Post-mortem photography is no longer in practice, but in the Victorian era it was widely popular. Taking photos with the recently deceased was a way to keep their memories alive. 


Since taking a single photo often took several seconds, it's not uncommon for the deceased person to be the only person in focus.


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Often times, family members would hold up their dead relatives to keep them propped up for the photo.

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But more experienced photographers had tricks for making people seem more life like. In this photo, it's hard to tell who the dead relative is.

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Notice the ruffle in the curtain behind his head? Most likely someone is holding his head up from behind the curtain.

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There's just something about their lifeless bodies that leaves an unsettling taste in my mouth.

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My imagination runs wild thinking about this poor bride's story. 

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This photographer had the clever idea of having the dead man hold himself up, as if in deep thought.

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This photo pulls at my heart strings. This poor girl had to grow up without her sister.

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Can you imagine what it would be like to pose next to your recently deceased sibling? I can't bear to even think what it would be like.

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Similar to the first photo, you can see that the dead girl did not move while the photo was being taken.

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Okay, so this photo is particularly creepy. This photographer had the disturbing idea to try to draw in this girl's eyes to make her look more alive. The effect is...disturbing.

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I cannot imagine the heartbreak these parents would have faced as they posed with their dead child. If it was me in these next few images, I'd probably be bawling my eyes out.

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Most of us have no idea how hard this must be, but you have to understand how this was a common way to celebrate the lives of the dead at the time. We might think of it as 'creepy' these days, but the reality of the situation is that these parents were extremely brave to put themselves through this situation. 
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It might be hard to look at, but there's no denying the power of these images.