Announcing the Launch of the Dark Tourism Initiative

Catarina Elvira
Catarina Elvira

Bogotá, Colombia, March 15th, 2020 — Atmostfear Entertainment is pleased to announce today the launching of a long-term commitment to a brand-new dark tourism venture across Colombian territory. A more ominous form of touristic travelling undertaken to visit places associated with death or suffering also called “black tourism” or “grief tourism”.

Dark tourism covers all areas from destinations that have been struck by a natural disaster, like Armero and its surrounding area, to other areas where crimes have been committed, such as Isla Gorgona. Paranormal places also have their due importance, such as La Juagua, and suicidal site, Salto de Tequendama. Spiritual yet unresting ghostly grounds such as Cementerio Central, besides additional well-known sites of a memorial and human tragedy are also introduced.

With Colombia’s dark tourism or thanatourism, we will enable our audience to travel and experience “death spaces” for touristic, and educational purposes. Dark tourism will allow travellers to gather a better understanding of what life and death were on a few selected Colombian sites, besides the mysticism that as of yet, still can be encountered in various sites throughout the country.

The overall purpose of this initiative regarding dark tourism it to research, identify, describe and analyse tourism journeys to “death spaces”. There are several pieces of research and typologies done concerning dark tourism, but not much for the issue of dark tourists so far. Aside from this, Atmostfear Entertainment intends to engage in partnerships with tour agencies in order to present its touring packages in this year’s third quarter and has, in fact, begun the negotiations process while opening an office in Palermo, Bogotá, Colombia, in order to support and better accommodate its staff expansion.

Surely, Colombia is a diverse country in terms of landscapes. From the Caribbean beaches to snowy mountains, the country has it all. Though such diversity can also offer the birth of countless stories from the native inhabitants of this land, natural disasters that whipped out entire towns, or those sites which own natural exuberance creates a transcendental environment.

Between jungles and cities, mysteries can be found; one only needs to look for it.

In this press release, it is presented some intriguing dark tourism destinations to contemplate as part of the innovative approach Atmostfear Entertainment is taking regarding Colombian dark tourism forthcoming tour services, with additional highlights and educational information:

Armero

There are places doomed to disappear, due to proximity to natural disasters and the excess of reliance on human achievements.

In Colombia, unfortunately, several cities are located in dangerous locations and continuously subjected to natural catastrophes; one of those sites was Armero. This site was a disaster waiting to happen.

Even under imminent risk of a natural disaster, alerts and warnings for being in the mountainside of a dormant volcano, people remained in their houses.

On November 13th, 1985, history changed dramatically for this town in the department of Tolima when a pyroclastic avalanche destroyed everything at its pass, including the hope and life of nearly 25.000 people that were at their home as it was customary at 11:20 p.m. on any given Wednesday.

On that day, the Nevado del Ruíz volcano erupted through one of its icy craters, consequently creating the first stage of a tragedy that buried one of the most prospers towns in the area.

There were 90 million cubic meters of water that reached the town in less than two hours at 300km per hour. This landslide managed to erase from the map all the urban side of the city. Nowadays, few structures remain, among them the hospital’s cryptic walls.

Even to this day, the site rigs with pain after the water avalanche reached a 10 meters level and drowned not only the people that lived there but also the promise of being able to bury the dead in a proper manner, as they got forever lost in the tragedy.

Armero until date holds countless unfathomableness stories, thousands of souls that are not fully aware that they are deceased still keep control over their “lives”, screams, and ghostly noises as shadowy companions to every single person that dears to enter this desolated place.

Thousands of spirits claim peace and cling to the only thing they had in life; thousands of people that wanted light and now have darkness.

Castillo de la Alboraya

Little is known about this place in Barranquilla, not because it is not noticeable, but because the terror of just mentioning it and all the occurrences that took place in there for centuries, undoubtedly causes mistrust and uncertainty to their neighbours.

There are also those marvelled by the darkness imprinted in its walls. It is this old house’s essence that survived for over four centuries keeping the structure tall and its mysteries inside.

Its first inhabitant was a Spanish Lord named Rondón, who rode his horse covered in blood to spook anyone who trespassed his property. The legend tells that whoever got caught, would be the next sacrifice in the rituals, and their blood would be wear by his horse. The vast property had tunnels to hide any dark act.

After Rondón left the city out of fear of his neighbours’ revenge, reports of paranormal activity began. Between 1:00 and 3:00 a.m. at a distance they could hear a horse gallop, roaming the rooms, and drinking water.

On top of all that, a woman wanders around the property, as well as faces often are reflected in every window in the house; this kind of events happened in this place, and evil still remains there, torturing those brave enough to enter the castle.

However, above all, the castle keeps those tortured souls to rest in peace and bound to its dark corners.

Cementerio Central

Announcing the Launch of the Dark Tourism Initiative

Once in, the chilling sensation increases and the admiration for the site, as during the daytime, is it genuinely majestic, but once dawn comes, the feeling turns overwhelmingly dark and sinister.

