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Dt dorotea


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Dt dorotea

  2. 2. Word Count: 13,262TABLE OF CONTENTS List of Tables…………………………………………………………………………………… 7 List of Marketing Publications……………………………………………………………….. 82|Page
  3. 3. Site Maps……………………………………………………………………………………... 14 List of Abbreviations……………………………………………………………………...…. 22 Acknowledgements………………………………………………………………………….. 23 Abstract ………………………………………………………………………………………..24 Introduction…………………………. ………………………………………………………...26 1.1 Research Background…………..………………………………………………….. ...26 1.2 Aims and Objectives….. ……………………………………………………………. ..27 1.3 Approach……..………………………………………………………………………. . 27 1.4 Outline………..……………………………………………………………………….. 28 2. Literature Review…………………………………………………………………………. 29 2.1 The dark tourism phenomena……………………………………………………..... 29 2.2 Origins of dark tourism…………………………………………………………...… 32 2.3 Dark sites: What makes a destination dark?..................................................... ……33 2.4 Dark tourism types………………………………………………………………….. .34 2.5 Dark attraction, museum, exhibition profiles…………………………………….. .36 2.6 external and internal features of a successful attraction or museum………… …37 2.7 Marketing…………………………………………………………………………….. . 38 2.8 The attraction perception dimension………………………………………………. 39 2.9 Dark tourism spectrum……………………………………………………………… 42 3. Methodology………………………………………………………………………………. 44 3.1 Research approach……………..…………………………………………………….. 44 3.2 Research methodology…….. ……………………………………………………… ...44 3.2.1 Secondary research……………………………………………………… …463|Page
  4. 4. 3.3.2 Primary research………………………………………………………….. ..47 4. Findings…………………………………………………………………………………….. 49 4.1 Introduction…………………………………………………………………………... 49 4.2 key features of the six dark sites………………………………………………….... 49 4.2.1 London Bridge Experience and London Tombs…………………….…. 49 4.2.2 London Dungeon……………………………………………………….…. 50 4.2.3 Chamber of Horror at Madame Tussauds……………………………… 51 4.2.4 The Clink prison…………………………………………………………… 52 4.2.5 The IWM in London……………………………………………………….. 53 4.2.6 Chislehurst caves………………………………………………………..…. 54 4.3 Physical Characteristics…………………………………………………………..…. 57 4.4 Perception and Dimension………………………………………………………….. 61 4.4.1 Display and Vision among the six London dark sites…………….…… 61 4.4.2 Hearing and Smell…………………………………………………….…… 63 4.4.3 Touch and Knowledge………………………………………………….…. 65 4.5 Dark characteristics according to the spectrum theory…………………………... 67 4.5.1 Approximate positioning of the dark sites on the spectrum line…...… 70 4.5.2 Senses stimulation in relation to the level of darkness……………..….. 71 4.5.2 Dark Product Display Model……………………………………………... 73 4.6 Discussions of findings…………………………………………………………..….. 74 5. Conclusions and recommendations…………………………………………………..…. 77 5.1 Conclusions……………………………………………………………………..…….. 77 5.2 Recommendations……………………………………………………..…………….. 79 5.3 Recommendations for further research…………………….……………………… 80 Bibliography………………………………………………………………………………….. 81 Appendix………………………………...…………………………………………………… 894|Page
  5. 5. LIST OF ABBREVIATIONSIWM Imperial War MuseumDT Dark TourismBTA British Tourism AuthoritiesUSP Unique Selling PointACKNOWLEDGEMENTSI would like to thank my supervisor Anne Gramm for her support and help. This workwould have been incomplete without the intervention of Miss Amanda Hone. She was agreat source of inspiration and deep understanding of the topic. Finally I wish to thankAlex for big support and helpful advice.ABSTRACTThis study followed conducted and detailed analysis of six dark attractions, museums and5|Page
  6. 6. exhibitions in London. The aim was to understand the nature of the dark tourismphenomena in successful sites in terms of visitor affluence, profitability and generalperformance. The research combines theoretical understanding and measurement of thedarkness, and builds up observations upon such statements. In relation to the type of darkside and level of darkness, attractions museums and exhibitions adopt different approachtowards commercialisation and communication of the environment. The study discoveredthat the approach towards death have different aspects and perceptions. The findingsrevealed that dark tourism although related to death might provoke different emotionsand encourage mixed feelings. The methodological model used for this research conducted an open positivistanalysis of existing structures and locations. The research is open to interpretation andfurther suggestions and improvements. The deductive (Brotherton, 2008) nature of thisresearch has drawn conclusions from the general material collected. Based on subjective aswell as objective findings this document has not set up strict patterns, but instead suggeststechniques used by the supply side in order to reach their organisations’ aims andobjectives. Finally this paper addresses some locations and dark destinations, which haveprovoked visitor interest in recent times. Whether their display is following these socialand ethical norms of exploring death and disasters is dubious. This research recommendscareful analysis of the ‘dark’ level saturation and type of dark display before proceedingtowards the display setting. Ultimately the dark tourism industry in many cases is justanother product, which sells and attracts services and products through marketing,targeting and promotional distribution for lucrative purposes. Using the model proposeddark sites could carefully decide the use of elements such as light, smell, interaction andnoise, as well as souvenir production and distribution for the dark suppliers to use inorder to operate smoothly in the tourism market, regardless the delicate content of theiroffer. INTRODUCTION1.1 RESEARCH BACKGROUNDDark Tourism is not a new trend in the contemporary tourism, however as observed by6|Page
  7. 7. Lennon and Foley (2000) it is an expanding opportunity to create demand for moretourism attractions, museums and exhibitions. In the last fifty years some unlikely andaesthetic destinations with an unfortunate background have explored the profitable natureof the dark tourism trend and have become successful dark tourism destinations(Auschwitz, Ground Zero) (Novelli, 2005; Joly, 2010; Amin, 1994). Some examples ofpopular dark attractions in the UK were the guided tours to observe the Battle of Waterlooin 1815. People went to watch from a safe distance the on-going conflict (Webber, 1992;Henderson, 1996). Moreover one of the earliest battlefields of the American Civil War wassold the next day as an attraction site (Webber, 1992). A few years after the collapse of thetwin towers in New York (result of a terrorist attack), the building’s remains have becomea successful lucrative tourism attraction (Svenstorm, 2008). Other examples if tourist sitesare Chernobyl- the Ghost City open only to visitors (Joly, 2010) in Ukraine, the KillingFields in Cambodia or the Paris Catacombs. Museums, exhibitions and attractions where evidence of death and disaster hasbeen assembled are known as dark tourism suppliers (Stone, 2005; Hall, 1997). Moreover,their common theme of display is ‘death’; they have different purposes and perceptionstowards it, and present it to their visitors in antithetic ways. The findings in this researchwill give a better understanding of the specific situation, space patterns and underlyingdimensions of various dark sides.1.2 AIMS AND OBJECTIVESThe aim of this research is to assess the differences between dark tourism attractions,museums and exhibitions and the characteristics of the contemporary dark display. Inorder to achieve this, the study will investigate the following:  What is the dark supply mixture in London?  How dark attractions market and promote themselves?  What their physical environment is like, and how does it serve the organisation’s aims?  How they set the perception dimension and why?  What is the link between level of darkness and dark supplier interpretation?7|Page
  8. 8. 1.3 APPROACHFirstly the research will analyse the dark offer mixture in London by analysing severaltypes of attractions and museums. Then it will proceed by interpreting their level ofdarkness according to the spectrum line theory (Stone, 2006). Consequently, it will noticehow the suppliers propose their dark product to the audience, with reference to theirpurpose, mission and dark saturation. Furthermore themes of exploration will also regardthe environment of the display, perception, proposal and message to the audience. Fromthe findings it will be possible to analyse the dark contemporary product offered by thevarious suppliers.1.4 OUTLINEChapter two will be looking at the dark tourism phenomena and popularity.Consequently this would bring us back in time, when dark tourism was the ultimate formof entertainment and amusement. To follow the literature review will analyse the originsand history of dark tourism phenomena, and the different types of thanatourism (Seaton,2002). Dark museums, exhibitions and attractions will be briefly defined. Chapter three will explain how the research will be conducted. The study will usethree different qualitative research methods: participant observations, ethnographicinterviews and content analysis of the communication tools (website, marketingpublications (Clark, Riley, Wilkie, Wood, 1998). 2. LITERATURE REVIEW2.1 THE DARK TOURISM PHENOMENALife and death are an integrated part of our reality. People have been exploring themeaning of these two crucial events throughout history (Starck, 2006). Many books,theories and studies have been conducted exploring life, its origin, meaning and progress.So has been done for death. As an inevitable part of our existence, humans have alwaysbeen seeking death and exploring it from a safe distance (Tercier, 2005; Dallen et al. 2004).The reasons behind hunting for places of death could be different. People visitingcemeteries could be motivated by a desire to memorise and honour deaths, others visiting8|Page
  9. 9. war museums could be driven by a desire to learn about the past and share collectivememory (Keil, 2005). Moreover dungeon visitors could seek thrilling entertainment and soon. There are all sorts of different reasons, which vary from pursuing knowledge,memorisation, military, humanitarian or science interests (Body World Exhibition), topurely fascination with death per se’ (Bockoc, 1993; Seaton, 2006). For the first time the desire to travel to places of horror and death was defined in1990 as dark tourism (Lennon and Foley, 2000). It was noticed that visiting places relatedto death and suffering for tourism purposes was a faster growing phenomenon in the latetwenty, century-early twenty first century (Lennon and Foley, 2000). Dark tourismhowever is not a recent phenomenon, yet it is seen by many as a growing opportunity fornew business developments as well as alteration for other purposes which will beanalysed later on. Dark tourism has different definitions and names (thanatourism, black-spots,macabre, morbid tourism and more) (Rojeck, 1993; Dann, 1994; Blom, 2000). Tarlow (2005)defines the phenomena as:…visitations to places where tragedies or historically noteworthy death has occurred and thatcontinue to impact on our lives (Tarlow, 2005:48).But dark tourism involves more than only dark, sad, negative and horrible events thathave happened in the past. In fact, visiting the grave of a favourite actor, singer orhistorical figure is also considered to be dark tourism, and often is associated with positiveexperience.FIGURE 1DEATH AND CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY9|Page
