The smell of death in the story of the gruesome discovery of a grave

Share Shares Post-mortem photography, or photographing the dead, began in the 19th century as a way to remember the deceased. It was done during times of war, used during the aftermaths of tragedies, and performed for dubious scientific purposes. People had a morbid fascination with death at a time when mortality rates were higher than they are today, but more disturbing than the photos are the stories behind them.

The smell of death in the story of the gruesome discovery of a grave

In 18th and 19th century Europe, fear of premature burial was widespread. Even with modern medicine, doctors have been known to make mistakes.

The smell of death in the story of the gruesome discovery of a grave

A deceased infant, dressed and positioned. Safety Coffins The fear of being buried alive peaked during the cholera epidemics.

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Victims of cholera often fell into a coma and were buried soon after death to prevent germs from spreading. No wonder the safety coffins were so popular. One of the most popular kinds of safety coffins was called an escape vault.

Often with critical design flaws, safety coffins from the 18th century were equipped with elaborate bell mechanisms to flag systems. With this, the trapped person could send a signal from the underworld if they awoke.

Designs of safety coffins. Unfortunately, these have been dismissed as urban myth. Mortsafe Victorians were not only afraid of being buried alive, but also of disturbance after the death.

Medical students and scientists were becoming increasingly frustrated by the limited allowance of dead bodies, mainly the corpses of executed criminals, grave-robbing became popular.

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The government turned a blind eye to grave-rifling and kept publicity to a minimum to prevent people from realizing what was happening. Revelations led to public outrage, riots, and attacks. Mortsafe in Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh. The rich were able to afford heavy tombstones, vaults and iron cages.

Americans took a more direct approach and boobytrapped their graves with Grave torpedos! Waiting Mortuary Another approach was the waiting mortuary. The waiting mortuaries also removed the body from the home of the grieving family. Invented by French but perfected by the Germans in the early 19th century, the dead were laid out inside halls and monitored day and night for signs of revival, or until the decomposition of a body.

Food, drink, and even cigars were on hand for any awakenings. Photographs of deceased loved ones were a normal part of the American and European culture. People instructed the photographer to give the impression that the deceased were still alive at the time of the photograph.

Especially children, because of the high infant mortality rate.

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10 Gruesome Accounts Of Photographing The Dead - Listverse

A SKULL in a shallow grave. A newborn in a post bag. Dead bodies that can’t be explained. "It's the smell of death." Mack said each time she has made the gruesome discovery, the dead roosters look carefully placed under the tree. She has met .

The smell of death in the story of the gruesome discovery of a grave

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There have been at least a dozen books written about him and four feature-length films. May 27,  · Post-mortem photography, or photographing the dead, began in the 19th century as a way to remember the deceased. It was done during times of war, used during the aftermaths of tragedies, and performed for dubious scientific purposes.

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