Monday, October 1, 2012

October Spookfest 2012-Memorial Photography Take 2

I wasn't too sure what I wanted my first October Spookfest post to be. I decided I would go ahead and share with you guys the creepy Victorian practice of post mortem, or memorial, photography. It is literally the act of taking pictures of the dead.

Childhood mortality rates were extremely high and photography quite expensive, which is why so many children were photographed after death. It was the only chance most people had to memorialize a loved one. The 'subject' was usually made to look as if they were still alive. That is why they were sometimes propped up with a living family member, eyes wide open. It is really sad, and creepy, that most photos are of babies and children. The really sad pictures are of multiple members of the same family.

If photos like this bother you than please don't continue on. If you have a morbid curiosity like I do however,  then by all means, enjoy...!

Anyone notice the random hand on the left?? Mom maybe?

This ones looks much newer, maybe from the early 30s.

Not all post mortem photos were of loved one:
The Dalton gang after a failed bank robbery.

This one is the saddest. An entire family with obvious head injuries. I can only guess that they suffered a fatal  accident of some sort.


  1. I have several post-mortem photos of children my grandparents lost and my mother is still in the habit of taking photos of dead loved ones.

  2. Like the first batch - these are so creepy, yet fascinating. Very of their time, I cant imagine that many photographers today get requests for family photos like this very often!

  3. Oh I'm so sad now. :( But I too am so fascinated by the customs of the past and actually feel that the attitude toward death was healthier then, than it is now.


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