  10. 10. (Stone and Sharpley, 2008)Seaton (1996) argues that thanatourism is dependent on the traveller’s frame of mind. Thethanatourist is a person who travels guided by the desire for actual or symbolic encounterswith death (Tarlow, 2005; Dann and Seaton, 2011). Stone and Sharpley (2008) have developed a dark tourism consumption model (fig.1) which is based on the concept that dark tourism is influenced by both the society and2.2 ORIGINS AND HISTORY OF DARK TOURISMAlthough in literature this form of tourism was only defined in 1990 (Foley & Lennon1996; Lennon & Foley 2000; Seaton 1996), people have been travelling to witness it long10 | P a g e
  11. 11. before then (Schwartz, and Schuman, 2000). Interest in dark tourism has been recordedsince the times of ancient Romans, Greeks, Egyptian and Mayas. The famous Coliseums,public human and animal sacrifices and executions have attracted a large number ofspectators and participants in the past. There is not a certain period or precise time whendark tourism started. People have always been travelling to destinations related to deathfor one or another reason (Yuill, 2003; Lennon and Foley, 2000). According to Greekphilosophers tragedy was part of peoples life. They argued that tragedy leads to self-questioning through the pain of others (Goldhill, 2004:352). They argue that by watching themisery of tragic heroes, would lead people to better control and appreciate their lives(Goldhill, 2004:352). Aristotle, unlike Plato, thought tragedy made the citizen better a man(Goldhill 2004). As Freud (1984) recognised, there is an Oedipus inside everyone, wherethe emotional and the intellectual power of tragedy stems. In contemporary western society (Lennon and Foley 1998) death seems to be sosurreal that people have a growing interest in discovering the death and places related toit (Seaton 2009:531). Many authors have searched into the very nature of the darkmotivator (Yuill, 2003), and some have gone deep into the topic starting from analysingthe perception of death in contemporary peoples reality (Wight, and Lennon, 2004). As aresult of such analysis, dark tourism was thought to be the new form of meditatingexperience (Walter, 2009 and Harrison 2003:158), that creates an invisible bridge ofinteractions between the dead and the living. This new meditative form of tourism notonly gives to the visitor a physical stimulation of the dead environment, but throughexploration of deathly a person has opportunity to build an ontological meaning, andreflect on both life and death (Walter, 2009 and Walter, 2005). The growing popularity of Dark Tourism can be observed in contemporary society(Winkel, 2001; Lennon & Foley 2000). Some criticise this form tourism commenting that isdisgraceful and unethical (Michael, 2003). However dark tourism could be important too.Through dark sites, people can explore the darkness of our past, learn from the mistakes ofour ancestors and remember victims. Indeed they display humanitys past and thetragedies people have been experiencing. Death is an inevitable event in everyones lifeand travelling to discover it and learn about it is one of the oldest forms of tourism inhuman history (Seaton 1999; Stone 2006). The thanatouristic product is now beingclassified in order to satisfy the needs of contemporary society and suit their wants11 | P a g e
  12. 12. through careful physical and perceptive design. The examples which will be looked at arethe practical representation of such phenomena.2.3 DARK SITES : WHAT MAKES A DESTINATION /SITE DARK?According to the definition of dark tourism and Michaels (2003) criticisms only placesrelated to torture, death and disaster qualify as dark tourism destinations. This is howeverdebatable as many monuments and cemetery (Miles, 2002) also are dark destinations (aswell as doomsday destinations) and they are not related to a horrible death and tortureand can deliver highly positive and happy experience (Blom, 2000). Some examples are thePete Lachaise Cemetery in Paris where Oscar Wide, Ghopin and Jim Morrison are buried.The cemetery is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Paris, providing satisfyingexperiences for the people who chose to visit it (Tarlow, 2005). Another form of dark sitecould be a construction or architecture, which reminds people of death (Tanas, 2006; Rojekand Urry 1997). A notable example is Bone Church in Kutna Hora near Prague (OutsidePrague, 2010). The building decorated with human bones aims to remind people thesignificance of life, and the inevitable death (Outside Prague, 2010). So, what makes an attraction/site dark is not just horrible evidence of death. Darksites are places where evidence of death is presented. Recent research argue that dark sitescan be labelled as darker (Auschwitz) or lighter (cemeteries, dungeons) in relation to theirperceived ideological, temporal and spatial product features (Stone, 2006).2.4 DARK TOURISM TYPESBefore starting the examination of the selected dark sites in London it important to definethe different types of dark tourism first. Stone’s (2006) suggests that there are seven typesof dark suppliers: dark fun factories, dark exhibitions, dark dungeons, dark resting places,dark shrines, dark conflict sites and dark camps of genocide (Stone, 2006:23). Hecategorises the thanatourism offer in relation to the dark product content. Sean (1996)however subdivides them in five branches in relation to the death occurrence and peoplesmotivations. Sean argues that some people travel to watch death (public hangings andexecutions); others travel to sites after death has occurred (Auschwitz); some other reasons12 | P a g e
  13. 13. for travel would be to internment sites and memorials (graves and monuments). Inaddition many others would be driven by the desire to visit historical re-enactments (CivilWar re-enactment), where participants would attempt to re-create the historical event orperiod in order to make the experience more vivid and graphic to the visitor (Smith, 1996).Moreover, there is the dark tourism travel to synthetic sites at which evidence of the deathhas been assembled (museums). Finally there are the deadly fun factories (Dann, 1998):perilous places, houses of horror, fields and fatality, tours of torments and themedthanatos. This simple subdivision narrows down the most popular dark tourismattractions and gives them a specific title which allows the visitor to choose whats moreappropriate for them and how the attraction supplier should design its product in order toguarantee satisfaction. The grounds for promoting dark destinations are different: cultural, curiosity orsimply new commercial opportunity and more (Trend, 2003). Often misery and fear arebeing purposely developed and the death is being exploited as a result of a new marketingidea in order to satisfy the market demand (Fun Factories) (Wight, 2008). Often darktourism is criticised by society too, the dark display is difficult for a person to comprehendand understand (Swarbrooke, 2001). However, the visitor should be able to decidewhether they like it, and would they tolerate it or not by analysing the promotionalpublications created by the suppliers. Bearing in mind the delicacy of the product typemost suppliers have adopted an unwritten set of rules which make the site sociallyacceptable (Sharpley 1999). Ultimately the Dark Tourism sector could be seen as an open umbrella. Darktourism offers a number of different destinations, sites, exhibitions and museums tovisitors, whom all have their own perceptions of the place (Wight and Lennon, 2004).Death can occur in a different ways and therefore the experience which the visitor wouldperceive will be different when visiting a cemetery, or a concentration camp, or fromvisiting London Dungeon. Dark sites tend to differentiate from each other not only in relation to their differentlevel of dark saturations, but also in terms of display, popularity, layout, perception andmarketing communication. Accordingly, Dark Tourism has been subdivided in differentcategories, according to the level of darkness and nature of the supplier’s mission(Krishenblatt-Gimblett, 1997). Given the complexity of the dark tourism phenomena, the13 | P a g e
  14. 14. dark product has been designed by the various suppliers according to the level of scene,the darkness saturation and the historical background of the display (Stone, 2005).Assuming that visiting ‘London Dungeon’ would create a different understanding ofdarkness compared to the IWM is possible, although they are both dark tourism suppliers.This suggests that darker and lighter paradigm does exist within the dark tourismindustry (Stone and Mile, 2002).2.5 DARK ATTRACTION , MUSEUM, EXHIBITION PROFILESDuring the long existence of dark tourism, not all issues related to dark tourism have beenresearched and explored. London is experiencing the benefits of the dark tourismphenomena through creating successful attractions, exhibitions and museums related todeath (Holt, 1995). An attraction, museum or exhibition could be the reason for someone to visitcertain place (Lennon and John 2001; Lee 2002). Often people visit destination just becausethe place is famous of having a unique and rare feature (Harvey, 1996). The attractive forcecould have a very broad form and characteristics. It could be a building, an open spaceattraction with natural features; it could be the environmental or the constructional senseof the place (Bocock, 1993). Ultimately a place could be attracting visitors with acombination of environmental perceptions (Bell et al., 1990:27). Middleton (2001) statesthat an attraction is a permanent resource controlled and managed that would help toattract, entertain and educate visitors. BTA (British Tourism Authority, 2010) confirmssuch statement adding that in retails, shopping, theatrical, film and sport venues are alsopart of the attraction sector. Finally, BTA (2010) suggests that attractions should be openpublic places where tourists, day visitors and local residents can visit without booking inadvance. In relation to these statements Yale (1998) argues that such definition is toogeneric and a tourism attraction not only could be designated, but they could also be non-permanent. For instance the changing of the royal guards in London are an example of aregular tourist attraction and not permanent (Yale, 1998:177). A museum on the otherhand is defined as: a permanent establishment in the public interest with a view to conserve, study, exploit by14 | P a g e
