With the first photographs being produced over a century ago, the world captured in them looked very different from now. We can feel slightly disconnected from it and imagine we’re looking into a strange reflection of the past instead.

r/OldSchoolCreepy is perhaps a portal into it. People can share their vintage photography on anything from the primitive Halloween costumes of yesteryear, to Victorian-era portraits where something doesn’t feel quite right. Maybe it’s the grainy, black and white prints that provide a certain ghostly quality and make us so uneasy. There's plenty of strange contraptions and gruesome horror imagery too.

Check out Bored Panda’s picks from the page, if you dare...

#1

Martin Luther King Jr. With His Son, Pulling Up A Burnt Cross From The Front Lawn Of His Atlanta Home, April 1960

Martin Luther King Jr. With His Son, Pulling Up A Burnt Cross From The Front Lawn Of His Atlanta Home, April 1960

Xoloj Report

Woltax
Community Member
1 month ago

And far too many of those racist weirdos still haven‘t learned.😢😡

View More Replies...
View more comments

With so many photos being shared across the internet every day, it’s easy to take photography for granted and harder to remember just how far the technique has come. Each new smartphone boasts another million pixels and multiple lenses to capture life in stunning detail. Being able to fit all this technology in your pocket makes a stark difference from the clunky contraptions of old. 

Not to mention, images are captured almost instantaneously now. Whilst Polaroid cameras first became famous due to their ability to print an image and develop it in under a minute, this is nothing compared to the split second that it takes a microprocessor to do the same digitally.

#2

If You Ever Wondered How The American Buffalo Could Go From 30,000,000 To 300 In 50 Years, Pictures Like This May Give Some Idea (Buffalo Skulls)

If You Ever Wondered How The American Buffalo Could Go From 30,000,000 To 300 In 50 Years, Pictures Like This May Give Some Idea (Buffalo Skulls)

WeeHootieMctoo Report

Ozacoter
Community Member
1 month ago

We are a horrible species

View More Replies...
View more comments

Of course, technology is built on the imagination and creativity of previous generations. Without their innovation, we’d never be able to enjoy all the fun that photography brings us today. And whilst the digital format is now most common, we owe everything to analog photography and film. 

With only improvements in the lenses, film, and capturing process, the methods behind it remained unchanged for a few generations. It’s what makes the vintage photos of the past look so vivid and real, even if “vintage” has become associated with aesthetic qualities nowadays.

#3

Children After Working In The Mine

Children After Working In The Mine

makesyousayilost Report

Chich
Community Member
1 month ago

And politicians fought against child labour laws. Claimed it would ruin the economy. Fat bastards.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#4

Department Store Wax Mannequins Melting During A Heatwave In 1929

Department Store Wax Mannequins Melting During A Heatwave In 1929

timpytimpoo Report

Nathan Pogorzala
Community Member
1 month ago

more unattainable beauty standards.

View More Replies...
View more comments

Whilst we can make high-quality images at the touch of a button, there’s nothing quite like the intangible quality that analog brings. Maybe digital is just too clean and realistic, and that’s why almost all camera apps will have a number of filters to bring a little character to our shots.

There are even apps dedicated to replicating analog cameras of the past, with Huji Cam being a popular one in recent years. It’s strange to think that even with all the photo capabilities we have, the style of photos from a cheap, disposable camera is still something we lust for.

#5

So My Aunt Casually Tells Me Today That She Once Found A Ton Of Skeletons In Her Garden

So My Aunt Casually Tells Me Today That She Once Found A Ton Of Skeletons In Her Garden

jewbo23 Report

Ozacoter
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

My grandma found a medieval arabian cementery in her orange field. It was very cool but at fist very scary for her

View More Replies...
View more comments
#6

A Letter From Schizophrenic Patient Emmy Hauck To Her Husband. It Consists Only Phrase “Herzensschatzi Komm” (Darling Please Come) And “Komm Komm Komm” (Come, Come, Come ) Repeated Over And Over

A Letter From Schizophrenic Patient Emmy Hauck To Her Husband. It Consists Only Phrase “Herzensschatzi Komm” (Darling Please Come) And “Komm Komm Komm” (Come, Come, Come ) Repeated Over And Over

froggysaysno Report

Monty Is Fiennes
Community Member
1 month ago

So sad...

