8. Black Spots

Finally, Rojek created a third name affiliated with the concept of dark tourism. His expression, black spots, refers to the “…commercial developments of grave sites and sites in which celebrities or large numbers of peoples have met with sudden and violent deaths (1993:136). He cites such examples as the stretch of California highway where 13 hundreds congregate each year to remember actor James Dean’s 1955 death and Pere Le Chaise in Paris where thousands flock to see musician Jim Morrison’s grave, amongst others. As this research seeks to understand visitor motivation at the Holocaust Museum

Houston, it will follow Seaton’s 1996 model. For the purpose of this paper, the terms dark tourism and thanatourism will be used interchangeably and encompass a broad spectrum of sites. However, unlike Lennon and Foley’s dark tourism definition, both will refer to travel to sites of death and disaster based on visitor motivation. Such destinations may be on-site, where the actual event took place. For example, Mauthausen Concentration Camp, the Dallas Book Depository where John F. Kennedy was assassinated and Dakota in New York where John Lennon was shot. In addition, Thanatourism destinations may be off-site. These are representations of the event, which are located away from the actual site. Such examples include The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic which houses artefacts from the Titanic; Pere Le Chaise Cemetery which is the final resting spot for a number of notables including Jim Morrison; and finally and most significantly for the purpose of this study, the Holocaust Museum Houston which is home to both Holocaust survivors and artefacts.