An uncanny obsession with serial killers has led to a massive influx of “dark tourists” morbidly obsessed with places haunted by the memory of Jeffrey Dahmer.
People travel from all over the world to visit remote locations in Ohio and Wisconsin while focusing on the disgusting exploits of Dahmer, who murdered over a dozen men and boys between 1978 and 1991.
The Netflix series Dark Tourist helped popularize the term for a growing number of people who spend their free time traveling to strange and unnerving places.
The show describes dark tourism as: “A global phenomenon where people vacation in places associated with death and destruction.”
The life of notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer has been obsessed among dark tourists and true crime fanatics alike lately.
For nearly a decade, Dahmer lured men and boys into his home, where he killed them and dismembered their bodies.
In a haunting interview, he even made the chilling admission that he tried to create “living zombies” who could keep him company, but “it never worked.”
While just reading about the horror story is enough to make most people sick, some terribly obsessed people have decided to face evil and actually make pilgrimages to places associated with the killer.
“I think on a very primal level there’s this fascination with death,” Bob Weiss, owner of Milwaukee’s Shaker’s Cigar Bar, told The US Sun exclusively.
Dahmer frequented the bar when he lived in town, and Weiss has found that there is a high demand for serial killer-related experiences.
“People are really interested in the psychology of things. They really want to know what makes them tick,” he said.
“The more tasteless, the uglier, the more people flock to it.”
Along with Shaker’s, Weiss owns a company called Hangman Tours, which gives tourists a glimpse into the so-called “ghosts, cannibals, and hookers” that have roamed the streets of Milwaukee.
One of their most notable tours is the Cream City Cannibal featured on Dark Tourist as it shows exactly where Dahmer poached seven of his 17 victims.
The tour is a huge hit, according to Weiss, attracting people from “Saudi Arabia, all over continental Europe, South America” and more.
While the owner acknowledges that Dark Tourist really helped boost their sales, he also has another theory as to why people are so attached to Dahmer’s story.
Weiss theorized that the decay of society had a major impact on the fixation on horrific true crimes.
He also believes the pandemic has left people feeling isolated and created a perfect environment to indulge in dark content.
“It’s almost like you’re driving across the country and you see a truck that’s gone off the road and you see people are terribly damaged — you stop and check,” Weiss said.
“Not that you can offer any help or anything, but it’s almost like you’re transfixed. You are drawn to look at it.
“I see people who are interested in serial killers and true crime in a similar way.”
A self-proclaimed true-crime junkie planning a Dahmer pilgrimage is Jake Fousek, aka Jakeexploring on TikTok.
Jake has amassed over 400,000 followers on the social media app by posting eerie videos about the serial killer, including one where he actually visited Dahmer’s childhood home in Bath, Ohio.
“It gives you a very different understanding of what happened than just reading about it,” Jake told The US Sun.
This bathhouse is notorious for being the site where Dahmer killed and dismembered his first victim, 18-year-old hitchhiker Steven Hicks, when he was 18.
Dahmer dissected Hicks’ body in the basement of his family home before burying the remains in the garden.
A few weeks later, he dug up the body and dissolved it in acid before smashing the bones into pieces with a sledgehammer and burying them again in his backyard.
“Actually, it’s a pretty nice area. The house is in a beautiful place,” Jake said.
As a true crime fiction fan, Jake said he was shocked to find that although the house has a fresh coat of paint, it looks just like it does in old photos and film like My Friend Dahmer.
The current owner of the home is reportedly using the room where Dahmer killed his first victim as an office, according to recent footage taken through the home.
“I hope they got some of that just so it’s there,” Jake said.
“Because history matters.”
Both Jake and Weiss agreed that Dahmer’s story, while hauntingly perverted, was worth protecting. As the old saying goes, history must repeat itself.
“We have nothing but respect and reverence for the victims,” Weiss said.
“We really want to show an accurate picture. It’s important that you understand the story.”
Weiss hopes tourists from around the world will remain vigilant after witnessing Dahmer’s violent history. According to the businessman, no one is safe.
“Those lessons need to be re-learned. We’re demonstrating some of the things Dahmer was able to get away with,” Weiss said.
“He was a very persuasive person and he obviously had the ability to manipulate people.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6447113/dark-tourists-visit-jeffrey-dahmer-home-serial-killer/ Enter the morbid world of the “dark tourists” who love serial killers like Jeffrey Dahmer and flock to the areas where they lived