The History of Disaster Tourism - Atlas Obscura

Denver, Colorado

The History of Disaster Tourism

Journey into the complex history of dark tourism with Kari Bergen of Ephemera Obscura.

Pompeii. Chernobyl. The 9th Ward. All places of unspeakable tragedy, yet also some of the most popular tourist destinations. 

Disaster Tourism is the act of traveling to the site of a disaster, natural or man-made. These kinds of macabre attractions are not a new phenomenon. Humans have always had a need to understand, witness, and memorialize catastrophes.

Learn about some of the worst disasters in American history, their impacts, and the role of photography in the rise of “Dark Tourism” with strange history enthusiast Kari Bergen, owner of the oddities shop, Ephemera Obscura. Kari's talk will be illustrated with original photographs from her private collection.


  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your tour time. Follow signs downstairs to the "grotto."
  • Event will run rain or shine.
  • This event is suitable for ages 12+.
  • ADA: This event is taking place in an old home that is not wheelchair accessible. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please contact for additional accessibility information/questions.
  • A small lot is adjacent to the building and street parking is available. Please read signs carefully and carpool when possible.


Email James O'Neill at

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Advance tickets only. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges.