Now, much like the mom who accidentally filmed a strange shadow crawling underneath her toddler’s bed, this couple’s spooky but fascinating find is going viral.
She set up the story: “Young couple moves from the city to a big old farm house on land for dirt cheap. They start renovating…”
“Husband is away for work for months at a time. Wife is left home alone with the animals and to manage the farm. Will she be possessed when he gets home???”
“Oh yeah and when we bought the house there were dozens of dolls on the third floor looking out the window when you pulled up. 😬”
The house, built in 1914, is considered an American Foursquare, a style popular from the mid-1890s to the late 1930s.
When the couple moved into the home, they quickly got to work renovating it, restoring it to its former early 20th century glory.
“We bought the home in probate and I was able to make contact with the family to see if there was anything they wanted (the house came with everything in it and they were hoarders),” _planties explained in the comments. “All they wanted was one small tote of family photos.”
According to _planties, the former owners left behind over 3,000 square feet of stuff — including the mysterious discovery they would soon make in one of the rooms.
Tucked away amongst the piles of old belongings, _planties and her husband were shocked to find a box filled with Victorian-era treasures.
Inside the box were tons of old photos, all dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.
But when _planties and her husband took a closer look at some of the photos, they began to suspect something rather chilling.
“I totally think that some of the folks in these pictures are already dead,” _planties wrote.
“It’s a fun game we like to play sometimes when we look at them. Who can find a dead person first!”
In an effort to immortalize their loved ones, families in the Victorian era frequently photographed the dead — but in such a way as for them to appear living.
Called “mourning tableaux,” these photos showed the dead arranged in lifelike manners, positioned with loved ones or treasured items, and sometimes even with color added to their cheeks or lips to lend an air of life.
Thus, _planties’ theory that some of these photos were taken postmortem might not be far-fetched.
But whether living or dead, one mystery remains: Who exactly are these people?
“Not sure who they are. We met the grandson of the man who built this home. I’m going to bring these photos along with the rest of them down to their house to see if they recognize anyone,” _planties wrote.
Redditors were fascinated by the couples’ discovery.
“This is such an incredible find,” one user wrote. “As someone who collects antique photographs I’m a little jealous lol, such wonderful little pieces of history.”
“When I see these old photos for sale, it always makes me sad. So glad you are going to celebrate these people,” another user wrote.
“What a great treasure to find in your home. 🙂 Thank you for sharing!” commented another user.
Until _planties can identify the subjects and reunite them with their descendants, she plans to honor them by hanging the photos in their home.
“We have two staircases in the house, maybe I’ll do a gallery wall going up one of them! … I saved probably 30 or so frames that I found in the house when we were cleaning it out. Maybe that’s what I was saving them for and didn’t know it!” she wrote.
While we may never solve the mystery of these Victorian photos, their subjects continue to live on over 100 years later thanks to this history-loving Redditor.
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