When people think of the Victorian era, they imagine beautiful mansions, coy women and gallant men. They don’t think of the following facts which are nothing if not weird.
1. Let’s Dress Up!
Those people who lived the good life and were known as the elites at the time had nothing to do which is why they were always bored. Because television and iPods did not exist, they had to find other ways to keep themselves entertained. Therefore, they made bizarre costumes and wore them all around the house. If they were in a good mood, they would also pose for each other.
Poor people and those who were mentally ill had no place in society and were shunned by the privileged sections. Poorhouses were constructed for them where they lived in miserable conditions and had to work to ward off starvation.
3. Fog and Smoke
It was normal to get engulfed by something known as pea-soupers during the Victorian era. These are basically a combination of smoke and thick fog. Naturally, it was very difficult to see through them which is why thousands of people died every year. It also gave serial killers a chance to execute their plans.
4. Bizarre Food
The food that was out listed out in the menus during the Victorian era was anything but tempting. People at the time loved to eat offal on a daily basis. They loved to eat organs like the heart and munch on the brain. Turtle soup was very popular too, mainly because the animal’s fat is gelatin-like and quite delicious.
5. Painful Surgery
Surgery is never fun but it was especially horrifying during the Victorian era. Neither painkillers nor anesthesia had been invented at the time. The operation went on for hours and was excruciatingly painful.
6. Gothic Novels
Some of the best gothic novels were written during the Victorian era, namely, the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as well as Dracula. The writers at the time sure knew how to scare people to death but with great class and elegance.
7. Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper is the mysterious serial killer who slaughtered prostitutes during the latter half of the 1800’s. The thick fog must have made it easier for him to escape unnoticed each and every time. The fact that nobody really knows who the man was makes him quite mystifying.
8. So-Called Freaks
Those who were not completely perfect during the Victorian era were said to be ‘freaks of nature’. They were made to walk about on stage and show off their flaws to entertain the ‘normal’ people. The most well-known participant was Joseph Merrick or the Elephant Man.
9. Creepy Photography
Photography was new at the time and therefore, very expensive. Therefore, people could only afford having their photographs taken with a deceased friend or family member. The corpse was made to look ‘more alive’ and family members posed around it. Now if that is not disturbing, what is?
10. The Queen
Queen Victoria was slightly eccentric and never really tried to hide it. She wore black after her husband died and continued to do so till her time arrived. She also stopped going for public events. The most ironic part is that she wanted a purple color theme for her own funeral because she detested the color black and was against dark funerals.