I plan to research Niagara Falls and its appeal of death, both real and virtual. To do this, I will look at the history of the Niagara Falls, and its perception by Native Americans and Europeans. Native Americans believed the Niagara Falls were a source of life. Europeans believed the exact opposite--Niagara Falls embodied death. From there, I will develop why Niagara Falls has transformed into a tourist town filled with haunted houses and virtual barrel rides, to daredevils who "pushed the envelope" by tight-rope walking and riding over the Niagara Falls in a barrel. I am very interested in peoples curiosity with death, and how that is embodied in the falls. Because there is such a demand for this macabre interest, there have been ways to make money off the mystique of the Falls.
In the late 1800's, when Niagara Falls was at its most out-of-hand peak, dare devils like Carlisle D. Graham, pictured above, would tempt fate by going over the Falls in a barrel. Carlisle D. Graham made many successful trips over the Falls and would later be known as "Hero of Whirlpool Rapids." Most of these death defying people risked their lives for money and success because there was a definite demand for risky, life or death amusement. The passion for big shows and an indulgence in tempting death is still prevalent today.
We, the consumers, have encouraged the buildup of Niagara Falls into what it is today. I can only ask what are our limits to consumption and how much more of Niagara Falls can be consumed?