Vintage baby photo, but is it post mortem?

skull illusion victorian post mortem photography reader samantha scarlette baby
Image courtesy of Samantha Scarlette

Another ‘post mortem or not post mortem’ photograph that has been kindly sent in by a Skull reader.

The pencilled-in eyes are certainly a common sign that a picture might have been taken post mortem, but it isn’t an absolute indication.

What do you think?



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5 Responses to Vintage baby photo, but is it post mortem?

  1. Dixie says:

    The baby has a very natural look to it’s face, not like postmortem, but those eyes are very “off putting.” I am definitely not sure about this one, but one thing I am sure of, the longer I looked at it the more I could swear the eyes moved!

  2. Jennifer E. says:

    This one looks alive. I imagine it may have been easier to photograph a sleeping child and pencil in eyes than get a squirming infant to cooperate. In any case the face looks plump and healthy, without the telltale sunken eyes/cheeks (as similar to the other example a little earlier)

  3. Yvonne Wilson says:

    I agree with the above comments, the baby’s pose looks very natural and it looks healthy. The “enhanced” eyes are off-putting and something of a distraction, but overall, especially looking at the plump face and the way the arms are positioned, I don’t think this one is a PM.

  4. Catherine M says:

    The lips of this baby are pink- for some reason, post mortem photographs of babies tend to show very dark lips.

    This little baby looks happily alive- but dickering about with the eyes on any photograph makes them look eerie!

  5. Frances Rose says:

    Think I am losing it, because I thought I saw them move too, LOL!

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