DETROIT (WWJ) – It may be morbid, but it’s growing in popularity: “dark tourism” in Detroit.
Following the death of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell last week, the MGM Grand Detroit has been inundated with calls from fans wanting to book the hotel room where he took his own life.
Karin Risko of City Tour Detroit — which offers the Notorious 313 Sinister History Tour — says tourists’ interest in celebrity deaths, the macabre, the paranormal and Detroit’s dark side rivals, if not exceeds, that in more traditional tours.
“It’s quirky history; I mean, it’s history,” Risko told WWJ Newsradio 950. “A lot of people might frown on it, but history is rarely pretty, you know…and we just tell some of the darker stories that happened.”
Risko said that while dark tourism isn’t a new genre, with tours offered at sites of disaster and deaths almost worldwide, it’s been gaining a presence in Detroit.
She says the city, with over 300 years of history, offers a variety of attractions in and around downtown. “One of the very famous people who died right here Detroit was the famous magician Harry Houdini. Grace hospital, the portion he died in is long gone. A building does still stand where he lay in state for one night.”
Cornell’s death only adds to the intrigue.
“Maybe we have this morbid curiosity around everything that’s centered with death because it is so secret, so that people do flock to these tours,” Risko said.
Do you dare? Get more information on available tours and view the schedule at this link.