Hüichong Prison, North Korea (AP) – Anthony and Cheryl Thomas knew their North Korean vacation was bound to be full of surprises, but they had no idea what was in store for them when they visited the newest tourist rage, screaming at human heads the instant they are severed from their bodies.
Inspired by the 1905 research by a French physician named Beaurieux, the administration at this 1950’s-era squalid prison for political dissidents decided two years ago to help out their cash-strapped nation and begin selling tickets to executions, the majority of which are decapitations. In addition to screaming at the heads, vacationers can poke their eyes with a stick.
“At first I thought it would be really gross,” Cheryl Thomas explained. “But my husband really wanted to try it, and we both figured it might be years before we could come back.”
“I heard about eating horse meat and all that, but this sounded even better,” Anthony Thomas said. “I couldn’t believe we got tickets. They say they’re really hard to come by.”
In a press release, prison director Dongbang Mangjl said, “Our leader will be glorified in carrying out this righteous campaign.” The highly sensored material goes on to explain that the prisoners and their heads are typically lifelong inmates who volunteered for the execution, or at least volunteered for a haircut. Translations obtained by media services were difficult to understand.
The Thomas couple, who hail from Littleton, New Hampshire, say their adventure doesn’t stop in North Korea. “We’re headed to the south pole!” Cheryl exclaimed. “This naked glacier surfing thing is too tempting to pass up!”
(Mike Oxlong and York Hunt contributed to this report.)