Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Towards an Understanding of Visitor Perceptions of ‘Dark’ Attractions: The Case of the Imperial War museum of the North, Manchester

Wight, Craig; Lennon, John


John Lennon


Governments and authoritative stakeholders are faced with dilemmas regarding the representation of sites associated with death and disaster in the context of tourism visits. Not least of these are the owners and mangers of museums in the U.K which are concerned with the commemoration of war-related events. This paper contributes towards an understanding of how visitors perceive interpretation employed by museums using modern and traditional exhibition techniques. The hypotheses that visitor perceptions of ‘dark’ issues in museum can be influenced using commentary and ‘live interpretation’ will be tentatively confirmed. The ‘sanitised’ war museum paradigm will be contrasted with modern and thought provoking exhibitive techniques used within the Imperial War Museum of the North, Manchester. The paper will introduce the phenomenon of ‘dark’ tourism, and confirm a documented level of interest in this area. It will review interpretations of ‘dark’ sites and particularly, interpretation provided by the Imperial War Museum of the North, (UK). Research based on visitors to this museum in 2004 is cited in order to identify critical success factors in interpretation used by this Museum

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2004
Deposit Date Nov 9, 2022
Journal Journal of Hospitality and Tourism
Print ISSN 0972-7787
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 2
Pages 105-122
Keywords Imperial War Museum of the North; Dark Tourism; Interpretation; Thanatourism
Public URL