  15. 15. various means, and public interest with a view to conserve, study, exploit by various means, andbasically to exhibit for the pleasure and education of the public objects of cultural value(International Counsel of Museums, quoted by Hudson 1975). Attractions, exhibitions and museums tend to be created in order to serve society indifferent ways: to educate, entertain, attract more visitors to the destination and makingprofits (Hudson, 1975).2.6 EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL IMPORTANT FEATURES OF A SUCCESSFUL ATTRACTION OR MUSEUMThere are several important elements for the functionality of a well performing dark site.The first one is location within the city (Law, 1994). Many tourists would visit London forits package of different offers. If the dark attraction is in a central and cosmopolitan area itis more likely to attract walk-in visitors who are not necessarily dark travellers. Theattraction needs to be easily accessible by foot, road, private and public transport.Moreover, the ever expanding visibility in a display site has encouraged a coherentlegible set of symbols, messages and perception displays, turning the display into talkingenvironments (Dicks, 2003). Harvey (1996) argues that the success is achieved throughgetting people to queue up in order to see the display offered by the site supplier and thenreport the experience to others and attract further visitors. Presenting objects and displaying some visual information from behind a glass is nolonger attractive to visitors (Lloyd, 1988; Urri, 1995; Linenthat, 1995). The contemporarymuseums, attractions and exhibitions had to adapt to technologically developed society inorder to keep visitor affluence and interest. Most sites have been supplemented throughthe use of digital technology, which would allow the exhibitors to expand thecommunication process (Hewison, 1989), and propose the content in more dynamic way.Contemporary museums and attractions are very competitive for visitors. They rely ondistinguishing themselves in order to bring in their respective audiences (Dicks, 2003).Being an important part of the life of the community, they have to prove themselves andassure their place as part of city’s tourism resources (Hewison, 1989). The marketdemands that museums become part of the leisure and tourism industry with15 | P a g e
  16. 16. entertainment an essential part of the product (Hewison, 1989; Trend, 2003; Freeman,2005). Technology, audio-visual presentations, and actors are some of the elements darkattractions and museums have adopted in their product design.2.7 MARKETINGIn addition to the physical changes, sites have also developed an intense marketingpresence in order to compete with others, and attract visitors. Museums and attractionsare more veritable and more communicative (Dicks, 2003), involving and supporting moredepartments such as marketing, advertising and promotion. Macdonald (1998) notes thatmuseums, exhibitions and attractions had to adapt to the respective market audience andto what they would buy (Macdonald, 1998). More efforts are made in actions such asbuilding brands, identifying unique selling points and establishing a strong corporateimage and market niche (Macdonald, 1998:118). More features have been added to theinterior building design, such as shops, cafés and interactive rides, in order to increase thevisitor spending and satisfaction. Additionally market segmentation is vital in order to create a display which wouldmatch the audience’s needs and wants (Davies, 1994). Because the audience is fragmented,the site should adopt separated displays and facilities for all segments (Lovelock, 1984). Inmuseums, exhibitions and attractions this is achieved by setting separated and temporarydisplays (Brunt, 1997). Specific temporary exhibitions also attract niche markets, whichwould increase site diversification, and visitor attraction (McLean, 1997). Finally, due tothe competitive market environment of London’s environment, dark sites have had toadopt a unique approach towards their offering which would differentiate (Kotler, 1967)from the competitors. Accordingly each one of the organisations discussed in this paperhas specialised in a different area of the ‘dark’ concept, and compete throughdifferentiation and specialisation (Kotler, 1967). The consumer is paramount in the conceptof marketing, therefore meeting the target audience’s needs and desires while satisfyingthe organisational goals is the core mission to any marketing strategy (McLean, 1997).This point highlights the changes of the display introduced by contemporary society andits demanding needs. In addition to the physical and visual changes of the contemporary16 | P a g e
  17. 17. museums, dark sites had to adopt business strategies and marketing concepts in theirproduct offer in order to reach a competitive advantage over others.2.8 THE ATTRACTION PERCEPTION DIMENSIONDifferentiating is a long process of setting features, elements and models unique to thegiven site. Offering the visitor a satisfying experience could be achieved in different ways.Law (1994) discusses the importance of perception and emotional experience as essentialdimensions of the tourism product. Death, horror and violence are provoked by strongemotions (Ashworth, and Hartmann, 2005), therefore, tend to remind a memorableexperience in the human minds. Being a passive observer of such extreme human actionsmake the visitor experience feelings which vary from one individual to another.Environment perception is stimulated by use of senses stimulation such as sight, soundsmell, touch and all that is around us (Bell et al., 1990) in order to reproduce scenes andencourage emotions. Before analysing the design environment in the sites it is important to understandwhat the human senses are, and how they affect our perceptions and emotions. Alongwith the concept of perception the sites inevitably have been designed to deliver certainemotions and sensations as well (Frey, 2006). Sensation refers to each individuals sensorysystem and the way in which they would react on the environmental stimuli varies (Law,1994). There are four elements stimulating the human senses: vision, hearing, smell andtouch. In addition there is knowledge which determines the level of fear (vital response tophysical and emotional danger) and emotions (Psychology Today, 2012). The four senseshave impacts on the peoples experience and they will interpret the product in assortedways according to the individual’s perceptions and past experiences. Our vision is a source of information which dominates the rest of the senses (Dicks,2003). Visual perception is highly complex and an essential element of the product on offerin museums and attractions (Porteous, 1996:3). Darkness creates a sense of isolation anddisorientation (Tuan, 1979). Lighting is a one of the basic elements of the display settings.It not only is used for illuminating the areas and the objects, but also creates atmosphere(Frey, 2006). The level of light saturation needs to serve the display requirements andaims. Lighting derives from different sources: natural, electric, visual media, projectors17 | P a g e
  18. 18. and so on. This should also be arranged in order to fit with the exhibition content and thedesign functionality. Each type of light creates a different perception of the environment.For instance natural light creates a freer and friendlier and more spatial perception of theenvironment, and a connection with the external space (Frey, 2006). Contrarily darkerillumination, electric, flashing or coloured lightening effects could provoke moreoppressive perception of the environment. Hearing could be perceived to be informatively poor, but an emotionally rich sense(Porteous 1996:3). Hearing words brings clear precise information, while hearing noisesbring a whole range of associations stored in our brains. New research has shown thatanimal noises encourage fear and influence human emotions on a primal level (Vegas,2010). Smell sometimes similar to hearing produces memories and feelings and some arevague (subject to personality: some people might like petrol smell because their brainassociates it to a pleasant moment, perhaps travelling). Although in humans the sense ofsmell is not the best developed one, it plays an important role in environmental perceptionand emotions. Touch also helps us feel and perceive the physical environment around us.Being able to touch makes things appear more real: “The sensibility of the individual to theworld adjacent to his body by use of his body" (Gibson, 1966:118). Also there is knowledge, which interacts with the human sense of fear andemotions. People could associate objects, smells and environments with their pastexperiences and trigger a certain positive, negative or neutral emotion as a response(Psychology Today, 2012). Being aware of the tragedy and the circumstances makes thevisitor experience more intense and also the other way round. The fear of not knowingbrought people to develop superstitions, which are the human attempt to create anillusion of predictability in an uncertain environment (Tuan, 1979). All five elements form the basics of the human experiences work as ingredientswhich are then mixed and matched in different measurements and characterise the verynature of the dark attraction or museum.The attractions and museums analysed in this research have recognised the importance ofthe environmental context and in relation to their level of darkness have adopted suchstimulation in an adequate way (Moscardo and Ballantyne, 2008). Recreation of human18 | P a g e
