In Part 1 of “15 Victorian Death Portraits That Will Give You Chills,” we displayed some of the eeriest real-life photographs ever taken! While having a portrait of your dead body wasn’t too uncommon a custom during the 19th century– especially for those who could afford it– today such a practice taking place would be considered suspicious at best and downright criminal at worst.
You’ve likely seen a Victorian era death portrait before, whether it was depicted in a period horror flick, such as The Others starring Nicole Kidman and Fionnula Flanagan, or elsewhere.
However you might need even more of a tolerance build-up for what is to unfold here: 15 Creepy Victorian Death Portraits That Will Give You Chills (Part 2)! Read on to learn some facts and see some sights that had previously been reserved for only a select few (families of the deceased and historians).
In the list below there are many images that don’t do justice to the horror of what daily life was like for those pictured. Indeed, death portraits were often taken in order to help those photographed “live on” through pictures, and better to live stylishly than how real life might have actually been.
Don’t be surprised if you have to re-adjust your eyes a few times after seeing some of the amazing trickery executed by skilled Victorian era photographers in the photos below. Everything from leg-stands to simulated body parts were employed to generate the maximum effect in death portraits, and in many cases the photographers were intending to be as dramatic as possible! Viewing photos of dead people isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (to say the least), but one thing’s for sure: the individuals pictured may have felt otherwise.
Here are 15 of the creepiest victorian death portraits… Part 2.
Other-Worldly Adornment Of Spanish Woman
In this delicately arranged photograph (can we say flowery goodness?), we see how the Victorian era had a sensitive and compassionate way of handling the deaths of people who, whether gone too soon or considered the lucky few who experience a long life, can live on through their death portraits. This woman was likely considered one of life’s victors, appearing to be well over the average age of death during the era, which was just 42 years for women and 40 years for men.
Many of the Victorian era’s wealthier families throughout the globe were lucky enough to take portraits of themselves before they passed away. However, luckily, a reverence for the deceased was so strong that there’s always an easily unveiled anchor to the community’s appreciation for the great unknown. Notice the ornate flower arrangements corresponding with the headdress that adorns the woman’s body.