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Drawn to the Dark: Explorations in Scare Tourism Around the World Paperback – 1 Jun 2017
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From the Back Cover
"Visit candlelit cemeteries in Oaxaca, duck the whips of Krampus in Salzburg, hunt zombies in Britain, and dance with witches atop Brocken Mountain on Walpurgis Night . . . a deliciously creepy companion for the free-spirited armchair traveler."--Lesley Bannatyne, author of Halloween Nation: Behind the Scenes of America's Fright Night, Halloween expert and historian
"An insightful, personal exploration of humankind's global fascination with the monstrous." --Lisa Morton, author of Ghosts: A Haunted History andTrick or Treat: A History of Halloween
"A fascinating glimpse into the exploration of the darker, more fantastic corners of our imagination from around the world!" --Edward Douglas, founder of and cocomposer for the award-winning recording act Midnight Syndicate
"An excitingly macabre tour through a horror lover's best attractions and events!"
--Justin Lewis, Mr. Frights
About the Author
Chris Kullstroem is a lifelong Halloween, horror, and dark tourism fanatic. She has researched haunted attractions, ghost tours, cemeteries and other forms of scare-based tourism in several countries. Kullstroem also holds seminars on how entertaining scare venues blend history, theater, and social interaction, and what these shows can teach us about ourselves and the world around us. Kullstroem received her bachelor's degree in philosophy and English from the University of Connecticut and her master's degree in philosophy from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Chris is also braver than I am. I'm happy enough to be a voyeur as she participates in some very masterful and sometimes painful haunts. Her humor comes through as she describes her hosts' reaction to an American woman traveling so far just to delight in the frightening and terrorizing traditions of their country's battles between good and evil. It's very entertaining with an undercurrent of humor from herself and her couch surfing hosts.
The authenticity of one of her stories was verified when I shared the gist of the Hungary chapter with a co-worker from that country. Her eyes grew wide in disbelief when I told her about it. According to her, there was no way anyone outside of Hungary even knew of the annual haunting festival in her husband's tiny home town. But my co-worker brought in a ceremonial mask from home to show me, and it validated even further the story Chris tells in such chilling detail.
This book will delight anyone who wants to experience the macabre traditions of Japan, Europe, Ireland, and other lands where being frightened by your countrymen is a sought after treat. Or it will inspire someone to escape the comforts of their home and try couch surfing in other countries the way Chris did. If only I was younger…..!
First, after years of exposure to so much poorly written Web sites, articles and social media drivel on the Internet, I found it quite refreshing to read a body of work that was so well written--and grammatically correct, to boot! Ms. Kullstroem writes beautifully, in an engaging and succinct manner. But with enough detail so that you feel you are there with her, experiencing every delightfully grisly moment.
Second, while not as passionate as Ms. Kullstroem about “the dark,” I do admit to a certain amount of fascination on the subject. What I enjoyed so much about this book is how it delved into the cultural meaning behind many of the “dark” celebrations that take place annually around the world. I’ve only ever known about Hallowe’en and some of its origin, so I found it fascinating to learn about the practices and significance of other cultures’ version of this holiday. And how it has evolved in the modern era.
Third, not at all a dry recounting of her experiences, the reader is granted a rather enjoyable around-the-world adventure with Ms. Kullstroem. Regardless of the purpose of her trip, she shares much of who she is, what makes her tick. One gets to know her on a very personal level, and what a unique and uplifting perspective she has on life, in spite of what the title may suggest to some.
The old adage, “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” has never been truer than in reference to this book.
Whether interested in the macabre or simply world cultures, I highly recommend you read Drawn to the Dark--you will be enthralled to the last page.