25 Creepy Vintage Photos and Their Disturbing Backstories

The ornately arranged skeletons of Rome’s Capuchin Crypt, circa 1900.

A 19th-century anthropologist showing off his pair of shrunken heads from Ecuador.

A young girl brought to life by French inventors in the 18th century.

This portrait of child getting cozy with Krampus, circa 1900.

And this picture of an unannounced visitor to a child’s slumber in 1860.

A portrait of “Lionel the Lion Faced Boy” during the height of his fame in 1907.

Lon Chaney as a friendly neighborhood clown, He, in the 1924 MGM silent movie He Who Gets Slapped.

The grotesque sight of a headless woman performing in a Coney Island sideshow in 1945.

The crime scene on the night of Nov. 11, 1974, that inspired The Amityville Horror.

A dinner table set up for 14 unsuspecting guests in 1946.

The childlike scrawl which reads, “For heavens sake catch me before I kill more. I cannot control myself,” written by the Lipstick Killer in 1946.

Four unidentified flying objects glowing in the sky at 9:35 a.m. on July 15, 1952, in Salem, Massachusetts.

A lone scientist descending into the radioactive darkness of Chernobyl in 1986.

The medium Eva C. forcing a luminous apparition between her hands on May 17, 1912.

A ghostly apparition caught on film during a wake, circa 1920.

A salesman’s collection of glass eyes, circa 1900.

The dripping doll heads of a toy factory, circa 1900.

And this woman who decided she’d prefer to be a doll herself in 1865.

A pair of entertainers unpacking their “dummy” friend in 1925.

A patient undergoing experimental electrical stimulation in 1856.

This macabre scene of a mortician haunted by his day job in 1910.

This farmer with the brilliant idea of dressing his scarecrow as a skeleton in 1937.

A visit from the angel of death in 1863.

And a bit of casual company, circa 1910.

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