The Dead of Winter
Here it is again. Winter. I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan. Where others see beauty in a fluffy white glazing of snow, I see only three months of hibernation. Because I hate the stuff.
It’s no mystery why my mind tends to wander to the grim topic of death. I’m in the dead of Winter here in Missouri, after all. I’ve been thinking about the dead – more specifically, how different cultures remember the dead – and decided to share what I know.
Winter takes my mind to dark places. Perhaps its icy clutches haunt me…
Over the years, humans have honored their dead in peculiar and sometimes macabre ways.
Ever heard of post-mortem photography? Straight from Wikipedia: “Post-mortem photography (also known as memorial portraiture or a mourning portrait) is the practice of photographing the recently deceased. These photographs of deceased loved ones were a normal part of American and European culture in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Commissioned by grieving families, postmortem photographs not only helped in grieving, but often represented the only visual remembrance of the deceased and were among a family’s most precious possessions.”
No disrespect intended, but having grown up in a different century, some of these photos seem a bit disturbing now…
Look closely. The youngest child on the far left is deceased, propped up with a wooden stand. You can see the discomfort and sadness in her brother’s face.
The story goes that the photographer drew pupils on her closed eyelids to make her more life-like.
Sometimes even a man’s best friend wanted to say goodbye.
Then there’s the following photograph, which has become somewhat of an urban legend, because no one can prove or disprove the story behind it. People say the reason all the children seem to be frowning, or even grimacing, is that they are being forced to pose with a classmate who died the day before.
They say the deceased student was propped up with a wooden board and her head was tied to the board by means of a head scarf. Do you see her? Look closer…
Urban legend or not, that’s pretty creepy.
And then there are cultures like the Toraja people of Indonesia who keep their post-mortem loved ones around for weeks, months, or even years after death, until enough money is raised for a fitting and proper funeral. During this time, the deceased relative is symbolically fed, dressed, cared for and taken out, and is very much a part of their family’s lives.
But if you think post-mortem photography and mummification is strange, the thought of drinking from a human skull might push you over the edge, right? That’s probably why the Aghori tribe of India are considered taboo among their neighboring communities. They ritualistically smear themselves with cremated ashes, consume human flesh, and drink from skulls to become closer to the spiritual world of the dead.
To each his own, but that’s not quite my cup of tea.
So there you have it. THIS is what Winter does to me, people. The dead of Winter… when the deceased whisper to us on the icy breeze, telling us to cherish our precious days, albeit bitterly cold. Winter will pass, just as humans pass, and the world will continue to spin.
Well, as usual, this has been a bit of uplifting cheer from your admin here at Dirty Little Horror. Happy Winter, folks.
DAY TWELVE of The Dirty Dozen, 12 Days of X-mas: Horror Calendar by John J Dick
Wow. We have made it to Day 12 of our holiday celebration. There was so much horror, so much blood and guts, you might wonder what any of this has to do with Christmas. Well, to be honest, very little… but we had fun, didn’t we?
If you would like to continue this creepy fun throughout the days of 2016, please consider picking up a calendar by John J. Dick. I love the idea of a horror calendar, and this one is just plain brutal. Horrible Things 2016 is truly sick, and I mean that as praise.
All purchases can be made through John’s Paypal account. He sure would appreciate it (bless those starving artists). And these models are DYING to be hung on your wall. 🙂
The purchase link is: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=B4AELS5DEXBSG
DAY FIVE of The Dirty Dozen, 12 Days of X-mas: Death March Studio
It’s Day 5 of our 12 Days of X-mas bash!
I can’t afford five golden rings, but I’ve got lots more horror to spread! I do love dark photography, don’t you? Please welcome special guest Death March Studio. If you like their work, check out their Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/Death-March-Studio-893543987368494
I’d also like to credit the models (and I hope I snagged their names correctly from the page): Tara Tarpey, Christina Marie, and Nick Schultz appear in these photos. Enjoy.
Death March Studio. If you like their work, check out their Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/Death-March-Studio-893543987368494
DAY THREE of The Dirty Dozen, 12 Days of X-mas: Adam Pixel Horrography
Welcome to day 3 of Dirty Little Horror’s 12 day celebration. What’s horror got to do with X-mas, you ask? Why all the fuss? I’ll tell you why: Because the holidays are stressful, and horror fans need the distraction!
Today, we celebrate dark photography with haunting images from Adam Pixel Horrography. Many thanks to Adam (whose page is linked below) and the beautiful models Ashen Falls and Donna Kennedy.
VISIT ADAM PIXEL HORROGRAPHY ON FACEBOOK:
Thanks for stopping by, and I promise – weird or not – I shall continue to fill your holiday season with blood and guts! See you tomorrow!