1. Photoshoot with the deceased
Back then, photography was a novelty, only a decade into being, and fascinated the people of the time. While they took any reason to be photographed, the pictures immortalizing the dead served more than one purpose. In the Victorian era, it was hard to travel around and it was very hard for them to attend the funerals of the family that was not around.
Thus the portraits with the deceased served as a record for the ones that could not attend the funerals, but also as the last memory of them. The most common ones are the ones with children and young adults that met their demise too soon which could not have had a previous chance of having their portraits taken.
Despite this, the practice is still weird when you think about the fact that the photo sessions most often involved posing the body with props and arranging it in different positions. So soon after the person departed too so the picture would not look too out of place.
2. “Freak” Shows
Before the circus became a thing, the Victorians had what was called Freak shows and people had an absolute blast going to them. They featured exotic animals and people with deformities or rare conditions, such as gigantism or nanism, and they were paraded around for others to watch and laugh at them.
The practice was so popular it was widespread around Europe around that time and it got to the United States as well! Eventually, it became just part of the circus, but at its peak, the people exploiting the less fortunate made a lot of money off the people with disabilities.
3. Black Fashion
The era is often described as having a weird fascination with death and being extremely morbid. While not untrue, the prevalence of the color black in their everyday outfits is not because of that, but rather due to industrialization and a bit due to not wanting to wash their clothes
The countryside was spared of this, but in the cities or anywhere around the plants the soot was everywhere. In London, if you wore anything in a lighter hue and went to take a short walk around the neighborhood, you would come back home with your clothes in various shades of gray because of the coal dust. Black clothes meant fewer washes and not looking like you just rolled in ashes.