  19. 19. misery and horror seems to be contradictive; linking violence with entertainment evendisgraceful and unethical, and yet such dark sites attract hundreds of visitors each day. Inthe next chapters it will be seen how these sites manage to do this and what are theircriteria and limits while setting a dark exhibition.2.9 DARK TOURISM SPECTRUMBefore proceeding with the analysis of the dark sites, however, it is vital for this researchto reference the dark spectrum theory (Stone, 2006). Recent studies show that the level ofdarkness is one of the fundamental elements of dark tourism supply characteristics(Strange and Kempa, 2003). It involves the level of darkness in the dark tourism site: thefundamental division between death as fiction or as a tragic reality. The spectrum line (figure 2) divides the ‘dark sites’ in relation to their perceivedideological, political, temporal and location product features. The shades saturate from theright (lighter) to the left (darker): darkest, darker, dark, light, lighter and lightest (Stone,2006). The darker shades of the spectrum are associated with more recent dark sites andevents. In the darkest dimension are noted ‘places of death’ rather than places associatedwith death (Stone, 2006). In relation to these it is assumed that none of the dark attractionsinvolved in this research have the darkest position in the spectrum. Stone (2008) suggests that product display authenticity, political relevance and ashorter time scale of the event are all characteristics of the darker side. In this contextauthenticity does not appeal to the quality or experience of a place, but the relationshipbetween the visitor and his/her perception of the surrounding (Wang, 1999; Olsen, 2002).What the visitor perceives as authentic is the link created between the displayed and theown understanding of the world and society (Cohen, 1988). Authenticity is therefore hardto measure. However Lennon and Foley (2000) suggest that authenticity in the darktourism site prospective refers to the originality of the material displayed. As Lennon and Foley (2000) stated the chronological distance is a vital characteristic ofthe dark tourism destination. The reason for that is that the event might still be fresh in themind of survivors and witnesses of the tragedy, which automatically makes thedestination darkest (Miles, 2002). Authentic locations and original objects, displays ofrecent reliable and political elements are features of the darker saturation of a site (Stone,19 | P a g e
  20. 20. 2006). Meanwhile lower political ideology, inauthentic product content and location aswell as a long period of time since the event took place are features attributed to the morerelaxed and fun orientated dark sides. Stone, and Sharpley, (2008) argues that lighter darkattractions are entertainment orientated, meanwhile the darkest aim to teach and educate.Some examples of a darkest product side according to the spectrum theory are Auschwitzor Ground zero, where the issue is related to a recent historical event and the topic is stillvery painful (Shackley, 2001). Here, the level of authenticity (evidence in documents andpictures that witness the disaster) is a key element of the display. Ultimately the display islocated in the original place where the tragic event took place is also quoted as addingdarkness to the attraction, museum or exhibition (Macdonald 1997:156-157). Displays withsuch dark characteristics often aim to encourage remembrance, commemoration andeducation. They are usually set for non-profit purposes and might be established by largerorganisations such as the government. Places where dark elements such as death, miseryand torture are a lot more real (based on facts, documents and pictures of real people)have higher levels of darkness. On the other hand, according to the dark tourism spectrum theory, sometimesplaces with dark content which appeal to human fears and emotions, have little to noauthenticity and are politically irrelevant. These are the attractions created by independentprofit orientated organisations in order to entertain children and adults (Seaton andLennon, 2004).FIGURE 2DARK TOURISM SPECTRUM LINE20 | P a g e
  21. 21. (Stone, Vol. 54, No. 2/ 2006/ 145-160). 3. METHODOLOGY3.1 RESEARCH APPROACHThe previous chapter provided a critical analysis of the literature available on the topic.21 | P a g e
  22. 22. Along with the literature review in order to research the issue this paper is concerned withan in-depth investigation of the collected data (Cameroon & Price, 2009). Literature suggests that there are different paradigms of research: positivism, realism,interpretivism and pragmatism (Saunders and Lewis, 2003). This study used a gnosticcritical realism and realist research methodological approaches, where seeking systematicknowledge of the world is analysed, but value that is caused by subjectivity (Gill andJohnson, 2002:138). Using a critical realism approach means that there is an objectiveworld, and the idea that our understanding of it can only be subjective and never objectiveor definite. Findings are gained through personal struggle, challenge and diversity(Pageles, 1982; Miles and Huberman, 1994).3.2 RESEARCH METHODOLOGYThere has been a mixture of research techniques used in order to analyse the dark offer.Secondary findings have involved the use of books, journals, reports and onlineinformation (websites, blogs and forums). Primary research has included qualitativetechniques such as observation and in-depth interviews. The reason why qualitativetechniques were preferred was because they are more likely to provide a deeperunderstanding of the design offer (Burns, 2000; Finn et al. 2000). Finally observing,communicating and analysing findings helped to find associations and patterns (Gambril,2006; Tribe and Airey, 2007). Qualitative research is designed to use systematic observation and focuses on thedesign and environmental settings of the dark exhibitions. This paper investigates thedark attractions features and produced perceptions using several qualitative methods:interviews, observations and text sources (websites and marketing publications).The reasons why these dark sites were chosen over others are various. Firstly theyrepresent the intensity and the popularity of this form of tourism in the UK’s capital. Theyall offer a dark product to their visitors, however in a very diverse way from one anotherway. The sites share success in terms of visitor affluence and touristic recognition (MerlinEntertainments, 2009). Ultimately they all share rich history and heritage as a primarybackground. From a practical point of view, all six of them are located in London and are22 | P a g e
  23. 23. easily accessible.3.2.1. Secondary ResearchThe physical characteristics of the buildings have been analysed by obtaining a floor plan,and by visiting them personally. In some cases it was not possible to attain maps due to‘security’ reasons; therefore similar floor plans were drawn. Maps reveal the design of thevisitor’s path and how this becomes more linear and restrictive within certain attractions.Additionally the business missions of the organisations have been analysed throughmarketing promotional publications, websites, journals and other media.3.3.2. Primary Research a) ObservationsIn order to conduct the research a visit was paid to each destination from where it waspossible to analyse the structure and the design of the sites. Using a check-list (seeappendix) each site was observed and analysed in terms of the building’s physicalstructure and the different displays and rooms’ atmosphere. b) InterviewsTo better understand the purpose some interviews were also held with representatives ofthe dark tourism industry. The interviews were collected using a recording device andwith some notes taken during the interview. Coding was difficult, and unsuitable.Nevertheless, Saunders et al. (2007) argues that there is no coding system when analysingqualitative data. In relation to this statement the research was based on a manual opencoded system (Neuman, 2003).Finally, the research strategy used in this research is inductive rather than deductive.Inductive research consists of theory building rather than theory testing which isdeductive (Phelan & Reynolds, 1995). However inductive reasoning uses a differentmethod than deductive thinking (Gambril, 2006). With deductive reasoning one may have23 | P a g e
  24. 24. a hypothesis that is an observed event, sequence of events and a conclusion (Gambril,2006; Cameron et al. 2009). Ultimately deduction interferes with generalised rules (Hart,1998:82), relying on facts and different arguments (Gambril, 2006). 4. FINDINGS4.1 INTRODUCTIONObservations were combined with interviews here. The semi-structured interviews leavefreedom to the respondent to interpret the question in their own way. The interviewee isasked to think of the situation and draw conclusions. The interview questions focusperceptions of the environment. The core issues are analysed through six subcategories:physical layout and mobility, sight, hearing, smell, touch and knowledge.4.2 Key Features of the Six Dark Sites4.2.1. LONDON TOMBSThe following findings have been based on 8 days personal experience within the LondonTombs experience. During the time being there were held several informal interviews withthe general manager Mr James Kislingbury and some employees. From this experience itwas discovered that the attraction is an independent profitable organisation held by fewshareholders. The general manager was in charge of the staff and was also responsible forthe smooth performance of the shows. The attraction runs shows every day and occasionally during their peak times theyare also run till at late night (Halloween till 11 pm). The attraction has some degree ofauthenticity (original location); however, there is no proof of actual death within therooms. In the past London Bridge was unsafe with a poor reputation, where manycivilians have found their death (several death bodies have been found during theconstruction of the bridge) (Kislingbury, 2011). The product is designed to frighten almost anyone as there is a vast range of themost common phobia elements (dark space, fake snakes, blade, dolls and more). Theentertaining aspect of it is to let imagination control human feelings, and knowing that24 | P a g e
  25. 25. nothing bad would actually happen as it is all false.The London Experience and London Tombs have well developed infrastructure andtourist facilities (Kislingbury, 2011). The visitors are always guided by a member of staffand the duration of the visit lasts around 40 minutes (optional exit before the Tombs isprovided). The attraction is highly marketed and promoted to the UK and overseas visitors innumerous media publications: Time Out (magazine and web); London Tour and LondonMap and others. Moreover the attraction collaborates with several other organisations:Groupon, Tesco Clubcard,, The London Pass, 2 for 1 London,Smartsave and more. Finally the dark site is a winner of several dark attraction rewards: • UKs best scare attraction for the last 3years; • Winner of "The Best Year round Scare Attraction" (Scream Awards, 2008) • `Finalist in "Most Innovative Marketing" British Youth Travel Awards 2009 (Scream Awards, 2009).4.2.2. LONDON DUNGEONIn 1995, 610,000 people visited the London Dungeon (Yale, 1998). The product revolvesaround a story of London during its dark ages, and displays this using an interactive,three-dimensional, interactive environment. London Dungeon is a commercially orientated tourism attraction (main reason forbeing is to create profits) run by Merlin Entertainment Group. The design used offersmore graphic features and almost playful atmosphere. The attraction offers a wide rangeof facilities, infrastructure, technological, visual and vocal devices which would enhancethe visitor experience and make it more enjoyable (check-list, 2011). In order to facilitateand regulate as well as to restrict the length of the visit they have adopted a linear routestructure which will be discussed in more detail in the following chapter. The high degreeof tourism infrastructure on the outside of the attractions is also designed to accommodatea high volume of visitors.4.2.3. CHAMBER OF HORROR AT MADAME TUSSAUDSMadame Tussauds-Chamber of Horror is one of the most well-known London tourist25 | P a g e
