Death and the Victorians

A video by GhostWatching

I was spellbound when I found this video and several others like it on YouTube.  I’ve always been intrigued by the Victorians, but never more so when it comes to their dealings with death and the bizarre custom of  photographing the recently deceased in beds, sitting up on settees, or resting in the mother’s arms as if they were merely slumbering.  This of course gave way in later decades to photographs of loved ones in their caskets.

As a child I remember coming across a Polaroid of a very young man (early 20’s) his face white, lying in what I learned was a casket (and not just a frilly box.)  It was my mother’s brother, dead from a heart condition, the photograph taken by loving family because at the time, it was still a custom.   I was going to write that I’m glad it’s no longer a custom, until I was reminded of an elderly acquaintance who recently died and one of her daughters asked to have a photo taken of her lying in bed beside her dead mother.

Ghoulish! I thought, but was it?  We all come at death in different ways, and during October, in the countdown to the Day of the Dead we get to think about it a lot more than usual.   Enjoy the video and check out others on the GhostWatching channel.

~ by S.K. Epperson on October 1, 2011.

One Response to “Death and the Victorians”

  1. Reblogged this on Author S.K. Epperson.

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