LIFE

People In The 1800s Did THIS With Dead Bodies

by Giovanna Boldrini
Giovanna was born in Rome, Italy and currently resides in South Salem, New York. In her free time, she likes to cook with her children and grandchildren.

When you think of the Victorian Era, what do you imagine? Horse drawn carriages? Modest (boring) dresses? Hoity-toity pomp and circumstance? Chances are, you haven’t given any consideration to what people in olden times did when it came to funerals.

Unless, that is, you’re me.

Turns out Victorians were actually massive weirdos by today’s standards. They stampeded over one of our most sacred taboos nowadays – our rituals when it comes to death and dying. These days, we have pretty traditional funerals replete with church services, hymns, and visitors of all times – but you wouldn’t be caught dead with a camera in a funeral.

Victorian times were a bit different. In this dark era, people didn’t call for the coroner after a loved one died. THEY CALLED FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHER FIRST.

Welcome to the creepy yet fascinating world of Victorian Post Mortem photography – and, yes – it’s EXACTLY what it sounds like:

This might seem like an ordinary picture of twins in Victorian times...Perhaps the fellow on the right has fallen asleep mid-photo? Nope. I'm afraid not.

This might seem like an ordinary picture of twins in Victorian times...Perhaps the fellow on the right has fallen asleep mid-photo? Nope. I'm afraid not.

The guy on the right has already met his maker. A Victorian photographer deliberately posed this photo to ensure that it would resemble a pose that the twins might’ve struck while they were still both alive…Before you judge the Victorians, remember: Photography and camera equipment was very expensive – as expensive as our pricey modern day funerals. Many families couldn’t pay photographers to take pictures of their kids and relatives that frequently.

Thus, death was often the occasion that prompted paying for a pricey photographer…

But that’s not the ONLY type of creepy Victorian photography trick we know about!

One of these siblings is not like the others.

One of these siblings is not like the others.

Because one of these siblings has passed away. You may think the little girl on the left is just blinking, but sadly, that’s not the case. How is she standing? Read on to find out.

No funeral flower arrangements…no casket…just a posed picture of a deceased loved one, as if she’s still alive.

Yes, the hairs on the back of your neck SHOULD be standing!!

This boy is also dead, but that's not what he's here to demonstrate. We've established that Victorian people photographed their dead for posterity before holding any sort of funeral services for their loved ones, but what's interesting about this photo is the detail near his foot.

This boy is also dead, but that's not what he's here to demonstrate. We've established that Victorian people photographed their dead for posterity before holding any sort of funeral services for their loved ones, but what's interesting about this photo is the detail near his foot.

That’s evidence of the young man’s stand. Read on to see how Victorian’s posed their dead relatives…