  26. 26. attractions. Here only one part of the tourist attraction has been mentioned, (The Camberof Horror only dark display within a bigger tourist exhibition). The museum-style ropesand poles have been visited by over 200 million visitors since it began 200 years ago(Madame-Tussauds, 2011), and with current visitor affluence of over 2.5 million people ayear visit.One of the first dark exhibitions in London was presented by Madame Tussauds when shearrived to England from Curtius (France). The Tussauds collection was presenting historicartefacts alongside some other wax figures, so objects were purchased to go in theChamber of Horrors. The exhibition progressed by showing a story of a crime in 1981. Thiswas the first recorded simulation of a crime rather than being a real scenario forentertainment purposes (Yale, 1998). Ultimately they added special effects, lightening and mechanical spiders to makethe attraction more stimulating. The exhibitors came up with the idea of regrouping themurderers according to the type of crime they had committed and add decorativeelements such as coffins, bars and fake blades (check-list, 2011). The exhibition belongs to the Merlin Entertainment Group, which is probably whythe features and the character of it remind of London Dungeon. The building consists ofupper site construction and numerous underground rooms and corridors. The Chamber ofHorror is designed to flow in one and only direction for all visitors. The underground isreached by stairs from the main Madame Tussaud’s exhibition (which is not dark). Theiringlorious aspect communicates to the visitor to be prepared for a trilling experience(Chamber of Horror, 2011). The dark exhibition might not be appealing to everyone,therefore the building is provided by one other corridor which would lead to the exit.4.2.4. THE CLINK PRISONThe Clink prison is built upon the original site of the Clink Prison. The site dates back to1144 making it one of England’s oldest prisons (Clink Prison, 2011). The highly visitedattraction offers an educational experience allowing visitors to handle original artefacts,including torture devices (checklist, 2012). The exhibition has been made even morecredible and realistic by the wax figures placed behind bars and under the torture26 | P a g e
  27. 27. machines. Ultimately the product is enhanced by audio and sound effects. Visitors havethe opportunity to view and hear the stories of the inmates and Southbank. There is notmuch to say about the design of the place, as it was not designed to be a tourist attractionat the time. The narrow, dark and small rooms of the prisons were designed to keepcriminals out the streets of London. The path therefore is simple linear and with not toomany exits (Clink Prison, 2011).4.2.5. The Imperial War Museum in LondonThe London IWM brunch is located in Elephant and Castle area. The museum whichdisplays war related artefacts, documents, pictures, objects, stories, monuments ofconflicts, death and tragedy is a highly authentic and reliable source of European darkhistory (Collections and Research 2011). The museum contains the Englands largestdisplay of military artefacts, ranging in period from the First World War to the presentday. The first impression of the character and authenticity of the display could beperceived from the very outside of the building. In fact on the left side of the main stairsthere is a real segment of the Berlin Wall (IWM, 2011). The exhibition starts with a display of war machines mainly from the first andSecond World War (tanks, rackets, submarines and small aircraft). They are all located inone big round space right after the entrance. On the left side of the main room there is a27 | P a g e
  28. 28. children exhibition Once upon a War Time which is paid for: £5 (Collections andResearch 2011). On the same side next to the paid exhibition there is a cafeteria and a giftshop on the opposite site of the ground floor. This first part of the exhibitions is morecommercialised compared to the rest of the museum. Visitors have the chance to customise their visit and choose where to go and whatto see, which differs from London Dungeon where people were walking into groupsthrough the linear and straight path of the horror museum. The Holocaust exhibition isone of the darkest displays in the museum, and it is not advisable for people under 14focusing on the Jewish persecution in Europe during the Second World War.The exhibitions layout starts with written testimonials of peoples and religious believesabout the danger Jewish people were for Europe. The evidence stretches to vocaltestimonial by showing a video of Hitler himself and his speeches in front of the Germanpopulation. Following the path, the display becomes even more visually saturated(people’s pictures, objects, symbols). On display are medical tables, real shoes from theconcentration camps, and a reconstruction of the inside of the trains people weretransported to the concentration camps. The next room presents a model of Auschwitz. Arecord of survivors plays in the background of the room (checklist, 2012) while visitors areallowed to go inside, touch and spend some time if they want to, or sit down and listen tothe victim’s stories. The display continues onto inside the camp experience. Clothes,shoes, cookery and other belongings of the imprisoned people were collected anddisplayed here. The exhibition ends with a long list of names of people who lost their livesin the camps across Europe.The museum measures their success in many different ways: ‘visitor figures, income, profile raising, media coverage, development of museum audiences etc’(Gilbert, 2012).4.2.6. CHISLEHURST CAVESThe caves of Chislehurst are a deep and very ancient man made set of tunnels located inthe south-east of London: The 20 mile cave systems are believed to be around 8,000 years28 | P a g e
  29. 29. old. According to scientific findings there are reminders from Saxon, Druid and Romancivilizations. Chislehurst caves therefore are rich in history and many different activitieswere held in its cold dark underground. The caves were initially dug for the generousamount of chalk in the ground used in the production of lime, as well as brick making forthe building purposes (Chislehurst caves, 2010). Several researches have concluded thatthe caves were used for human sacrifices in the oldest parts of the site. Other believessuggests that there is paranormal presence too. In the most recent history the site used tohost people during the Second World War. The site visual display (wax figures, beds)represents the human presence in the caves during the Blitz (checklist, 2012). The underground is today open to tourist to explore with an experienced guide.The caves offer a thrilling and educative experience. The attraction’s aim is to make profitsin a long term. They measure their success in terms of visitor affluence and profits (Terry,2011).To conclude this section it can be said that the dark supply in London is a well-developedand diversified sector of the tourism industry in the city. Nevertheless many more darksuppliers are available in London: Jack the Ripper or Ghost Tours; The Brain Exhibition;DT Hotels; DT walks, and so on. The organisational purposes and missions have been summarised in table 1 (see listof marketing publications p.6). Additionally promotional publications and visual materialare presented in marketing publication section at the end of this paper.4.3. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICSWhile the previous section analysed the general aspects and missions of the various sites,the following paragraph will aim to look deeper into the physical design of the buildings.The physical place hosting the exhibition, attraction or museum could be the original placewhere the event took place (Clink Prison), or it could be purpose built (Imperial WarMuseum). In addition to the original building design, a team of designers decide theinternal path and mobility. Their style of set and layout reflect the character, purpose andaims. Gilbert (2012) suggests that in any exhibition the design will prompt certain feelings.29 | P a g e
  30. 30. These are often determined by the nature of the display. The senior exhibition managersuggests here that the exhibition layout depends on the type of product rather thanorganisational wants.The entrance space in many of the visited dark sites was brighter and spacious comparedto the rest of the building. For instance in the Imperial War Museum, the ground floorconsists of a wide open space from where the visitor can choose their path. The luminosityis well saturated throughout the whole entry space. Gilbert (2012) recommends that byproviding this atmosphere the museum wants to create a welcoming environment forvisitors as soon as they enter the building:‘This is achieved through staff, graphics, decorations and lighting. The main atrium spacecontaining the large exhibits was intended to provide a strong visual impact for visitors when theyfirst enter the museum.’A similar welcome effect was used by Clink Prison, Madame Tussauds and Chamber ofHorror and Chislehurst Caves: the brighter, open space.Before progressing towards the darkest areas the sites usually warn the visitors usingdifferent methods. These could include signs or symbols (child experimentation table inthe Holocaust exhibition symbolically warns the visitors that they are for about to enter amore saturated dark area), (Howsen, 2012). Other sites use verbal communication (beforeentering London Tombs). Finally a physical separation (by doors, stares or panels) is a signof dividing the areas from one dimension to another. New musicological designers who have applied freedom of access can be seen asreflecting upon what they feel are the needs, wants and expectations of the visitor.Linearity is very limited in some attractions such as the London Dungeon, LondonExperience and Chamber of Horror. Inside the Chamber of Horror, for instance, there is alack of free exploration within the building, and this is a direct result of the way in whichthe basement site was made: as categorically linear way as possible. Similarly the London30 | P a g e
