Spectral cities: Death and living memories in the dark tourism of British ghost walks

Weston, Gavin; Woodman, Justin; Cornish, Helen and Djohari, Natalie. 2019. Spectral cities: Death and living memories in the dark tourism of British ghost walks. Urbanities, 9(2), pp. 36-51. ISSN 2239-5725 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article explores the role played by ghost walks in imparting and enlivening the histories of cities for tourists. Drawing upon research in York, London, Brighton and Edinburgh the paper explores the manner in which the uncanny nature of the topic allows ghost walks to behave differently to other forms of dark tourism or thanatourism (Lennon and Foley, 2000; Seaton, 1996). Despite dealing with death and tragedy like other forms of dark tourism, the existence of ghosts within narratives allows for tragic history to be narrativised and performed by tour guides in a way that transforms the experience and embeds it within the cityscape anchoring memories and history to particular spaces, even long after a city has changed. Through tales of death the city’s history is brought to life, but in a manner that is more entertaining than mournful due to the facilitation of the uncanny nature of ghosts.

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ghost walks, ghosts, dark tourism, tourism

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23 August 2019Accepted
18 November 2019Published

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Date Deposited:

13 Sep 2019 12:44

Last Modified:

15 Jun 2021 03:16

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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