My dearest phantom cold spots:

Happy Summer! I’m writing to you guys in between road trips all over California, spending time with family that we didn’t get to see during the pandemic. Travel is happening again, which is awesome but also kind of overwhelming? I am OVERSTIMULATED and I haven’t even been in an airport yet.

So, to celebrate the return to travel I present – THE GOTH TRAVEL BUCKET LIST. These are places I am dying to go (DYING, GET IT? GET IT!!!!). This is an aspirational list! I have only been to one of these places! Maybe if I can get this Ghost Empire ™ off the ground I can fund a trip to Romania or Guanajuato.

If you know of other cool places hit me up!!

Have a wonderful summer, friends.


The Goth Travel Bucket List

A crypt with many stacked human skulls lining the walls and foreground
This is colloquially known as THE BONE CHURCH and it is FUCKING AMAZING. It’s the only place on this list that I’ve actually been to. We took a private car to Sedlec, just outside of Prague, and the guy got lost, got stuck in traffic, then almost ran some kid over on the road. We missed the silver mine tour, so we stopped for lunch at a random Czech MEXICAN RESTAURANT which was… possibly more horrifying than a church decorated entirely with human bones. THIS SHOULD BE ON YOUR LIST.
Bran Castle in Transylvania

Did you know that “Dracula Tourism” is a whole thing? Like, actual academics have published papers on the impact of the Dracula legend on Romanian culture and pride. I’m obviously not getting into all that here because I, TOO, WANT TO SEE DRACULA’S FUCKING CASTLE. I love these stories and while we’re at it, The Historian is my favorite Dracula story. It’s perfect beach reading so get at it this summer.

A photo from Museo de las Momias in Guanajuato, showing many human mummies standing in large glass display cases

At the Museo de las Momias in Guanajuato, dozens of well preserved mummified remains are on display – they look like they are screaming WHICH IS HORRIFYING but also EXPLAINABLE as the mouths fall open after death. They’re not screaming in horror but maybe at the fact that they are on display in a museum instead of resting in their graves??? Who’s to say! As mentioned above, I’m not asking questions, I just want to see the shit. All of these folks were mummified naturally by the soil conditions, and the museum grew up around local fascination with the remains. OBVIOUSLY.

Photo credit: Adam Coster

A rendering of the not-yet-opened Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza

Ughh I want to go to Egypt SO BAD!!! I’ve been following the story of this museum for a while, it’s new and it’s basically the CROWN JEWEL of Ancient Egyptology. Of course I want to see the pyramids but this museum just looks incredible. It’s not open yet! But it has a huge Tut exhibit planned! The architecture is stunning – it’s creative and fresh but pays homage to the classical pyramids. WHEN ARE WE GOING???

PS. Check out this great piece on the recent excavation of the “mega-tombs” in Saquarra – it will hold you over til GEM is open.

Editor’s Note: as of Feb 2023, this museum still does not have a set opening date. The official museum website is now giving an “improper configuration” warning, so this newsletter link has been updated to the Wikipedia article.

A closeup of a wall of human skulls

I’ve been to Paris a couple of times (including as a fifth grade exchange student — it was the 80’s) but I’ve never been able to get into these! Last time I was there it was closed, probably because it was February and shit was flooding. I could read and re-read the story of how these were created over and over again: just imagine overloaded horse drawn carriages piling up coffins from the overfull, stinking Pere Lachaise Cemetery in the middle of the night, led by undertakers and laborers into the old limestone caverns below ground. A huge subterranean complex of the dead; everyone mixed up together in a gigantic memento mori.

I’ll be in Paris again in the Spring – can someone call the mayor and make sure this shit is open for me???