These Creepy Old Pics Are Shocking Without Photoshop

So for reasons I can’t quite understand, people all over social media are going totally nuts over this picture:

Did you notice? It looks like the girl in the picture has two faces; she’s looking forward, but in her reflection in the mirror she’s looking backward! Whoa!

Seriously though, I don’t get how this is something people consider ‘creepy’ in the age of blatant Photoshop.  In fact, no one is even pretending that this picture is anything other than doctored. The guy who took it flat-out admits it, saying that he made the pic because his girlfriend is a Gemini, the star-sign that is two-faced. Get it?

I think a lot of people on Facebook haven’t been using their internet time wisely. So if you think that’s the “creepiest picture ever”, well, strap in. It’s going to be a bumpy ride for you.

Let’s start with this:


That is NOT a modern picture made to look old. It’s an actual old-timey picture from the olden days.

But before you totally freak, the answer is no: those kids didn’t just decapitate their grandma for a photo op.  Turns out the Victorians and Edwardians were more fun-loving than we usually give them credit for… at least, if by “fun-loving” we mean “had a freaking dark morbid sense of black humor.” What you’re looking at there is an early example of photo-manipulation.  Yes, Photoshopping has been around since way before Photoshop.

In the Victorian era, photographers were experimenting with all kinds of ways to alter pictures, and one of the most popular turned out to be ‘decapitation’ pictures. Apparently our wacky great-great-grandparents really liked the idea of having a photograph to show off their own heads, or those of their loved ones, removed from their bodies. Although this particular one was more detailed and realistic than most.


In 1861, an amateur photographer named William Mumler took a self-portrait, and when he was developing it, he was blown away by the ghostly image of his young cousin standing behind him. She had been dead for years.

Mumler realized that the method of developing the picture allowed him to capture images of the spirits of the dead. He soon began to offer his services to others; in some of these pictures the ghostly figures that appeared were hard to make out, but the people photographed were sure it was a dead loved one. In others, they were incredibly clear and evident to everyone. He became so famous that even Mary Todd Lincoln came to him in secret to get a picture of herself with her murdered husband, Abraham Lincoln:

Eventually, of course, Mumler was exposed as a fraud. He was using a simple double-exposure to overlap two pictures, using either photographs of dead people, or just someone covered up or blurred who had a similar shape to the dead person.  He was tried for fraud in 1861, and it came to light that he had even been breaking into homes to steal old photographs of family members to make his “spirit pictures”.


Victorian psychics, or “spirit mediums”, tried to use pseudo-science to justify their claims of being able to speak to the dead or supernatural beings. Just like Deepak Chopra today talks about Quantum-woo whenever he wants to convince people he’s being rational, the olden-day psychics talked about the Luminous Ether (which was a real scientific theory of the time, though disproved now). So they claimed that they could tap into the ether. And they took photographs that claimed to show manifestations of “ectoplasm” which came out of their bodies from the ether.

These were obviously bad frauds, using pieces of cloth mostly, arranged in creative fashion. But they continue to fool some people to this day.


This is a real picture. It wasn’t just for fun. It also wasn’t a picture from a World War I or II evacuation.

This is a picture from an island in Japan, Miyakejima, where people have to carry a gas mask with them everywhere.  A big chunk of the island is an extremely active volcano, Mt.Oyama (, which regularly spews out incredibly toxic gasses.  The island was evacuated in 2000 during an eruption, but a few years later about half the population came back even though it means having to live surrounded by sulfur dioxide.  That’s a hell of a lot of hometown loyalty.


Check out this old photo:

Looks like a standard family photo, right? But here’s what makes it creepier than any of the other pictures here: the youngest kid, the one on the left? She’s dead

Her corpse is being propped up so her brothers and sister can have one last family photo together.

And even weirder is the fact that this isn’t even rare.  Around the turn of the last century, it was very common for someone recently dead to get one last photograph with their loved ones, and often to be given make-up and props to make them look like they’re alive.

So forget two-faced girl. There’s way creepier stuff out there. Hell, she’s not even as creepy as PTSD band kid!

He’s seen things no one who wasn’t in his band could understand, man.

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