Death Tourism

People travel because of death every day. They travel to places where people have died every day.

It’s a strange thought, death tourism but yet there remains a market for it.

People travel to concentration camps, people travel to where Sharon Tate’s house once stood, and I took a tour around Whitechapel, walking the footsteps of Jack the Ripper and his victims today.

Maybe not for other people, but for me it was an almost surreal experience.

It was terrifying and I can’t even say I liked it, or felt thrilled by it. Instead I hustled along with my group (and my mum), hands tucked in pockets, head down praying that if ghosts exist that we wouldn’t run into any. In fact one of the sights where one of the women was murdered is now a parking garage, one that John, our guide no longer takes people into because so many mysterious occurrences happened within.

So why, if this terrified me did I go? Was it because I’m untouched and so far detached from the crime?

But then…are we so far detached from The Holocaust? I don’t think so.

The only thing I’ve been able to puzzle out is that we travel to this places because at heart we are decent, good people who cannot fathom any level of monstrosity.

Because at heart we need to understand how someone could but yet we can’t. We can’t because most of us, I hope, do not have that impulse, that level of hatred.

But then, some people do. And maybe that’s why we go…because there’s still awful people, all these years gone, and we don’t understand that either.


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