The Victorian era was a really weird time. We got all sorts of things from that era that still persist
today – even in the industrial areas of our modern life. We also got some amazing clothes
fashion as well that has been seeing a resurgence in recent times.
Not to mention gothic novels were a brand new thing back then, which would later on become
some of the most beloved literary classics of the world. However, none of these really quite
match up to some of just straight up weirdness that was the Victorian era, and some of the
weird things people did to entertain themselves back then.
Here are 3 of the stranger kinds of entertainment that everyone from the lower class to the
higher echelons of society participated in. Just as a forewarning, they are all kind of ridiculous
and also in certain lights (especially the last one) very creepy!
Let us dive into it!
3 Things You Would Never Think for Entertainment that People in the Victorian Era Loved
1 – Freak Shows
We have already talked at length about the popularity of freak shows in the Victorian era. They
were a way for people to explore their fascination with what they considered obscene. Though
he freak shows ended permanently around the 1950s thanks to the advent of the television
technology that had taken of, it was a profession that many freaks actually prospered in.
Some would often make even more than their managers that ran the shows! Not only that, but
they even got trading cards in their honor that people were crazy to collect for some reason or
2 – Vignettes
These were strange pictures taken where a bunch of people would get together and dress up in
weird costumes with each other. Some women would dress up as an angel for example, or men
as a really goofy devil or maybe a goblin of some kind. Then they would strike poses at each
Hey, ipads were not invented yet okay. So this makes a bit of sense from that perspective… I
3 – Death Photography
This is probably the weirdest thing Victorian era people did. When a loved one died, especially a
child, the family would dress that child up in their fanciest clothes and pretend that the child was
still alive. They would take photos of them and their child together, with the child just staring with
literally lifeless eyes often off in the distance.
It is at once incredibly sad and heartbreaking to look at those photos, as much as it is kind of
terrifying. While death photography, I believe, has fallen largely out of style for the obvious
creepiness that is inherent to… you know… death photography.
Would you partake in any of these 3 activities above? While I certainly would not be an instant
no to a sideshow, I would probably detest the exploitation aspect of the experience. I would be a
definite no to the death photography, it just seems too weird.
But vignettes could survive today in the modern age. Grab some cosplay costumes, a nice
table, and load up the Instagram filters for a bit of modern Victorian entertainment fun!