Supremely odd vintage photo collection

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Joanna of Morbid Anatomy found delight and wonder, as I now have, in this collection of vintage photos that are bizarre by their nature, juxtaposition, or just the lack of context. Vintage pic selection

UPDATE: You may find some of the content to be offensive for a variety of reasons. Please check the comments thread on this post and view at your own risk.


  1. when I’m at yard sales or flea markets I buy up any cameras I find that have film in them and get them developed. a lot of times the first half of the roll is deteriorated beyond developing but occasionally I see some neat stuff. nothing quite as spectacular as these though!

  2. i wasn’t quite braced for the photos of the dead woman, but as a visual collection, it made me run the entire emotional gamut, which i think says something. Whimsical at times, but definitely has that air of David Lynch nightmare fuel.


  3. There are some supremely disturbing ones down below; including what I surmise is a dead accident victim. Not particularly squeamish myself but wanted to let you know.

  4. I wish I could put into words the delight at seeing this fantastic collection. So many stories, so many exclamation marks zipping out and over my head.

  5. The picture of the prosthetics and orthotics are from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. I went there in 1994. Still to this day, I cannot forget the feeling of sickness from seeing the pile on display, with only a sheet of plexiglass between me and those personal remains.

  6. Some of those remind if of the work of Ralph Eugene Meatyard. Disturbing, interesting, disturbing…

  7. Perhaps you should at least give a warning that a one or two of the bodies might actually be dead bodies from a car crash.

  8. The two girls with one body pic in the pool are of Abigail and Brittany Hensel who grew up near my home. I love great photos like the kind found in this post but am very sure Abigail and Brittany would not appreciate being a part of this post. They have grown up as normally as possible and seem to work hard to manage the images of themselves on the net.

  9. Beautiful, curious, strong and disturbing images. But disturbing is good. Anything that takes you out of that comfortable place and stirs your feelings is valid.

  10. Wow, the Live Journal page…wow.

    Dead woman, gnarly. The cats licking that arm or whatever they were doing. Wow holy smokes.

    All those pics were disturbing in some David Lynch stream of conscious nightmare disturbing way. You couldn’t stop looking though.

    It was the one’s that seemed the most normal that were the creepiest. That one with all the girls in that room with the doll houses. Why does it look like 3 or 4 of those girls had faces that had seen some serious recent damage before the pic was taken. Just pure creepiness.

    I LOVED IT! Creeps me out but like some have said that’s a good thing. Very strong pictures to bring up strong emotions.

    Thanks for pointing us in the direction of these pics…I think.

  11. These are great, but the first pic isn’t vintage. I was quite taken by the quality of the image so I peaked at the camera info: it lists a Canon 40D.

  12. @10 – Jared , as someone who has been tracked around the internet fairly well myself, I fell I should suggest that the chances of any loss of privacy for them skyrocketed when you put their full names right under the post with their picture.

  13. A gamut of emotions is right making a compelling collection. Did you see the alligator on the wall of the doll house picture?

  14. Um, you should definitely put some sort of warning regarding the photos at the bottom. Not exactly the type of photo collection I was expecting :/

  15. the pictures are quite disturbing and interesting, but the most shocking is the user picture of the user who posted the pics. Extremely disturbing and terrifying.

  16. I love found photos…and I love boingboing, but please warn ppl before linking to sets that include pictures of dead bodies. You’d warn us if there were nudes or other nsfw content.

  17. The cats and the mutilated arm = not fake? Dead lady = not fake? Must have been my expectation that Boing Boing is a Directory of Wonderful Things and would never link to such things without warning. Very curious that I viewed them and kept going without much scrutiny. Then I looked again and still can’t tell. I swear the hands of that woman look like a mannequin’s. And the arm (cats) looks to be covered in corn starch slime with red food coloring. Help?

  18. I don’t understand the requests for warnings. In life, you die. Few pick when.

    I clearly remember the pure pleasure of innocent discovery upon first leafing through a collection of great photographs. Plenty of blood too. Real blood.

    Has web-life changed something? Is the absolute privacy of you and book gone now? Or have we grown to expect multiple lives.limitless do-overs? Death can’t happen to me?

  19. I couldn’t get past the top of the page, having seen the handle “rape blossom” with an avatar of a young girl beaten up.

    There’s disturbing, and then there’s sick.

    I’m not one for censorship, but I trust boing boing to be the “directory of wonderful things” it promises to be. I often show items that show up here to my 6 year old, but with something like this, my trust is waning…

  20. @Takuan, I don’t deny death, but would have liked the option to choose whether or not to view it. I don’t frequent rotten dot com anymore for a reason.

  21. When I loaded the page, there were only 4 images. I tried loading the page several more times but nothing more would come up.

    Could someone make a mirror of these pictures?

  22. Interesting collection of photos. I enjoyed looking over most of them, but I agree that the gruesome ones deserve a warning.

    It’s also striking to me how this post’s comments generally demonstrate a mirror opposite reaction than what the community showed in the “vintage” audio collection from last week.

  23. Banksynergy, thank you for your comment on #17 it helped me clarify what troubles me about some of the pics. The anonymity of the Hensel girls is not the issue since they have been featured in national television and magazine articles on multiple occasions. What I have gathered from what I have read and watched about them is that they are very understanding of peoples fascination with them and that they simply want to be presented respectfully as two individual humans as apposed to a two headed freak. I don’t think this post was particularly disrespectful to them or most others. I did however find it useful to remind myself that most of the pics are of people who are still alive or in the death pics the relatives are still alive. I want to enjoy great pics like this and be respectful of those it may effect.

  24. Few people like to be surprised by death, Takuan. Among our species anyway, I don’t know about yours.

  25. Her other posts are interesting too, especially her profile… in a morbid sort of way, of course.

    I imagine Mr. Pescovitz didn’t go all the way through the post and thus missed the disturbing pictures near the bottom.

  26. @10,17,32: The 3rd image is the Hensels and it was shot for LIFE magazine in April 1996(vintage?). Can’t remember who shot it, but the image is directly from the magazine. They were very cooperative and wanted to dispel the curiousity of the public. What I don’t get this wasn’t some photo found at a flea market or something, it was ripped(off?) from a magazine.

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