Dead or Not? I think not…

victorian post mortem photography skull illusion dead not girl chair

This supposedly post mortem photograph was posted on the Skull’s Facebook page by a reader who found it here.

I absolutely think that both people in this photograph are alive. The dead-or-not status of the woman in the back of the image is obviously not in question, but the original link declares the girl to be deceased.

Not a chance. She appears to be holding her own weight, she’s ‘looking’ at the camera and there is no visible support structure. She just looks alive.

I’m always happy to be disproven, but I don’t think it’ll happen this time…

What do you think?



This entry was posted in children, memento mori, post mortem photography, Victorian, vintage and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Dead or Not? I think not…

  1. Amy Ramsden says:

    It looks to me like the little girl has been cut from another photograph, and very carefully and cleverly put into this one.

    If you look at the girl’s head, the outline of her hair doesn’t match the dimness of the room, and the hair itself is very sharp/clear looking, rather than having the same softened look as the woman.

  2. Dana Howell says:

    I agree with Amy. This looks like a photoshop job. Also the girl’s left foot isn’t touching the floor.

  3. Jen says:

    It may be a photoshop but if it is its the best one I’ve seen, the DOPF (depth of perception or depth of field) on this picture is consistent and there is a shadow on the floor of the child’s legs and on the chair where her arm is – I don’t think either are PM its a wicked cool picture though lost of mystery in both their eyes

  4. Nickie says:

    The little girl looks like Honey Boo Boo Chil’

  5. Dixie says:

    This is an odd photo in many ways! It doesn’t look to me like the child’s feet are touching the floor, one of them more so than the other. Why would the mother be posed in such an odd way, and why does she have her hand over her mouth? In those days of expensive photography it seems strange that she would pose this way.

  6. Siberian says:

    Overlighted head and normally lighted rest of composition. I have alternative version: not whole girl, but only head and shoulders above the dress was cutted and pasted from another photo (maybe simple picture at coffin? Or even lifetime photo? And relatives suddenly got an idea to upgrade it?) And girl’s body, dressed in mourning – she may be sister or any siutable girl.
    Good photoshop, anyway. Ooops, they call it retouch, ehh?;)

  7. Tonya says:

    I wonder how the other people in the photograph tend to seem so at ease.If the child were dead you would assume the others in the photograph would shown signs of being upset.Certaintly questionable.

  8. Claudia says:

    Often the photos commonly called “post-mortem” are also made ​​”near death” to a child or children seriously ill, so technically, not yet dead.

  9. michelle says:

    the head and shoulders are not real.. the girl is clearly dead, look at the clamp around her left elbow and also the left hand isn’t naturally placed on the chair

  10. michelle says:

    right hand i mean! also the childs left foot is forced into the shoe

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