  31. 31. Experience and the London Tombs have a one way corridor path conducted by a numberof different guides (actors) along the way. The reason for this is to be able to accommodatelarge number of visitors (see map). On busy days there is one actor in each corridor whotakes over the visitor group and conducts them as quickly as possible, so the next groupcan come through (Kryonika, 2011). In terms of architectural interaction the building issomewhat limited and people cannot choose a highly customised route. Chislehurst Caveshave a big space, which could be potentially freely explored by the visitors. However dueto the huge size of the underground and lack of visibility and other infrastructure facilitiesinside, not many would choose not to follow the experienced guide conducting the visit(Terry, 2011).While these sites are very limited in terms of free exploration and mobility during thevisit, the Imperial War Museum and the Clink Prison offer a lot more freedom ofexploration and time availability inside the site. Visitors are free to customise theirexperience by deciding which path to take and which room to visit. They have theopportunity to ask information along the way from one of the many museum curators orread to information boards present along the way. The dark site offers to everyone alighter war experience to progress further up to a more detailed and darker evidence ofdeath during war times. In addition to offer visitors a positive and welcome initial impact,the contrast between the ground floor and the rest of the dark exhibitions would also helpto maximise the ‘horror’ impact of the darker exhibitions (Howsen, 2012). On the groundfloor there is a lot of freedom of mobility, while this becomes more restricted and linear inthe Holocaust exhibition. Gilbert (2012) suggested that:‘’Each exhibition is looked at individually at the design stage. Depending on the narrative of theexhibition we decide how best to present this to visitors, this will determine whether we agree alinear route or a more free flowing exhibition’’.This recommends that there is a link between the nature of the exhibition and the physicalset. From several observations it could be suggested and concluded that the darker31 | P a g e
  32. 32. product would require more straight forward linear path which would involve the visitormore closely with the display. In some sites the linearity was encouraged by the suppliers for another purpose too:to increase visitor flow and minimise time circulation. This would allow higher visitorcapacity and consequently more profits too (Mears, 2011). This characteristic was mainlynoted in highly commercialised dark attractions such as London Dungeon, LondonExperience and Chamber of Horror. Here little or none recreational facilities wereavailable. These attractions offer no space for people to stop and look around for longer. Infact the spaces profitability was related to the time and space. More visitors consumingless time within the attraction would open more space for new visitors to enter (Mears,2011). On a busy day London Experience would have a group of around ten visitors everytwenty minutes. These groups would never meet (Kryonica, 2011).In conclusion to this point it can be said that the organisation’s purpose, mission andneeds are main elements in determining the structural design. These concerns are foundedin things such as the specific type of museum in question, and the way in which themarket demand has influenced and constructed the conscious orientation of the designteam. Dark attractions tend to have more structured and linear routes, which could allowhigh visitor circulation throughout the day. When one of the mission statements of theorganisation states ‘make profits’, then the physical design of the sites tends to be as spaceproductively as possible. Meanwhile organisations which states ‘educational’ as one of themain statements of their missions tend to offer more freedom of internal and externalmobility.4.4. PERCEPTION AND DIMENSION32 | P a g e
  33. 33. 4.4.1. Display and Vision among the Six London Dark SitesIn the contemporary society, display has become increasingly prominent for bothattractions and exhibitions. Visitors will research through the media and visualinformation in order to decide whether they want to visit (Mears, 2011). The visualinformation communicates the type of site, the level of dark saturation, and the kind ofexperience the visitors should expect from it (Mears, 2011). London Experience and London Dungeon display their product in a visuallyinteractive way making it appear more dynamic and exiting. Instead of locking themedieval clothes and object behind glasses, they have incorporated them into theenvironment. The whole visual display becomes part of a recreated reality. No singleobject (in the attractions) is in a formal display frame presented, but scenes, landscapes,faces, characters and actions are recreated.The ‘darker’ areas of the (London Tombs, Chamber of Horror, some areas of the ClinkPrison) attractions use stimulating light and colour effects. Flashing light tends todiscomfort a person’s sensations and leads to disorientation and possible rise in theperceiver’s emotions (Hone, 2011). In the attempt to create fearful feeling has beenenhanced by displaying revolting for the contemporary society elements such as fakeblade, silicon masks, was figures with missing heads or legs, fake snakes, spiders andhuman bones. In London Tombs light is low, while in London Dungeon the sight isrestricted (in some rooms to the minimum), provoking emotional reactions (Hone, 2011).While areas or sites, which aim to recreate the environment (IWM, Chislehurst Caves,parts of London Dungeon, London Experience and Clink Prison), rather than to provokestrong emotions tend to use light which would have been used at the time of the ‘dark’historical moment. Chislehurst Caves use original gas lamps as it was during the blitz, tothen use no light at all, during the more remote and ancient ages. During the first part ofthe display the attraction illuminates the underground with additional electric lights,where visitors can visualise the evidence of people living in the undergrounds during theBlitz. In the second part of the walk however visitors are asked to give their candles awayand remind in the complete darkness for several minutes. The complete lack of light, feelshighly uncommon to the contemporary person, which also provokes mixed feelings(Hone, 2011).33 | P a g e
  34. 34. The lower light in the IWM had different functions:‘’Light is used in two ways, to create an appropriate atmosphere with in exhibition but also tocontrol environmental conditions for the exhibits on display. The lighting in the Holocaustexhibition does both these things.” (Gilbert, 2012).Finally sight is confined by the speed of the movement. In London Tombs people havebeen asked to hold to each other and walk fast while crossing the straining linear path(author participation). While in London Dungeon visitors are often put on fast movingrides which disorientate the person and limit him/her from observing the environment.Sight limitation and disorientation do increase the thrilling feelings, rice blade pressureand adrenaline which appeals to younger audience (Hone, 2011) The Clink Prison offers the chance to see the prison building and read literaturematerial attached to the walls. Visualising the environment here has an important value asthe purpose of the product is to educate rather than to provoke feelings (Hone, 2011).In conclusion to this point it could be said that vision has an important element in theperception of the display of a dark site. The amount of visibility and light characterise notonly the physical appearance of the display, but it also transmit moods and feelings. Thepresence of light can stimulate certain experiences and provoke mixed feelings. It could besuggested that lighter dark sites use light as an additional senses stimulation tool in orderto deliver strong experiences and feelings. People perceive those in a different way fromone another. However the majority claims to feel ‘scared’ (Mears; Hone, 2011). In darkerattractions use of light effects is much more restricted than in the lighter ones.4.4.2. Hearing and SmellIt has been noted that these two senses are also been regulated by the six dark sites visited.Hearing plays an important element of the contemporary museum, attraction or exhibitionproduct offer. In the lighter attractions such as London Bridge and London Tombs as wellas parts of the Camber of Horror, audio elements are highly encouraged and stimulated.Nevertheless recorded screaming, opening old doors, whispers and banging noises havebeen recorded and played out by sound systems throughout the buildings. The volume ishigh to the point to discomfort most visitors (Hone, 2011). The sound included human34 | P a g e
  35. 35. screaming, animal noises, animal cry, banging doors and other commonly irritating noises. Contrarily the noise in the Imperial War Museum is kept low. On the ground floorthe visitor could only hear pleasant noise coming from the coffee shop and the moderatetone of the other visitors’ conversations and comments. Meanwhile the top floor exhibitionis absent from visitors voices, the only sound comes from recorded speeches by politicians,and whispers of real victim testimonials. Sarah Gilbert defines the sound information as a:“Method of interpretation. We find that our visitors are interested to hear first-hand accounts frompeople who actually experienced the topic that we are presenting.” (Gilbert, 2012).During the visit in the scary attractions it was noted a strong specific unpleasant smell. Itwas almost identical in London Dungeon and London Experience. It fit the productcharacter quite well, as the combination of what was seen and what was heart was alsopossible to smell. The heavy, smoky and pungent smell was not recommended toasthmatic visitors (Kryonica, 2011). The thought that the smell was encouraged andcreated on purpose in the attractions was turned down by Kryonica (2011). She said thatthese were the natural odours of the underground, substantiated by the traffic pollutionand the nearby rail way dust. The unwilling smell factor contributes to the rising emotionsin the visitor perceptions at the London Dungeon and London Bridge (Hone, 2012).Meanwhile loud animal and human noises in combination with heavy odours wereencouraging fear and excitement in the visitor emotions (Hone, 2011), in the lighterattractions and exhibitions, the opposite was the case of Chislehurst Caves. There was, aswell as the other senses, a complete absence of smell or sound stimulations. There was atrace of a cold stone feel to the intangible characteristics of the place but none else, whichhelped the mysterious nature of the experience (Terri, 2011). The only sound came fromthe tour guide voice, which at one point also goes mute, leaving the visitor in an unusualsituation. Smell in the IWM was carefully contained in some areas of the exhibition(Submarine Experience), and absent in areas such as the Holocaust Exhibition. Presence ofsmell in the Holocaust Exhibition there was ‘inappropriate’ (Gilbert, 2012). In the IWM the different war experiences and events were not only presented by35 | P a g e