View More Replies...
View more comments

When photography was first created in the early-19th century, the pioneers behind it could never have imagined that people would want their pictures to look slightly worse. It was difficult enough to even take clear photos in the beginning with cameras requiring to be mounted on a frame and subjects having to remain perfectly still.

The results were far from perfect. Not to mention, the equipment needed to do it was expensive and temperamental to use — best left in the hands of professionals.

#7

A Train Shredded After A Boiler Explosion - There's Something About This Image I Find Weirdly Unsettling

A Train Shredded After A Boiler Explosion - There's Something About This Image I Find Weirdly Unsettling

MellotronSymphony Report

Ozacoter
Community Member
1 month ago

Cthulhu train

View More Replies...
View more comments
#8

Anti-Electricity Propaganda From 1900

Anti-Electricity Propaganda From 1900

froggysaysno Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

The horror! I feel like this kind of nonsense is what I hear about 5G and vaccines today.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#9

Halloween Costumes From The 1930s

Halloween Costumes From The 1930s

Sleeeepy_Hollow Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm not sure what country this is in, but the 30's were an impoverished time for most of the world. Seems weird to spend money on making Halloween costumes. Maybe this was for a play?

View More Replies...
View more comments

However, as the technology to capture photos improved and became more readily available, the costs went down accordingly. People could afford to sit for their portrait in front of a camera rather than a painter. This might explain why people posing for their pictures look so stiff and unsmiling in the earliest portrait photography. Although, there’s another reason why this could be, and it’s a bit more horrifying.

#10

Oldest Surviving Diving Suit, 18th Century

Oldest Surviving Diving Suit, 18th Century

thedodoqueen Report

Eric Felton
Community Member
1 month ago

Patrick from Spongebob..

View More Replies...
View more comments
#11

Tim Curry On The Set Of 'It' (1990)

Tim Curry On The Set Of 'It' (1990)

Sleeeepy_Hollow Report

Inga Paškevičiūtė
Community Member
1 month ago

Mood

RandomX123
Community Member
1 month ago

"It" probably did for someone with Bovinophobia

Load More Replies...
Jennie-Lind Normand
Community Member
1 month ago

Tim Curry is terrified of clowns and refused to see himself in full costume (I'm guessing he also never saw the movie)

Helen Davies
Community Member
1 month ago

Creep master... I just rewatched Rocky Horror Picture Show. He's an amazing actor.

GoddessOdd
Community Member
1 month ago

It's hard to imagine that he'd still be recognizable as Tim Curry under the make up, but in this photo, he is.

Dorothy Parker
Community Member
1 month ago

Tim Curry can be menacing without makeup. He has such great expressions.

Riley Quinn
Community Member
1 month ago

Reminds me of Krusty the Clown on his way to get his unemployment check.

Laura Mende (Human)
Community Member
1 month ago

So that's why he hid in the sewers! But there it is wet also...???

tuzdayschild
Community Member
1 month ago

My favorite Pennywise

Jessica Rabbit
Community Member
1 month ago

The exact reason why i am terrified of clowns! Tim Curry is amazing <3

Amanda Jade Mossman
Community Member
1 month ago

love it

Starlee87
Community Member
1 month ago

Clowns have never scared me. I've been a clown for Halloween before.

Steve Fischer
Community Member
1 month ago

Homeless clown problem they never tell you about

Porch Santa
Community Member
1 month ago

He would make a great father and grandfather. Child abducting alien aside.

Bianca Dawn Pommier
Community Member
2 weeks ago

HAHAHAHA

Joy
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

I saw a still of actor Robert Powell on the set of Jesus of Nazareth wrapped in a blanket and smoking a cigarette. It took me a while to stop looking at it.

