Is this photo real? [Warning: Morbid and Creepy!} -- posing with dead relative

Since this is a Halloweeny time, I was looking for creepy photos on Google. Apparently, a lot of people in Victorian times would pose with their dead relatives. I stumbled upon this particular pic, and the supposed corpse doesn’t seem quite real to me. The prportions seem wrong :
[Once again, I shall put a warning. This photo is a bit gruesome and weird.]
Okay, here we go :

Is that really a human (er… ex-human), or is it fake ?

Don’t need the answer fast.

Victorian post mortem photography.

This was a fairly common practice in Victorian times. I can’t explain why people did it, but it did happen.

This particular picture looks really strange (I’m not even sure if this is actually a dead body on the left, it could be a horribly disfigured, living person), but other than that, it wasn’t unusual to pose for a picture with deceased relatives/loved ones. I’ve seen pictures of parents posing with their dead child.

This imgur gallery says it is a “[p]ost mortem photograph of two sisters, one of whom died of syphilis.” I make no claims to the accuracy of that.

Oh yeah, I realize that. The Victorians were creepy as hell. The particular photo that I referenced, though, just doesn’t look quite human. Perhaps it was a disfigured human or corpse. The facial features seem all “off” in a way that doesn’t seem to be regular decomposition, at least to me. Perhaps I’m wrong, though…

Doing some googling I found a number of versions of that photo where instead of some sort of disfigured monster on the left both of the women looked perfectly normal. Thus I assume it is a photoshopped fake.

Or maybe the living sister wanted to recreate the pose a year later, after her sister had died and rotted a bit.

Your guess might be a bit more likely, I admit.

Good hell, people! READ THE OP! He or she was already fully aware of the practice of post-mortem photography! The question was specifically about this particular picture.

Hey, that’s fascinating! Thanks for the info.

As per your info, I “google-image-searched” syphilis, and YOWZA!! I had no idea that the disease could cause such disfigurement. Amazing and truly disgusting images await any who dare follow that path (of image-searching, that is). Color me astonished!

It is a fake.

I had heard syphilis was disfiguring, I’d never seen it. I hope it was photoshopped because I can’t imagine that poor girl’s life and death.
It’s not just Victorians who like post-mortem pictures, though. An acquaintance of an acquaintance posted a picture of her siblings and herself next to the body of their mother who had just died in the ER. I think she was announcing the death. I happened to be on my friend’s facebook page and saw it.

The kids all looked to be in their early twenties. It was jarring to see it.

There’s apparently a monastery or church in Sicily (Palermo?) where they used to until the early 1900’s mummify dead people and mount them on the wall dressed in their Sunday best. The creepiest was a little girl - there was an interview with one of the old ladies who knew her as a playmate before she died. I think Rick Steves of PBS in his original Sicily episode actually shows this.

There’s also the story of the mummified (waxed?) outlaw who was discovered in a Hollywood prop collection. In the wild west days, some carnivals would buy executed outlaws’ bodies if nobody claimed them, then embalm and wax them and make them sideshow exhibits. SOmehow, this one got sold on and its origins lost track of; people thought it was a mannequin or wax dummy. It even appeared in a few shows, most notably an episode of Six Million Dollar Man… until one day when it was being moved, an arm fell off and the bone was visible.

So we might think some things are weird, but that’s just modern sensibilities.

Elmer McCurdy

It isn’t real, and I don’t think it’s even a photograph. It’s artwork created by Sharaya Brooks

See here, and scroll down :

(Missed the edit window)

Also see:

I could swear that had something on postmortem photography, and why it was practiced. Perhaps look there.

Thanks for all the info. Fascinating!