  36. 36. collection of visual material, but are also supported by sound records, making the productappear authentic to the visitor. As smell could not be captures from the relevant time, theexhibitor curators have decided that it was inappropriate to recreate odour, as it wouldnot match the originality of the display.To summarise this point it could be said that sound and smell presence is important tocontemporary museums and attractions in order to communicate an attitude and feelingsto the audience. They make the product more multidimensional an interactive. In lightersites these are highly stimulated, meanwhile in darker sites laud noise and recreated smellis unsuitable (IWM), due to unwilling interference with the ethical and authenticityconcepts.4.4.3 Touch and KnowledgeTouch involves familiarisation with the environment and gaining a better perception ofthe situation. Therefore being able to touch in environment with low visibility could bebeneficial to visitors. Even though the light source is sufficient to analyse a subject, morecredibility and understanding will be gained when the person feels the environment(Hone, 2011). The dark sites explored in this paper have had different approach towardsthe haptic perception. Interactivity was very much available on the ground floor in theImperial War Museum and on some digital screens in the Cold War exhibition, and in theHolocaust exhibition (chairs to sit on, original train carriage-possible to go through andtouch).“Interactivity provides an alternative way for visitors to learn about a subject. With screen basedinteractive it also often gives the museum an opportunity to look at a theme in more detail.Younger audiences respond particularly well to interactive elements but they are popular with allage groups’ (Gilbert, 2012).Interactivity is encouraged by Clink Prison site too, allowing the visitor to learn andunderstand better the display presented. Although objects which are not allowed to be36 | P a g e
  37. 37. touched are usually covered by a glass box or there is a sign acknowledging the visitorwhat would be appropriate or not to do.While passing through the corridors of London Experience Chamber of Horror andLondon Dungeon it was possible to see (even in low light), hear and smell thesurroundings, touching was a lot more limited. The background objects, sculptures andstenographs were pieces created for the exhibition purpose and touching could damage ormisplace them (Kryonica, 2011). Additionally the feel of the non-authentic (fake) materialsand objects would decay the visitor illusion (Hone, 2012), and growing emotional storm.Finally, due to the limited time available in London Dungeon and Tombs, visitors havelittle opportunity to explore the surrounding.Knowledge in this contest would refer to the peoples’ perceptions of the environment andhow some elements have a stronger impact on them due to their familiarity with thecircumstances of the display. For example people who had studied the Second World Warwould perceive the information displayed as more darkly saturated than people who havenot (Hone, 2012). Nevertheless medieval murderers and diseases such as the plaque arepresented by dark lighter sites. Perhaps the disconnection of those deaths with thecontemporary world characterises them as ‘lighter content’. World conflicts which haveaffected directly many family members of the visitors tends to be perceived as a lot morehorrifying, although it probably took less victims than the plaque (Howsen, 2012; Hone,2011). A person who is afraid of darkness would be more terrified in the ChislehurstCaves than in IWM, or perhaps a person is claustrophobic would feel stronger emotions inthe London Tombs. An American citizen could possibly feel stronger feelings seeing apiece of the Twin Towers after 9/11 attack rather than a visitor who had never been inAmerica, and have no connection with their culture, and so on (Hone, 2011).This point argues that the feelings experienced in a dark site vary not only according to thetype of display, visual, hearing and interactivity, but also according to the personalperception, experiences, knowledge and personality of the visitor. Using the personal andunique background, knowledge, principles and experiences, people would interpret the37 | P a g e
  38. 38. display and the dark environment in a different way.4.5 DARK CHARACTERISTICS ACCORDING TO THE SPECTRUM THEORYThe following paragraph will take all the evidence and findings from the previouschapters and will try to analyse their approximate position on the spectrum linedeveloped by Stone (2006). The allocated places of the dark sites on the line will be roughas within the dark sites discussed in this paper there are different exhibitions and displays. As the evidence supports the theory, the darkest product offers display of originalitems from a death field, with short time distance from the event, and engaging politicaland recent ethical issues as seen in the Imperial War Museum. Some original objects couldbe also seen in the Clink Prison. This site has also offers authenticity of the building (theoriginal place of the prison), however it has no political relevance and the time distancefrom the events is very long. London Dungeon, London Experience and Tombs, and Chamber of Horror have nooriginal display, the death related issues are long gone and there is no evidence of deathtaking place in the actual buildings; therefore they are lighter sites according to thespectrum theory. Additionally to their inauthentic display, the sites are enriched with falseartefacts and symbols (fake blade, costumes, fake animals), which makes them morefictional and entertaining than educational and historically reliable. London Dungeoneven use rides which makes the site even less learning orientated, and more entertaining,especially for the younger audience. These characteristics added to the show like tours andperformances place the attractions on the lightest end of the spectrum line. Finally the Chislehurst Caves attraction is located in the original undergroundtunnels. They have no evidence of actual human sacrifices (other than the stone bed), andno real evidence of ghosts. The dark events are very distant from the present, and have nopolitical relevance. On the other site this was the place which saved many lives during theblitz. It can be assumed that the site is a light attraction with some elements of ‘dark’character.The following table summarises the sites features subtracted from the personal visitfindings (table 2).38 | P a g e
  39. 39. TABLE 2DARK FEATURES CHECK- LIST TABLE Chamber Clink London London Chislehurst IWM of Prison Experience Dungeon Caves Horror Location _ _ Authenticity Originality of _ _ _ _ the display Political _ _ _ _ _ Relevance Recent event _ _ _ _ _ Educational Entertaining _39 | P a g e
  40. 40. Profit _ orientatedWhere ‘–‘ means more ‘No’ than yes, and ‘ ’ means more ‘Yes’ than no.4.5.1 APPROXIMATE POSITIONING OF THE DARK SITES ON THE SPECTRUM LINESummarising the above findings it could be assumed that the approximate positioning ofthe dark sites on the spectrum line is as displayed in fig. 3. From this could be deductedthat the sites analysed in this paper have similar aspects and close to each other proximity,however they differentiate in terms of market communication and product content. Thisresearch found that the sites have similar display character in the lightest and in thedarkest end. Regardless of the product content and the marketing and organisationalperspectives the darkest sites use less senses stimulation, and provocative elements. Onthe other side the lightest sites have encouraged strongly these elements. The modelfollowing combine the elements of the dark spectrum theory with the senses stimulationcharacteristics of the darkest and lightest display (model 1). This model is suggested bythis research, in reference to the findings.MODEL 1APPROXIMATE POSITIONING ON THE DARK SPECTRUM LINE (STONE 2006)DARKEST LIGHTEST London Imperial War Dungeon Museum London London Chislehurst Chislehurst Experience Experience Caves Caves Chamber Chamber Clink and Tombs and Tombs Clink of Horror of Horror Prison Prison40 | P a g e
  41. 41. 4.5.2 SENSES STIMULATION IN RELATION TO THE LEVEL OF DARKNESSMODEL 2 (a) High Senses Stimulation Darkest Side Lightest Side(c) (d) Low senses stimulation ( B)41 | P a g e
  43. 43. 4.5.2 Dark Product Display ModelMODEL 343 | P a g e
  44. 44. 4.6. DISCUSSION OF FINDINGSOne of the main motivators to conduct this research was to understand what makes somedark sites use heavily dark material and being perceived as funny and entertaining.Respectively it was interesting understanding the reason why the connection betweenwhat is known to what is seen, and what is perceived was so important for dark sites tounderstand in order to fit in with the tourism market and the consumer demands. Managing dark sites is extremely difficult task due to the sensitive and oftendisturbing content of the display. Therefore understanding the type of dark product madethem freer to use element which would stimulate the dark experience visitors are lookingfor, and at the same time keep distant from ethical concerns. Analysing the six dark sites product offer, character and features helped realisingthe differences between places which relate to death. Using the dark spectrum line theoryhas useful to analyse the seriousness and the actual negativity of each one site. Ultimatelyit was valuable in order to understand the dark sites characteristics and level of darkness.What it did not explain however was the intangible elements of the product which can bevital upon the perception of the dark site. From the above observations, interviews andfindings it could be argued that the display set and the stimulation of the senses are themain factors upon which dark site manages focus their efforts on. Vision, sound, touch,smell and knowledge are seen as perceptual ingredients which play an important roleupon the dark site product offer. They are used in different proportions in order to deliveran exciting experience, and at the same time they should serve the organisationalpurposes, and finally product type requirements.This study suggested also that there are different dimensions of the dark product. Darksites managers should acknowledge the level of darkness of their actual product and incollaboration with the dark designers follow certain unwritten models of display. Siteswith lower level of dark product saturation (lightest) can free their imagination andstimulate senses which encourage strong feelings and emotions in order to challenge thevisitor. They use historical dark elements in combination with contemporary horrorfictional stories, horror movies, and common phobias. They have obtained the unwrittenethical allowance to play with death and fear, by not involving resent tragedies and by notupsetting still alive memories. They are no different from a reality horror show; based on44 | P a g e