Julia Jules Whitelegg
Community Member
1 month ago

This was the best version of the film..

EJN
Community Member
1 month ago

Scary

Beatrice Millford
Community Member
1 month ago

Yep that would do it

Cybele Spanjaard
Community Member
1 month ago

he looks pretty good

Sam Cook
Community Member
1 month ago

Still one of the best actors ever.

PurpleDoople
Community Member
1 month ago

all around me are familiar faces

Panda with heart
Community Member
1 month ago

Love this

Orionpax75
Community Member
1 month ago

NOPE!!

Bob Belcher
Community Member
1 month ago

And now I won't sleep tonight, thanks.

TimesNewLogan
Community Member
1 month ago

I still don't get how people ever found him scary; he was hilarious throughout the movie!

BleeBloo
Community Member
1 month ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

This has been on BP about a dozen times already.

Potato
Community Member
1 month ago

And I've enjoyed each one of them!

Load More Replies...
View More Replies...
View more comments
#12

It Drinks

It Drinks

cacatuca Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
1 month ago

I love old automatons, but they tend to be hella creepy

View More Replies...
View more comments

In a strange trend throughout the 19th century, people wanted to capture the likeness of their loved ones no matter whether they were alive or not. After all, a photo will remain for long after they do (or rather, did). Known today as post-mortem photography, it was a new take on mourning portraits that were painted of the deceased in pre-photography times. It was also surprisingly popular.

#13

Melted Wax Figures Rescued From The 1925 Fire At Madam Tussaud's London Museum

Melted Wax Figures Rescued From The 1925 Fire At Madam Tussaud's London Museum

BunnyLovr Report

Woltax
Community Member
1 month ago

The headless guy on the right is po**ing zombie heads.🙊🙈 I apologise!🙏

View More Replies...
View more comments
#14

A Full-Faced Swimming Mask Designed To Protect Women's Skin From The Sun In The 1920s

A Full-Faced Swimming Mask Designed To Protect Women's Skin From The Sun In The 1920s

Forrest724 Report

Chich
Community Member
1 month ago

Still see people wearing these in Asia.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#15

Washing A Crucifix, 1938

Washing A Crucifix, 1938

spiceprincesszen Report

NsG
Community Member
1 month ago

Casually waterboarding Jesus. Not the strangest item in today's submissions

View More Replies...
View more comments

Trying to capture someone’s best side is a challenge for all photographers, especially if your subject is dead. There were a few techniques used to make the deceased look less lifeless. One was making them appear as if they were sleeping, which is a better way to think of someone that has passed. They’d be carefully tucked into bed or laid against the armrest of a chair, as children often fall asleep.

#16

A 16th Century Plague Doctors Mask

A 16th Century Plague Doctors Mask

Cj_stricklen111 Report

Ozacoter
Community Member
1 month ago

Platypus

View More Replies...
View more comments
#17

A Drunken Man In Top Hat And Tails Clings To A Lamp-Post, London, 1934. Photo By Bill Brandt

A Drunken Man In Top Hat And Tails Clings To A Lamp-Post, London, 1934. Photo By Bill Brandt

Sleeeepy_Hollow Report

Beast
Community Member
1 month ago

ok so not a dead body?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#18

Photo Of Two Women With Super Long Hair

Photo Of Two Women With Super Long Hair

digital_dysthymia Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

Long hair, long dresses, long plant, long window shutters -- I'm sensing a theme here.

View More Replies...
View more comments

However, others preferred to see their beloved as they were before and attempted to mask the fact that they were no longer with them. This resulted in macabre photos of the living posing with the dead.

With varying degrees of success, the telltale signs were the lack of life in the eyes (which were jarringly pinned open) and the slouched posture of the subjects (if they weren’t frozen stiff by rigor-mortis). Other bizarre techniques included painting eyes onto the closed lids of the deceased or drawing them onto the film before it was processed.

