“Notorious New England” by Summer Paradis and Sandra Vivian Graul opens with a definition of “Dark Tourism”.
Dark Tourism – noun – Dark tourism is the act of travel and visitation to sites, attractions, and exhibitions that have real or re-created death, suffering, or the seemingly macabre as a main theme.
And their book, subtitled “A Travel Guide to Tragedy and Treachery” certainly fits that description.
“Notorious New England” includes over 100 sites in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Some locations are classics, such as The Lizzy Borden Bed and Breakfast in Massachusetts, but there are also many lesser known historical sites like Madame Sherri’s Castle in New Hampshire and The Witch’s Grave in Maine. There are also sites you may not have considered like Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut and the grave of Christa McAuliffe, the teacher who died in The Challenger explosion. “Notorious New England” is definitely a travel guide of tragedy.
Paradis and Graul treat all the locations with the utmost respect of the law and spiritual decency. Being paranormal investigators, they make sure to include notes on any supernatural occurrences. The book is loaded with full color photos, always a plus. Also, they include all kinds of travel tips for going to the locations, including great places to stop for lunch and other random businesses in the area of note.
“Notorious New England” is a bizarre mix of history, folklore, the paranormal, tragedy, and tabloid fodder. For me it inspired a lot of reflections, and a desire to road trip New England.
You can learn more here.