Traveling is about gaining new experiences, relaxation, or visiting the most spectacular places mother earth has bestowed on earth. However, if you’re into seeing the weirder, more curious, more macabre side of history, then you’re probably into “dark tourism.”
Dark tourism is defined as any travel experience that involves going to a destination that has to do with a disaster, death, or destruction.
If you’re into that kind of experience, you’re going to love Netflix’s documentary series, “Dark Tourist.” In the series, we’re taken through macabre and morbid tourist spots on earth that will tickle any traveler’s curiosity. Now if you’re curious but not really into traveling to the bad part of the city, check out the must-watch episodes from “Dark Tourist” Season 1.
Benin, Africa (Famous for Voodoo)
Here, journalist David Farrier, the host, takes us to the voodoo festival in Benin. There are nearly 12 million residents in Benin, and half of them practice voodoo in some form.
Voodoo is a religion with a bad reputation for black magic and evil spirits, and summoning their power to bestow whatever the summoner wants to bestow on the target, which is represented by a doll.
He takes us to the original home of voodoo in the coastal town of Ouidah. The episode showcased various animals used in voodoo, and at one point, David encountered a store selling dried puppy heads and skeletons of other animals.
The host was then taken into an initiation, where priestesses perform rituals on him. This is just one of the many things he did on the voodoo island. Together with his local guide, Matine, they explore other festivals and exciting traditions in voodoo.
– Dark Tourist, Season 1 Ep. 7
Fukushima, Japan (Nuclear Disaster Zone)
David and some travelers head to Fukushima Japan where the second biggest nuclear meltdown of all time happened. They also hike through a haunted forest and explored an abandoned island. What makes this quite macabre is that it has the world’s most popular suicide spot.
The episode starts off at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma. This is where the nuclear disaster happened in 2011 where it caused more than 20,000 casualties. It was said to be the most dreadful nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. The area where the accident happened is still restricted, however, the government says it’s okay for the residents to return.
Right off the bat, they get a surprise when the radiation is much higher than they were told.
The trip takes a darker turn when David visits the Jukai Forest. The forest known to be the most popular place to commit suicide. The local authorities find over 100 bodies in the forest a year.
Jukai is said to have become a popular spot because of a 1960’s novel called “The Black Sea of Trees.” David described it as the Japanese themed Romeo and Juliet. The forest brings out a dark energy that David’s tour guide warned him to be careful of other entities lurking in the forest.
– Dark Tourist, Season 1 Ep. 2
Colombia (The Pablo Escobar Tour)
David takes us to Latin America and his first stop was Colombia. This is where the city of Medellin is located which is infamous for the drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. Due to the popularity of the series Narcos, tourism has risen in this part of Colombia.
Here, David digs up Pablo’s dark past and crimes, and interviews the locals to learn what they thought of him, another twist in the episode.
We get taken into places where the crazy stories of the drug cartel, narco wars and other criminal organizations happened. We get to see people who knew of Pablo and were close to the drug kingpin talk about him and some pretty infamous events that happened.
– Dark Tourist, Season 1 Ep. 1
A Great Binge for the Quarantined Traveler
Maybe you miss traveling, maybe you’re looking for the next thrilling place to go visit, maybe you don’t want to get out of the house but want to discover the world, or maybe you’re just looking for a great documentary to watch.
Whatever the reason, watching the series will make you feel like traversing through global hotspots of disaster, and catastrophe without actually being there and putting yourself in danger. For the thrill-seeker who want to be in these hotspots, the series could serve as a guide to your next journey.
So if you’re planning to go on the trip yourself or want to expand your view of the world, this series is definitely for you.