#19

Linda Blair's Makeup Tests For "The Exorcist" (1973)

Linda Blair's Makeup Tests For "The Exorcist" (1973)

BrendaSugarbaker Report

Nadine Bamberger
Community Member
1 month ago

They really put her through a lot, almost broke her spine in one of the thrashing around scenes.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#20

Some Paper Mache Heads From The First World War

Some Paper Mache Heads From The First World War

WeeHootieMctoo Report

Robert T
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

This is only the tip of the iceberg. There were cardboard cutout tanks and all kinds used to create the illusion of a larger force presence than was actually there in both WWI and WWII.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#21

Old Doll Factory

Old Doll Factory

onepersononeidea Report

Soap
Community Member
1 month ago

No.

View More Replies...
View more comments

Whilst the results of these photos are no doubt creepy to us nowadays, they provided a way for people of the time to process the grief of death. They served as a memorial and a reminder of the people that once were, something to be celebrated rather than spoken of in quiet tones. It also highlights how death was considered in the past.

#22

Human Teeth Found In The Wall Of A Building Formerly Used By A Dentist In The Early 1900s

Human Teeth Found In The Wall Of A Building Formerly Used By A Dentist In The Early 1900s

chubachus Report

N G
Community Member
1 month ago

"dentist fills cavity in wall"

View More Replies...
View more comments
#23

1952 U.S. Advertisement For Van Camp's Pork & Beans

1952 U.S. Advertisement For Van Camp's Pork & Beans

Whey-Men Report

J. F.
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Yeah, nothing screams "Buy me!" like a sinister smiling child

View More Replies...
View more comments
#24

Meeting Of The Mickey Mouse Club In The 1930's

Meeting Of The Mickey Mouse Club In The 1930's

wineddinedand69ed Report

J. F.
Community Member
1 month ago

Reminds me a bit of Bioshock

View More Replies...
View more comments

With the lack of medical knowledge to treat or understand illnesses, death was seen often by people in the 19th century. Diseases such as typhoid affected millions during this time, with even the reigning Queen Victoria’s husband succumbing to it. The monarch vowed to wear black for the rest of her life to mourn her lost partner, setting the mood for the latter part of the century.

#25

A Woman In The Wild West Wearing A Bonnet And A Mask Designed To Protect Skin From Sun Damage

A Woman In The Wild West Wearing A Bonnet And A Mask Designed To Protect Skin From Sun Damage

JankCranky Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
1 month ago

She forgot to protect her legs, now they are gone

View More Replies...
View more comments
#26

17th Century Metal Mask That Was Used To Restrain Individuals Who Were Considered To Be Insane

17th Century Metal Mask That Was Used To Restrain Individuals Who Were Considered To Be Insane

Sleeeepy_Hollow Report

Jonathan
Community Member
1 month ago

Anti-maskers act as though they are being forced to wear these for 18 hours a day.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#27

‘Hells Cafe’ In Paris 1920s

‘Hells Cafe’ In Paris 1920s

onepersononeidea Report

Jubum
Community Member
1 month ago

Cabaret de l'Enfer was a famous cabaret in Montmartre that was founded by Antonin Alexander in November 1892 and demolished in 1950 to allow the expansion of a Monoprix supermarket.So Sad!!!

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda

Grief and mourning were met face-on and post-mortem photography was just one part of this process. Even the perception of the term has changed since that era. Nowadays, it might conjure up images of police investigations into suspicious deaths. In movies and television, this is always played to the effect of death being a dark aspect of life and the corpse as something to be afraid of.

#28

Humpty Dumpty 1939

Humpty Dumpty 1939

onepersononeidea Report

Elizabeth Elliot
Community Member
1 month ago

Me gusta

View More Replies...
View more comments
#29

Photograph Of A Victorian Baby Held By Their Mother

Photograph Of A Victorian Baby Held By Their Mother

Sleeeepy_Hollow Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

I love these. It was hard for the baby to sit still long enough for a photo to be captured, so lots of these old baby photos have the mothers or nannies in them pretending to be furniture.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#30

The Original Ronald Mcdonald, 1963

The Original Ronald Mcdonald, 1963

Forrest724 Report

DE Ray
Community Member
1 month ago

He actually died just a couple days ago.

