Cool (or Weird) Things about the Victorian Era: Post-Mortem Photography

Current NaNo word count: 29,441

So, today, the word count is coming in pretty smoothly. I think I may have found a way to preserve my modern MC-is-getting-a-fortune storyline and in 1894, Victoria is about to leave home and become an actress.

In reading news, I just started Drums of Autumn, book 4 in the Outlander series.

I think my characters are beginning to click for me. Cast in point, today's Cool (Or Just Plain Weird or Creepy) Thing About the Victorian Era.

Post-Mortem Photography.
A fireman posed as if still alive

Oh, yes.

In 1894, Victoria is recounting some family history (which, of course, is also part of Nicole's family history). Her grandfather was the Earl of Malden and when he died and her uncle became the next Earl, a photographer came before the funeral to photograph the dead Earl.

I read about this somewhere not long ago and since it was regurgitated into my story, here are some...interesting photos.

From what I've read about this, it started because of the high infant mortality rate. If the family could afford a photographer, they wanted to preserve their dead child's image in a much faster way than having a painting--which may or may not resemble the deceased. 

And then it just got creepier from there. In some of the photos, the dead are standing because they  have an apparatus propping them up. In others, the dead look asleep or are made to look lifelike. 

The Strangest Tradition of the Victorian Era: Post-Mortem Photography

Pinterest: Victorian Post-Mortem Pictures

17 Haunting Post-Mortem Photographs


  1. Love the old time photos! Tim and I just got back from St. Augustine and we got dressed up in wild west attire and had our photo scenes done up. FUN, only we smiled in our photos. I understand in the old days you never smiled else people would think you were looney or something like that. :D

    Thanks for sharing these!

    1. It also took an awful long time for the picture to actually be taken! But I guess in comparison to a painting, even a long photo session was short.

  2. Oh...ew. No thanks. Lol! I've heard the term before and I know what it means, I guess I've just never really actually thought about it before!

    No. I can't even look at them all. Some of them are not that bad, but so many of them are just plain disturbing. *shudder*

    1. Yeah, I saw it my text all of a sudden. Some of them are really sad and touching. Some of them are bizarre because the eyes are open or the facial expression is creepy.

  3. Ohhhh hahah both creepy and fascinating! I don't think if have guys to see my dead friends and family go through that.


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