This 184 years old graveyard with an impressive architecture mesmerizes locals and foreigners alike. The Cementerio Central de Bogotá was initially located outside the city and quickly became the stage for different interests due to its midtown location, this shortly after the city’s expansion.

This site is the final resting place of many illustrious Colombian personalities. People that marked Colombian’s history: scientist, artists, business people, politicians and national heroes, among others. It is in this infusion of people where reality and myth intercept for graveyard guard myths, history, and legend.

Although there are also rumours filled with mystery, art, culture, and mysticism, the entry’s inscription may represent a prophecy about the far beyond: “we wait for the dead’s resurrection”; a bloodcurdling statement, more so considering it has a Cronos (the Greek God of time) statue above it.

Once in, the chilling sensation increases and the admiration for the place, as during the daytime, the site is truly majestic, but once dawn comes, the feeling turns overwhelmingly dark.

Spirits, ghosts and paranormal activities lurk around every dark corner. Indeed, walking between mausoleums and tombs is terrifying, as one hears children playing, whispers increasing as the city surrounding the graveyard goes silent.

Cementerio Central is a preferred site to conjure rituals, witchcraft or spelling love bounding, for its energy facilitates the communication with the dead in order to ask favours.

The graveyard was declared a national monument in September 1984, however, has been a site fulfilled with inexplicable events since its very inauguration.

Isla Gorgona

An island located outside of the Colombian Pacific Coast, surrounded by deadly sharks, and poisonous creatures have become the predilect place to settle a prison for highly criticised crimes. A prison in which its colossal structure only transpired the level of suffering its inhabitants endured.

In 1960, during Alberto Lleras Camargo’s presidency, the government built a site that brought terror to even the most heinous criminals judged by Colombian justice. Mainly condemned due to murder and rapes, the criminals imprisoned there had to forget their birth name while been stripped from their legal existence.

Their living conditions were precarious, consisting of improvised toilets on the floor, wooden beds, and the perpetual danger of been poisoned by the beasts that roamed the island.

Even in the infirmary there where cold-blooded procedures, atrocities such as random amputations done with rudimentary tools.

The prison was dismantled in the 1980s, but the building ruins remain as a horrifying reminder of the suffering those wretched souls endured, the same ones that yet have to find peace in the afterlife.

La Jagua

Witches? Is it a figment of the imagination of some lunatic that type-casted a natural phenomenon or a distinctive behaviour within their daily life that fitted under this term? Or, did they exist and made history? There is plenty of information regarding witches and where they come from. Still, there is a town in Colombia that will make even the more sceptical of humans believe in their existence.

The story tells that La Jagua, located in Huila, concentrates all kinds of artefacts and witchcrafts. The murder in the central square of a so-called “witch” more than a century ago unfurled a chain of unexplainable events in there.

Unexplainable wicked laughter and footsteps are just a few of the phenomenons that occurred in there. People, in their urge, to prevent these things to happen, devote themselves to saints and seek refuge in religious talismans.

To this present day, some inhabitants believe that the witchcraft culture will disappear with the passing of the last two women that still are considered practising witches. Still, the mysticism remains in this 400-year-old town.

Salto del Tequendama

Salto de Tequendama

This 170 meters waterfall has marked this country’s history as well as dozens of families that had lost their loved ones.

Throughout Bogotanian history, many things have been said about the Salto de Tequendama. From the myth created around it, until testimonies that only resound to people in the anecdotes those who lived long enough to tell the tale.

This 170 meters waterfall has marked this country’s history as well as dozens of families that had lost their loved ones. Not only outlasting in the memory of a few people but also marking the end of life for those willing to fall in sorrow and choose the site as their final earthly farewell from this plane of existence to the next.

Indeed, some context is needed in order to understand all the events that occurred in this waterfall.

In pre-Colonial times the Chibchas, former dwellers of this land, told the story about how a great rain befell day and night, ruining crops and collapsing houses due to the flooding taking place.

The concerned tribe decided to invoke the God Bochica, who with all his power and stave opened the boulders, this way creating the waterfall.

That majestic waterfall brought to Chibchas delight, but as of now, it is marked by the blood of dozens of people who found there the most effective way to end their lives due to romance, heartbreaks, accidents and death pacts in the turbulent waters at the end of the waterfall.

The area’s inhabitants assure that the site is visited mostly due to the mysticism surrounding it and the paranormal experiences there.

Newsletter

Additionally, Atmostfear Entertainment is preparing to launch its curated dark tourism newsletter, ‘Creating Experiences in Dark Tourism’. The new newsletter will soon be a monthly edition and contain a digest of the best dark tourism-focused destinations as well as special touring promotions to its subscribers.

Creating Experiences in Dark Tourism

You are invited to participate in a research study that requires your voluntary participation for the subject of the study. The research is being conducted to understand why people would visit a dark tourist destination, but before…

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