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.😢😡

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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

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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.

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#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.

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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

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#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...

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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

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#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.

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#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?

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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..

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#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

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#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

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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!🙏

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#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.

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#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

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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

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#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?

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#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.

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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.

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#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.

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#21

Old Doll Factory

Old Doll Factory

onepersononeidea Report

Soap
Community Member
1 month ago

No.

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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"

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#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

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#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

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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

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#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.

Vorknkx
Community Member
1 month ago

Surgeons wear masks throughout their entire careers and never complain about it, but Karen can't endure the mask for 5 - 10 minutes...

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Lyone Fein
Community Member
1 month ago

Because this would help make people less insane.

Soggy Crumpet
Community Member
1 month ago

I think this was meant to be a sort of helmet to protect their head.

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Roxy Eastland
Community Member
1 month ago

I cannot image how horrific it would have been to be strapped into that for someone already experiencing mental trauma

Kim Shannon
Community Member
1 month ago

If you weren't insane when they put it on you, you would be by the time they took it off you

dee dee
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm sure it cured them of their insanity.

DKS 001
Community Member
1 month ago

the original Cyberman

ƒιѕн
Community Member
1 month ago

What purpose do the ears serve?

Beeps
Community Member
1 month ago

To make it look less scary. (Joke!)

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Mazer
Community Member
1 month ago

Sad how we treat the mentally ill - in the past and today

Ozacoter
Community Member
1 month ago

Yeah. Lets put a metal mask on people with mental problems. That will make it much better. I am sorry but I wish that they would have done euthanasia on those poor people instead of torturing them like they used to. (I really wish that we could bring them all now were care is much better but thats a bit more unrealistic)

Manndy Fisher
Community Member
1 month ago

They were making sure that if someone wasn't insane, they will be after wearing that mask..

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New Prometheus
Community Member
1 month ago

How is this helping??

Jill Hojnacki
Community Member
1 month ago

And, if they weren’t insane when the authorities strapped it, along with all the other restraints, on, it probably didn’t take much time before they were, thus “proving” their original diagnosis.

SydneyP
Community Member
1 month ago

If they wasn’t insane I guarantee they were after a few hours in this thing! My heart breaks when I see things like this. And anti maskers out here acting like we’re trying to kill them 🙄

Shawn Barry
Community Member
1 month ago

with a Hapsburg chin no less

Tee Witt
Community Member
1 month ago

How cruel, how would they breath properly through that?

Keira Hamilton
Community Member
1 month ago

very very very strong little nightmare vibes

Shirley Heyn
Community Member
1 week ago

If not insane before, they were after. . .!

Carole Hamilton
Community Member
1 month ago

I'd go insame if forced to wear that!

Fulsome Kitten
Community Member
1 month ago

Now I wanna watch "the Man in the Iron Mask" w/Leo DiCaprio!

Julia Jules Whitelegg
Community Member
1 month ago

For the love of God, NO.

Viv Hart
Community Member
1 month ago

Enough to drive them completely round the bend!

Andy Hinds
Community Member
1 month ago

Freaky weird and also kind of kinky to some people.

Jane W.
Community Member
1 month ago

Needed one for a certain recent US president.

EJN
Community Member
1 month ago

Now this kind of mask is something that legitimately could make you insane. No excuse for the whinnies nowadays who cannot handle a thin piece of gauze.

Grace Smith
Community Member
1 month ago

You guys should watch the man in the iron mask

JJM
Community Member
1 month ago

And if your face didn't fit?

Vicki Perizzolo
Community Member
1 month ago

if you weren't crazy before you put that on, you would be by the time it came off..

Beatrice Millford
Community Member
1 month ago

Imagine getting headbutt by that

Cybele Spanjaard
Community Member
1 month ago

What some endured is terrifying

Lynn Morello
Community Member
1 month ago

They can't bite you but they can give you a terrific concussion

Diana Hockley
Community Member
1 month ago

Anyone would have gone insane if they had had to wear that! The people today who are asked to wear masks should have a choice - the above mask or one of the current ones!

KatKaleen
Community Member
1 month ago

Well, if they weren't before, they certainly were afterwards.

SobyKay
Community Member
1 month ago

would make someone insane

YoyoSthlm
Community Member
1 month ago

Shreck?

Casey B
Community Member
1 month ago

Dr Who... We need you, the Cybermen are here!

Carole Reid
Community Member
1 month ago

How many of you would actually wear this if were the only option for keeping a sanitary environment. So off topic.

Oliver Casasola
Community Member
1 month ago

Looks like Machine from 8mm

Marty Meshberg
Community Member
1 month ago

A wonderful and effective mask made just for "Karens" !

Ewa K
Community Member
1 month ago

They thought about adding some ears?

Kristy Nelson
Community Member
1 month ago

This is so awful and sad.

Emill Kim
Community Member
1 month ago

Teddy from bob's burgers

Pamda Panda
Community Member
1 month ago

If they weren't insane before, I'm sure they were after...

Hilary Mol
Community Member
1 month ago

This is what you might come up with if you were trying to merge the costume departments of Friday the 13th and The Wizard of Oz.

Tabitha K
Community Member
1 month ago

Craftsmanship

Steve Fischer
Community Member
1 month ago

Looks like Donald Trump

Carole Reid
Community Member
1 month ago

He just needs something to control his tongue.

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Vibe Check
Community Member
1 month ago

The next Shrek movie looks like it’s going to be VERY different…

Porch Santa
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow I’m glad to not be alive

RN Griffin
Community Member
1 month ago

If you weren't insane when they put it on you, you would be shortly.

Hollysmom
Community Member
1 month ago

Well, if you weren't insane before.....

Riley Quinn
Community Member
1 month ago

Now the "masks for the insane" are pharmaceuticals.

Ola Pe
Community Member
1 month ago

Oh my goodness, such excruciating torture!

Joe Dunn
Community Member
1 month ago

if they weren't insane when those contraptions were put on, they were much closer to it when they were taken off! I get the need for restraint at times but this just seems extreme

F. H.
Community Member
1 month ago

No. This is a 19th century "recreation" of a fictional medieval torture device.

thefaithfulspouse
Community Member
1 month ago

Man in the iron mask

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HoneyBun Arts
Community Member
1 month ago

Anyone else see Shrek?

Kona Pake
Community Member
1 month ago

I wonder what Trump’s mask would look like?

Louise B
Community Member
1 month ago

The same as that one, but painted orange.

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McSydney
Community Member
1 month ago

Man in the iron mask vibes

Vicky Zar
Community Member
1 month ago

"The man in the iron mask"

Autumn
Community Member
1 month ago

Looks like shrek

Marlisa Flanders
Community Member
1 month ago

"Behave or you're getting the shrek mask."

Nikki Sevven
Community Member
1 month ago

Hello, Clarice.

Cecilia Cahill
Community Member
1 month ago

Metal shrek

Bacony Cakes
Community Member
1 month ago

*simcity societies asylum select noises*

beastmachine.
Community Member
1 month ago

Nice

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#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!!!

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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

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#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.

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#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.

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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.)

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#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!

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#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

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#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.

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#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!

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#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??

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#37

My Grandfather And His Sister

My Grandfather And His Sister

WatchTheFireworks Report

Hugh Willie Mungous
Community Member
1 month ago

So incredibly alike.

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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

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#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????

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#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

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#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

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#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 ^-^

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#43

1938 - Trays Of Artificial Eyes

1938 - Trays Of Artificial Eyes

mistermajik2000 Report

DKS 001
Community Member
1 month ago

eye see you!

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