  45. 45. dark humour and fantasy. Although their dark and in some extent historically relevantcontent; London Bridge, London Tombs and the Chamber of Horror are perceived to bethe lightest dark sites. On the other hand, it is believed that darker sites offer the ugly truth of the humanheritage. The aim is not to provoke additional darkness through the use of sensestimulation, but through the use of original material and evidence. Finally, those who aredriven in dark sites for meditation or life philosophical motivations would possibly visitdark sites where the discussion and the display of life and death are open and neutral.In relation to the customer motivations and demands dark sites have adopted a differentproduct, which would reach a specific target audience. Differentiation and uniqueness hadbeen encouraged by the competitive marketing environment of the highly tourist city ofLondon. For this reason London Dungeon, London Experience and Chamber of Horror allshare very similar motivators and organisational structures and missions; however they alltend to differ, and offer a USP. They promote, update and sell their dark product usingstrategic product innovations and product development elements. Moreover, this research discussed the link between the dark site display andorganisational purpose for being. Most of the sites discussed here were aiming to makeprofits and increase visitor affluence. This suggests that the dark content is used as atrendy tourist offer, which goes beyond the dark message itself and adapts to thecommercial and selling aspects of the dark product.The findings evidence the blurred line between the educational and entertaining characterof the dark sites. The dark museums, exhibitions and attraction have adapted to therequirements of the demanding market and have used elements which would make theunattractive nature of their product attractive.Many people wonder to what extent is acceptable the commercialisation of dark productand to where the line of tolerance stretches. Many recent dark attractions have risen in thelast decades. Several of them are perhaps too recent to be labelled as dark sites. Addingpromotional features, selling elements and interactive features to the display to makethem more appealing would be unethical and inappropriate.45 | P a g e
  46. 46. 5. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS5.1 CONCLUSIONSThis research ends with three different conclusions. Firstly, several different dark siteswere analysed and measured in terms of darkness following several criteria suggested byStone (2006). This was to analyse the type of dark attractions referencing not only personalexperience and customer reviews on the sites, but also based on academic literature too.Using the theory and qualitative research methods it was assumed that this theory wasrelatively accurate and reliable. The dark sites revealed that they do have a level ofdarkness which varies from one to another. London Dungeon, London Bridge Experiencethe Chamber of Horror was seen as a group of dark attractions belonging to the ‘lighter’side of the dark tourism supply. They shared marketing aims and organisational missions,as well as promotional approach and own interpretation of the ‘dark concept’. The IWMwas probably the darkest from all six sites, due to the original display, the recent timescalefrom the war events and the political relevance of the product. Chislehurst Caves wassuggested to be a light site with dark elements to it. This site was important to mention asan example of an ordinary attraction including dark elements to their product content inorder to follow the market trends and satisfy the demand.Secondly, it was suggested that dark sites have different way of interpreting, approachingand displaying the concept of death. This often depended on their dark themes, productcontent, organisational missions and purposes. In this stage was discussed the mixture ofdark attractions, exhibitions and museums in London. It was inducted that the expandingdark tourism demand had been met by increasing dark tourism supply. The sites havedeath as common feature of their product; however they approach the visitors differently,and deal with the dark content in their own way. They all have specialised in alteredhistorical areas related to human misery and death. Moreover it was seen that in order tocompete effectively, they had adapted unique features and selling points, introducinginteractive elements, and provoking feelings by using sense stimulation. The ‘lightest’highly commercialised attractions had lower educational aims, straight forward linearpaths conducted by guides and actors, which would facilitate quick visitor circulation.46 | P a g e
  47. 47. This would allow higher visitor capacity, enhance space productivity and increase profitgeneration for those attractions. Furthermore a linear path was also observed in thedarkest areas within the sites. This path design was set for different reasons: to facilitatecirculation; to minimise time spent in the darkest areas; to allow the visitor to integratebetter in the scene and time.In addition to the physical setting the dark supplier is also concern with creating certainperceptions and environments within the display. These were achieved by encouragingsense stimulation effects. Using these in different saturation could play an important roleon the visitors’ emotions and experiences. This research suggested that there is a set ofrules to follow when creating and setting a dark display. In relation to the type of productand level of saturation, dark sites would display death and the surrounding environmentaccordingly. Darkest sites would interfere as little as possible with the display by addingrecreated environment simulations. They would tend to present facts as they are, ratherthan aiming to encourage feelings by provoking human physical senses. Contrarily, lightersites aim to incite strong feelings and emotions by using different tools, which encouragethe interaction with sense stimulation and provoke people’s imagination.The research followed qualitative techniques in order to understand the supplier’s visionand interpretation of the dark tourism product. In many cases however, such methodswhere difficult to carry out due the complexity and busy environment of the tourismindustry. Interview requests were often declined by the attraction managers. Some othersdeclined to provide any type of internal marketing information (London Dungeon).Ultimately it was difficult to obtain maps from the sites due to ‘security reasons’. Becauseof these and other obstacles, this fields needs to be ultimately researched and investigatedin order to fully understand the psychology behind the dark tourism supply sites.5.2 RECOMMENDATIONSThe next generation public displays tend to become more interactive, engaging, emotionaland exiting. Dark heritage on display has transformed its aspect through use oftechnology, sense stimulation and better understanding of peoples motivations and47 | P a g e
  48. 48. desires. Dark sites should not only satisfy and anticipate visitors’ wants in order tosucceed, but also should respect ethical and social norms, which restrict the intenseinterpretation of the dark product. Successful sites have incorporated these tools in orderto attract more visitors, increase visitors’ satisfaction, and fulfil their commercial oreducational missions. However, dark sites should be aware of the implications of thedeath related concepts. This research would recommend careful analysis of the level ofdarkness, before proceeding to the design set, and use of sense stimulation,commercialisation and communication strategies. Moreover, the sense stimulation modelcould be used in order to reach balance. The second recommendation suggests that the dark sites purpose could expand,and propose other uses of the dark displays related to contemporary issues from the thirdworld. Darkness and death could be reported by setting interactive exhibitions, whichwould help wealthy societies understand the difficulty of the world we live in. Simulatingthe lifestyle and the environmental conditions in places such as the streets of Ethiopia orNorth Korea in exhibitions, could attract dark visitors. They would visit driven by variouspossible motivations. Interacting, sensing and perceiving the dark environment wouldmake them experience other, darker reality of the world in safe conditions. This couldbenefit not only possible increase of visitors in exhibitions, but raise awareness, createunusual experiences, and perhaps help some people appreciate their living environment.Such exhibitions could be also set by charity organisations in order to raise money for poorsocieties, or disease research.5.3 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCHFurther research needs to be addressed in areas of the perception dimension of the darkdisplay environment. This study was useful to introduce the idea of relationship between‘dark’ product content and adequate senses stimulation within a dark tourismorganisation. However, more needs to be discovered in terms of senses stimulation andtheir use by organisations in order to deliver the ‘dark’ product in a tolerable manner. Thehuman perceptions are subjective and hard to analyse. Further research needs to be doneon senses stimulation and their effects on people’s feelings and perceptions in order to48 | P a g e
  50. 50. LIST OF MARKETING PUBLICATIONSTABLE 1TABLE OF DARK SITE TYPE , MISSIONS AND MARKETING DESCRIPTIONSite Name Type Missions Marketing Description Scary aims to be at the forefront of ‘’Welcome to our attraction the industry by ensuring Dungeon, come insideLondon visitors receive an accurate and we will take you on aExperience experience of what life used tour through London’s to be like throughout its most horrible history’’ extensive history ARE YOU BRAVE ENOUGH?London Scary The world’s No 2 visitor ‘’Heart stopping’’Dungeon attraction attraction operator, Merlin Scary SCREAM, you’ll need to aims to deliver memorableMadame attraction warm up your vocal and rewarding experiencesTussauds chords to ensure you can to its 30 million visitors(Chamber of scream loud enough to be worldwide, through itsHorror) rescued. But then again, iconic global and local who is going to come to brands your aid.....?50 | P a g e