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Photographer visits Croatia’s ‘Island of Ghosts’ Daksa and hears a horror story

Sometimes even sunny beach islands hide a dreadful story to chill your bones

Dubrovnik – is the busiest tourist destination on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. Thousands of people flock here in summer to see the city’s medieval Old Town, its beautiful stone towers and historic ports. What they don’t tend to see though, is Daksa – a small abandoned island off the coast, that many locals believe to be haunted.

There’s a good reason why people might think this. Back in 1944, Daksa was the scene of a bloody massacre, when Yugoslav partisans entered Dubrovnik and executed 53 citizens believed to have been collaborating with the former Nazi regime. According to local stories their bodies were left to rot across the island – and it wasn’t until 2010 that the bones were collected, and given a proper burial.

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These pictures of Daksa were taken by a British photographer, Darmon Richter. Darmon has been living and working in the Balkans for the last five years, and when he visited Dubrovnik in April, he took a boat to Daksa and explored the island for himself. As you can see, the place is pretty picturesque – but beneath the cypress trees, a collection of abandoned buildings and memorials to the massacre victims tell a different story.

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Darmon might not have met any ghosts on this trip… but with such a horrible history, it’s easy to understand why the island has been abandoned all these years. You can browse through his pictures below – or read more about his visit on his website, The Bohemian Blog.

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