Touring the Dark Side

Chris Kullstroem. Drawn to the Dark: Explorations in Scare Tourism Around the World. Pelican Publishing Company. (1 Jun. 2017)

Since we were children, images of closed closet doors, darkened basements, and stairways spiraling down into the blackness have terrified us -- and yet, they have fascinated minds young and old for generations. If the unknown holds so much to fear, then why is it that cultures around the world continue to seek out and celebrate the mysteries of the dark? Inspired by a life-long fascination with monsters and fear culture, writer Chris Kullstroem left her job and home to experience firsthand some of the worlds most legendary scare shows. Her travels were conducted exclusively through Couchsurfing, a network that pairs travelers with local hosts at no cost. 

Under the guidance of her hosts and locals, Kullstroem saw it all: attractions like the Day of the Dead, the haunts of New Zealand, and even the legendary Krampus brought to life in the streets of Austria. Chronicled with insightful detail, the book explores why so many find thrills in forms of fright. Each international, eerie enactment evokes a sense of wonder and awe, demonstrating powerful emotions that transcend language and culture to reveal a connection that we all share in our draw to the dark.