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Halloween Game: Which Body is the Corpse in These Creepy Victorian Photographs?

In the late 19th and early 20th century, it was not uncommon for people to have photographs made of their deceased loved ones. These photos, called “Memento Mori”, seem really creepy to us but look at it from a Victorian’s perspective: photography was still so new (and expensive) that not many people had their photo taken. When a loved one died, it was your last chance to have a photograph taken to remember them by.

In each of the following photographs, at least one person is dead. The game is to see if you can correctly guess who is the corpse. Ready? OK, Sicko, let’s begin.

Did you guess the girl? If you did, congratulations! You’re a moron. Of course, it’s the boy. Why else would he have his eyes closed, right?

Girl on the left? I guess so. After all, her eyes are closed. Now you may be noticing that “children” seems to be a common thing in Memento Mori.  There’s a reason for that. Once again, put yourself in the uncomfortable, high-laced shoes of a Victorian person. In an age where few people had their photos taken, it would be even more rare for a child to have been photographed. What parent, then or now, wouldn’t want at least one picture to remember their loved one by.

Probably the kid on the left. Also, I have an eerie feeling that the dog may be dead too.

Yeah, it’s the girl in the middle. You may notice in this photo, the image of the deceased is much more clear and defined that either of her parents. That’s because in the early days of photography, the subject had to sit very, very still for several minutes or else the image would come out blurry. The living parents obviously weren’t able to remain as still as the deceased girl, therefore they are not as clear.

Also, doesn’t the dad look like the actor who played Mr. Rooney in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? Oh. My. God. Actor Jeffrey Jones may be an immortal vampire!

Somebody here is dead but I’ll be damned if I can tell who it is. Gun to my head, I’d have to go with the lady in the front row.  This game is getting hard!

Dead, my ass! More like “un-dead”. Look at the grandpa. LOOK AT HIM!


That is a goddamned zombie if ever I’ve seen one. Moments after this photo was taken, he bit the old lady on the hand and then the kid put them both down with an Enfield rifle. Either that or he’s playing Lurch in a Steampunk remake of The Addams Family.

So, which one is dead? The one in the middle? Maybe the left? How about the one on the right? HA! Fooled you!  It’s actually the same child. Remember we talked about the length of exposure time in the olden days? This is what happened when you moved around while sitting for a photograph in the 1800’s. Obviously, the child was moving but Mom must’ve needed to switch hands at least once.

This is why guys in the first half of the century were so badass. Because when they were little kids they had to pose on their dead grampa’s lap for upward of fifteen minutes without screaming and running away in terror. Once you’ve faced that kind of horror as a child,  fighting Kaiser Bill and his Huns would seem like a Easter Day picnic when the day came. Have fun Instagramming your SnapChat selfies, pussies.


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