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23 Horrifying Old Photos That Will Keep You Awake At Night

Sleep tight! ;-)

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Horatio Gordon Robley and his collection of severed heads, 1895.

Public Domain / Via Wellcome Library, London

During the 19th century, Horatio Gordon Robley was a renowned collector of the macabre and the obscure, specializing in collecting "Mokomokai" — otherwise known as the preserved heads of New Zealand's Maori people.

A patient undergoing treatment for mental illness in 19th-century Germany.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

In this 1890 picture, a woman is shown standing in a narrow cell, her arms affixed to the wall in a crucifixion pose. Though seemingly inhumane, at the time it was seen as a reasonable treatment for those with mental illness in Germany.


These med school students and their study subject in 1901.

Public Domain

There's no trick photography in this one. This 1901 picture shows a group of medical students posing with their class assignment.

Adr. Evtikhiev the "Wolfman," 19th century. / Via Flickr: nlmhmd

Taken sometime between 1834-1892, this picture shows doctor Nikolaĭ Porfirʹevich's patient Adr. Evtikhiev, suffering from hypertrichosis, a condition resulting in excessive hair growth.


The faceless victim of an acid bath, circa 1905.

Hans Wild / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty

This staged photo was taken during a play at the Grand Guignol theater, a French theater that existed from 1897 to 1962 and specialized in horror.


The Grand Guignol theater was located in France. An earlier version of this post misstated its location.