These 21 Victoria Era Post-Mortem Photographs Are Unsettling. How Was This a Thing?

The Victorian Era was a pretty morbid time in human history. One of the most unsettling traditions of the era was the practice of post-mortem photography (that is, photographing the dead). By today’s standards, this is would be pretty taboo, but at the time it was seen as quite normal.

That doesn’t mean that seeing those pictures now makes them any less creepy, in fact it probably makes them even more creepy. Here are 21 of the most unsettling examples of Victorian post-mortem photography we could find. Warning. #13 might really freak you out. 

1.) Contrary to being creepy, these death photographs were meant to serve as mementos of the deceased loved one.

2.) Because of that, many photographers tried to make their subjects look alive.

3.) Photographers employed a variety of tricks to make their subjects look more life-like.

4.) One of the most common ways they did this was posing people with their favorite things (like this man in a chair with his dogs).

5.) Or this girl here with her toys.

6.) Sometimes, photographers would try to make it appear like the dead person was sleeping.

7.) Here, the dead girl on the end is being propped up with a special device.

8.) Notice the way the photographer has positioned the man’s arm in order to support the head?

9.) Notice the odd position of the curtain behind the boy? It’s likely there was someone behind it holding the boy’s head up.

10.) Here this little girl is sitting sideways on the chair so that the device propping her up is hidden.

11.) She almost looks alive in this picture.

12.) See anything strange about the background? This girl is sitting on someone’s lap. The person held her in place while the photo was taken.

I thought I’d seen it all…and then I saw #13. OMG. Hit Next Page to continue.

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