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Historic crimes that shaped popular vacation spots

Let’s look at some of the most well-known locations you can visit to scratch your true-crime/mystery itch.

Almost every major city in the world has its fair share of horrific crimes that spotlight unique and often baffling cases. Due to the notoriety of the crimes and criminals, these places have emerged as hotspots for tourism and may sometimes be associated with a historical crime that is talked about to this day.

As experienced on the Slaycation true crime podcast, which covers true-crime cases that gripped a nation’s attention, they can be a fascinating insight into the past, human nature, and how locals are affected by proximity to such places and events.

Let’s look at some of the most well-known locations you can visit to scratch your true-crime/mystery itch.

Amityville, New York, USA
Our first stop takes us to Amityville, a quaint town in New York, USA. Nestled along the coast, the town has become forever immortalized by the spine-tingling saga that has come to be known as the Amityville Horror. In 1974, the peaceful façade of 112 Ocean Avenue was shattered when Ronald DeFeo Jr. brutally murdered six members of his family in their sleep.

The harrowing events that unfolded within the house have spawned tales of paranormal terror that continue to captivate audiences the world over. Visitors have reported visions of ghostly apparitions and inexplicable happenings that can’t give the location its pervasive haunting aura.

The house is a chilling pilgrimage for thrill-seekers and paranormal enthusiasts alike.

Whitechapel, London, England
Next on our journey, we find ourselves in fog-covered Whitechapel, London, England. In the autumn of 1888, the impoverished district became the hunting ground for one of England’s most infamous serial killers, Jack the Ripper.

It was reported at the time that he wielded a swift blade and stalked the cobblestone alleys under the cover of darkness, searching for victims to mutilate. Even though it has been a long time since, the sinister figure remains a compelling mystery, shrouded in speculation and conspiracy.

Today, guided tours of the city offer a glimpse into the macabre killer’s legacy.

Salem, Massachusetts, USA
We now go to Salem, Massachusetts, a historic town that many people, even those who may not be fans of paranormal/mysterious occurrences, have heard about. Known for its picturesque streets and colonial-style buildings, Salem’s tranquil façade masks a dark chapter in US history as the location of the Salem witch trials of 1692.

Spurred on by fear and paranoia, some vocal and proactive residents of the town put dozens of people on trial for witchcraft. Many met their ends at the end of a hangman’s noose, while others died under torture or in jail. It has been called the deadliest witch hunt in the history of colonial North America.

Today, you can visit museums and memorials to unravel the mysteries of Salem’s haunted past.

The Lizzie Borden House, Fall River, Massachusetts, USA
We now venture further into the annals of infamy to find ourselves standing before the ominous façade of the Lizzie Borden House in Fall River, Massachusetts. In the sweltering summer of 1892, the unassuming house witnessed a grisly double homicide that shocked the nation.

The accused was Lizzie Borden; a spinster turned alleged axe murderer. The circumstances surrounding the killing of Andrew and Abby Borden remain shrouded in ambiguity, fueling speculation to this day. Brave souls can take guided tours of the infamous crime scene, retracing the steps of a chilling mystery that refuses to die.

Tower of London, London, England
You have heard of it or seen it in a video or photos. The formidable Tower of London started construction almost a millennium ago, giving it ample time to make history. It is associated with centuries of intrigue, bloodshed, and betrayal.

Among its darkest chapters in history is the tale of Anne Boleyn, the ill-fated wife of King Henry VIII. She was accused of treason and adultery and met her untimely end at the edge of an executioner’s blade, casting a pall of tragedy over the tower.

Visiting it, you will be welcomed by its imposing longevity, tales of royal intrigue, and the ever-looming specter of England’s darker past.

Los Angeles, California, USA
Amidst its glittering lights, glamor, and glitz, the City of Angels has been the setting for some of the darker crimes and scandals in American history. It is infamous for the Black Dahlia murder, the Manson Family killings, and hundreds of other crimes, each rich with history and intrigue.

The sun-drenched movie capital of the world has the most true-crime tours of any city and is home to The Museum of Death, all of which can be experienced during a vacation. If you are looking for intriguing, enigmatic, and sometimes shocking historical crimes, LA doesn’t disappoint.

Engage with the mysterious
The locations we have discussed are known as ‘dark tourism,’ where people visit sites associated with death and tragedy. We must mention that you approach such places with respect for the events that occurred and the people affected by them.

With that, we conclude this spine-tingling rundown of some locations you want to check out and wish you an intriguing vacation.

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