View More Replies...
View more comments

So, whilst our lenses and cameras are the best they’ve ever been, the idea of capturing intimate photos of the deceased is something that’s been left in the past. If it ever makes a reappearance, our attitudes to death will need to change as well. After all, with all this technology available to us, would it be a good way to honor those no longer with us? Who knows, but at least it won’t be as creepy as the black and white photos here.

#31

A Clean-Cut Charles Manson On His Wedding Day In 1955

A Clean-Cut Charles Manson On His Wedding Day In 1955

Dia-fukin-rrhea Report

glowworm2
Community Member
1 month ago

I think what I find more scary is that he was married. (No, the woman who was engaged to him when he was in jail a few years before his death doesn't count.)

View More Replies...
View more comments
#32

The Moon From The French 1902 Movie "A Trip To The Moon"

The Moon From The French 1902 Movie "A Trip To The Moon"

Guy1404 Report

Manndy Fisher
Community Member
1 month ago

Ahh so that is inspiration for "Tonight, Tonight" video of Smashing Pumpkins!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#33

A Happy Clown From The Early 1900s

A Happy Clown From The Early 1900s

Sleeeepy_Hollow Report

Susie Elle
Community Member
1 month ago

A happy nightmare you mean

View More Replies...
View more comments
#34

Goldilocks And The Three Bears, 1908

Goldilocks And The Three Bears, 1908

wineddinedand69ed Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

I take it the costumer had never seen a bear nor any photos of bears.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#35

Freezing Off Freckles Procedure In 1930s

Freezing Off Freckles Procedure In 1930s

onepersononeidea Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

Whyyyyyy??? Your freckles are so cute!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#36

Glurpo, The World's Only Underwater Clown

Glurpo, The World's Only Underwater Clown

TommyAdagio Report

Monday
Community Member
1 month ago

I have so many question bu the most pressing is WHY??

View More Replies...
View more comments
#37

My Grandfather And His Sister

My Grandfather And His Sister

WatchTheFireworks Report

Hugh Willie Mungous
Community Member
1 month ago

So incredibly alike.

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#38

Found This Weird Photo Online. The Title Said That It's From "Page 896 Of The American Florist, A Weekly Journal For The Trade (1885)". Please Make Special Note Of His Feet

Found This Weird Photo Online. The Title Said That It's From "Page 896 Of The American Florist, A Weekly Journal For The Trade (1885)". Please Make Special Note Of His Feet

digital_dysthymia Report

Anthony Nizza
Community Member
1 month ago

Humans are EXTREMELY disturbing

View More Replies...
View more comments
#39

Behind-The-Scenes Of Teletubbies' In The Late-90s

Behind-The-Scenes Of Teletubbies' In The Late-90s

Sleeeepy_Hollow Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
1 month ago

They were this big????

View More Replies...
View more comments
#40

Children Salute The American Flag In Front Of The Morgan Hill School (California), 1930s

Children Salute The American Flag In Front Of The Morgan Hill School (California), 1930s

Trashcoelector Report

V33333P
Community Member
1 month ago

As a kiwi, remembering that Americans have to recite allegiance every day at school wigs me the hell out

View More Replies...
View more comments
#41

Three Girls In Masked Costumes At Halloween Festivities In College Hill, Cincinnati, Ohio In 1929

Three Girls In Masked Costumes At Halloween Festivities In College Hill, Cincinnati, Ohio In 1929

Sleeeepy_Hollow Report

kjorn
Community Member
1 month ago

for sure this is scary

View More Replies...
View more comments
#42

He's Probably A Good Boy But Sure Looks Odd

He's Probably A Good Boy But Sure Looks Odd

Nosferatatouille Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
1 month ago

Plus his dog moved during the photo ^-^

View More Replies...
View more comments
#43

1938 - Trays Of Artificial Eyes

1938 - Trays Of Artificial Eyes

mistermajik2000 Report

DKS 001
Community Member
1 month ago

eye see you!

View More Replies...
View more comments