articles associated with him are now preserved there.

These sites present the darkest parts of human history, and give tourists, an in-depth understanding of the world by stepping into its revered past. They provide a unique perspective of life and show a side of human history and culture.

The writer is President and Country Head, Leisure SOTC Travels.


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