Top 10 CREEPY Victorian Postmortem Photos
There was once a time when the act of taking a family photo with a deceased loved one was normal, though these days, it’s more-so a thing of the past. For this solemn installment, we’re taking you, our beloved Archivers, on a morbid journey through time for ten of the creepiest Victorian post-mortem pictures.
The Hand That Holds The Baby
We're not 100% on the credibility of this photo, but if it's real, it could be one of the most frightening things to come out of the Victorian age. Here we have a peaceful looking doll, taken far too early from this world. Though a device was commonly used to prop up the deceased for these photos, it looks like there may be another person in this photo - or at least that's what the outstretched hand would have one believe. While it wasn't uncommon for mothers to hide themselves in photos of their children, something about this spooky arm looks off, but that doesn't change how creeped out we are.
Several generations of children are lined up, posing for a portrait that's likely to be handed down to them as they grow older. They all look intentionally expressionless, as if to try and mask their fifth sibling, who seems to be strung up like a stiff doll. An unnatural cock in her neck, the unusual positioning of her hands, and her closed eyes mostly give away that the youngest of this quintet is no longer among the living. At quick glance, it's easy to miss, which means the more you stare at the photo, the more you realize you're looking at a deceased girl. How does that make you feel?
Sometimes it's not the subject of the photo that puts it in a creepy light, but rather something that was likely added as an innocent accompaniment. For this young girl's post mortem photo, we can't help but forget she's their entirely as we're distracted by the largest doll, sitting upright and ogling us. That the doll looks like it has more life in it than the deceased girl definitely does help tone down the overt eeriness of this post mortem photograph. It also doesn't help that two of the smaller counterparts have that same, vacant look in their eyes as they look right into the camera.
The Angelic Princess
The photographer for this picture took no steps to give this girl any life, sprawling her on a set of pillows and letting her limp legs dangle over the edge. What's really striking in this picture is the girl's eyes, which look to have rolled with the position of her head. It's an odd choice of position for this type of photo, seeing as how unnatural everything looks, leaving the viewer with no question as to whether the angelic lass with the flower halo is alive or not.
Looking the Wrong Way
While scouring through the unending list of Victorian death pictures, we came across this one and immediately got chills. We've stared at it for far too long, wondering when her eyes are going to come alive and blink at us. There's a freaky quality in how she's just standing there, staring into our souls… Oh… you thought we were talking about the deceased woman at the center of the photograph? No, not at all. We're more concerned with curly-Q right in front, who is the only visible person staring directly at us. Frankly we don't like it and we'd like her to stop. Though, it may be worse if she did.
A Little Too Alive
This is another photo that we have to do a double-take to ensure we're not being shafted. She looks very much alive, with her arm bent in just a way that would lead one to believe she's holding it there. Disturbingly enough, it could just be rigor mortis, but what makes it even worse - beyond the angelic dress, cross, and rosaries - is that even her eyes look alive. Her gaze looks of one of intent, as if she knew exactly where to look. At further inspection, there is an oddness to them that lead us to believe they may be painted onto her eyelids, but we're not entirely sure if that makes it any better.
They're all laid out so peacefully, as if taking an afternoon nap together; but there's a sinister indication in this photo that this is far from a light sleep. The bruising covering the faces of these five cadavers leads us to believe that possibly not long before this portrait, they could have been suffering from what wound up a deadly tragedy. It's difficult to tell what could have happened, but we're going to amp up the creep factor with a theory. This photo is the work of the family's murderer, a crazed person that beat them to death then dressed them and laid them out perfectly for this portrait. Too creepy? What's your theory?
Starting with the living in this picture, we're already off to a terrible start. The man's grimace, which borders between a little saddened and angry, is not the norm for these Victorian photos as the living subject typically shows no expression. Moving to the deceased child, they seem to share the same sentiments. Squinted eyes look at the camera suspiciously as if planning something, giving a spooky, animated look to a child who is so dead that their head and body need to be propped up rather coldly.
Angels and Toys
As the two allegedly deceased children lay on the ground, a rather odd scene is unfolding around them. We're lead to believe the third child in the picture is alive, dressed as an angel looking over her siblings. What's even weirder is the collection of toys surrounding the decedents, from dolls to a rocking horse. That rocking horse, for some reason, being the cherry on top of an already unsettling scene. We half expect that it started moving not long after the photo was taken as the child came back to enjoy one last playtime with their siblings.
The Burn Victim
We start this list off with what could be a controversial photo. What looks like burnt, discolored flesh covers a majority of the subject’s face, her right eye seemingly without a defined upper lid and a drooping lower one. Unlike most post mortem photos, this one seems to tell a story of this poor girl’s tragic end, without the comfort of family or friends. Her eyes are vacant, staring blankly at whatever sits in front of her as if lost in a distant world. Though her story is truly unknown, this picture tells us it's one she likely wouldn't want told over and over again.