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.

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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.)

Potato
Community Member
1 month ago

I think it should count, because that is far more scary to marry a man AFTER he did all those things

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Jubum
Community Member
1 month ago

Evil doesn't just hide behind an ugly face.

Oscar Bravo
Community Member
1 month ago

Handsome Devil...

CatWoman312
Community Member
1 month ago

He was really short

Beeps
Community Member
1 month ago

Yes, he was, that’s how he managed to hide in an under sink kitchen cupboard during the Spahn Ranch raid. The police would have missed him, had it not been for some of his hair sticking out at the top of the cupboard.

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Quin Mole
Community Member
1 month ago

I just read about him. What a horrible horrible person he was.

Amina Hays
Community Member
1 month ago

@Quin Mole - You've only *just* read about him?? Yup, he was utterly mad. Have you read about the connection between the murders and Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys? If not, go go go! It's unbelievable. Truly.

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karl briggs
Community Member
1 month ago

Guessing pre-drugs.

LesAnimaux
Community Member
1 month ago

Pre-everything

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BiLal Asif
Community Member
1 month ago

I don't even recognize him here

BetweenTheCracks
Community Member
1 month ago

Yeah, this is my first time seeing this picture. Mind blown!

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Zena Marsh
Community Member
1 month ago

He looks so happy there.

Bettie-Jean Neal
Community Member
1 month ago

The eyes. Nothing looks the same now except for the eyes.

hobbitly
Community Member
1 month ago

Nothing looks the same now? He already died, so I would hope so :P

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Ryan Deschanel
Community Member
1 month ago

The picture itself is not creepy. The things the guy did after were.

Bevin A
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm going tell people this is my grandparents

Mazer
Community Member
1 month ago

Charles Manson photos with the US band which portrayed wholesomeness (The Beach Boys) is even more eerie

Dodo
Community Member
1 month ago

Yeah, didn't he write songs for them?

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Isabela Ivan
Community Member
1 month ago

Charming as usually...

Marlisa Flanders
Community Member
1 month ago

wow, such a normal looking couple. I wonder what went wrong. Maybe a head-injury.

Bob Belcher
Community Member
1 month ago

How did he go from this to what we know?

dancebe4thestorm
Community Member
1 month ago

His face is almost perfectly symmetrical

Bad Alchemy
Community Member
1 month ago

Surprising!

R Carson
Community Member
1 month ago

And then......

Amanda Hunter
Community Member
1 month ago

With The Bride of Manson.

Kimberly Brown
Community Member
1 month ago

Now I see how he could draw people to him.

Amy Jo Buchanan
Community Member
1 month ago

He has that intense and crazy eyed stare even back then.

EJN
Community Member
1 month ago

Married? I never heard that! If you live long enough, you can hear all kinds of things.

sharron lynn parsons
Community Member
1 month ago

I wonder if she was ever interviewed, what would she have said ???

Celtic Pirate Queen
Community Member
1 month ago

When evil hides in plain sight.

JJM
Community Member
1 month ago

Who would have thought looking at that picture what was to come?

Vicki Perizzolo
Community Member
1 month ago

he was an excellent example of why abortion should always be an option...right up to the age of 60

Francie Traschen
Community Member
1 month ago

anyone know who the lady is and is she still alive?

Ruth Dyke
Community Member
1 month ago

Speechless.

NWB
Community Member
1 month ago

The ability to act 'normal' and be such a disturbed person!

Catherine Brady
Community Member
1 month ago

I wonder what happened to his first wife and any of his kids? I can understand their need for privacy.

Lynn Biasini McElfresh
Community Member
1 month ago

He looked nuts then, too

Kelli Lindsay
Community Member
1 month ago

Helter Skelter, DAMNIT

Riley Quinn
Community Member
1 month ago

He had two wives and two children.

Angelica H.
Community Member
1 month ago

😶

Sarra R
Community Member
1 month ago

Scary thing how handsome he was. Another scarier one is one day I saw a pic that had Photoshopped the mustache off a man. I was like "HOLY S**T THAT MAN'S HOT AF". Turned out it was feckin Hitler and.... He was handsome without his mustache I hate to but have to admit.

sharron lynn parsons
Community Member
1 month ago

Gives me chills, thinking he was, what, looked normal ???

Cybele Spanjaard
Community Member
1 month ago

He was that ordinary? What happened to his wife..any children?

Bear42212
Community Member
1 month ago

There was nothing ordinary about him. He spent 2/3 of his life in jail. He should've fried in the electric chair.

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Robin Roper
Community Member
1 month ago

Not married but a few years. I guess it doesn't take long to learn one is married to a paranoid schizophrenic.

Bear42212
Community Member
1 month ago

He was not a paranoid schizophrenic he was a psychotic piece of crap

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bee_
Community Member
1 month ago

Why on Earth does he look like Loki/Tom Hiddleston a little bit. The smile and face shape are very similar.

Laura Hunn
Community Member
1 month ago

He wants that knife in her hand.

KT
Community Member
1 month ago

Before he lost his mind

Casey B
Community Member
1 month ago

He never lost his mind. He was completely sane and knew exactly what he was doing when he manipulated his followers.

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Box Knight
Community Member
1 month ago

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looks kinda like tom holland

Bear42212
Community Member
1 month ago

No he doesn't look like either one.

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Steve Fischer
Community Member
1 month ago

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What did she do to him?

Lolliegag
Community Member
1 month ago

Really? Please don't cast blame on that poor woman for his insanity. I'm fairly certain he was born batshit crazy. God only knows what she went through being married to him and then for you to make her feel guilt over his actions? Not cool man. Not cool.

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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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#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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