Photos Of The Dead: 50+ Creepy Photos Of Victorian People Posing With Dead Bodies Of Their Loved Ones

The Victorians were fond of some weird traditions and photography, including post-mortem photography. Although photography was in its infancy and the camera was costly and slow. For a single photograph, one has to sit for few seconds to minutes. Memento mori photography was a trend that came to be in the mid-19th century, which translates to “remember you must die,” was supported by photographers being commissioned at the time by families to photograph their deceased loved ones as a way to memorialize them. Post-mortem photography was also common in the nineteenth century when “death occurred in the home and was quite an ordinary part of life. Their photographs served as keepsakes to remember the deceased. While some people believe that this is just a myth, check out this article by Edward Clint. Here Bygonely has compiled a list of creepy portraits and photographs from the Victorian era posing with the deceased bodies. Vote for your favorite one and tell us what do you think about this tradition.

#2 In this photo the subject is more in focus than her parents, as they moved while the photograph was being taken.

#7 Little girl held in a standing position. The photo is a cabinet card from Villisca, Iowa taken in 1890.

#18 Sometimes, photographers would try to make it appear like the dead person was sleeping as in this photo.

#22 The girl standing in the middle is the deceased.The photographer attempted to make her look more alive by drawing on her pupils.

#28 Post-mortem photo of Gen. Turner Ashby, a confederate cavalry commander in the American Civil War.

#33 Cabinet cards were made available as photography progressed – multiple copies of the same image could be created and mailed to relatives.

#35 The text on the frame reads, “Miss Jeanette Glackmeyer, daughter whose above photo was taken 9 days after death. Mother could not part with only daughter.”

#37 A little girl sitting on someone’s lap. The person held her in place while the photo was taken.

#49 Imagine how difficult it must have been to pose with a dead loved one. Here is an example of what happens when people moved.

#54 Women sitting next to dead girl. These death portrait were meant to serve as mementos of the deceased loved one.

#55 Dead men positioned as alive, photographer used his arm to support the head.

Dead men positioned as alive, photographer used his arm to support the head.

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.


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  6. You lost me with Lewis Carroll’s photo. As it he was pretty much alive in there. Most of the rest are fake and misplaced, I can testify that more of them are not dead so I think your info is not serious at all, just copying and pasting from other dubious sites. Sorry but your research is not serious.

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