Creepy Vintage Photographs From the Early 20th Century Will Make Your Skin CrawlIn this collection, creepy vintage photographs show anything from the primitive Halloween costumes of the past to Victorian-era portraits where something doesn’t feel quite right.

Perhaps it’s grainy black and white, sometimes sepia feel to them. Or maybe because they’re often torn, crumpled, and look damaged. Or it’s because we know the people in those old-timey photographs are long dead?

In the abstract the feeling of “creepiness” is subjective: for example, some dolls have been described as creepy The adjective “creepy”, referring to a feeling of creeping in the flesh, was first used in 1831, but it was Charles Dickens who coined and popularized the term “the creeps” in his 1849 novel David Copperfield

The state of creepiness has been associated with “feeling scared, nervous, anxious or worried”, “awkward or uncomfortable”, “vulnerable or violated” in a study conducted by Watt. This state arises in the presence of a creepy element, which can be an individual or an object. 

Adam Kotsko has compared the modern conception of creepiness to the Freudian concept of unheimlich. The term has also been used to describe paranormal or supernatural phenomena.

Vintage Halloween costume snapshot.

Nurse feeds a patient while Jesus watches. Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada, c. 1920s.

Creepy doll sitting alone in a child’s chair, 1930.

Bear terrifies small child.

Two girls in Halloween masks on a porch.

Little boy sits in a wagon. 1968.

Farmers in homemade Halloween costumes.

A group of ghostly people.

Moldy baby picture.

Blackface Halloween costume.

Grandma and grandpa pose with a light leak.

Tiny old woman sits on her rocking chair on the porch.

Four ghostly women posing in front of a house.

Woman in plaid dress stares at the camera.

Tin type portrait of an intense young boy.

Tin type portrait of an intense young girl.

Eyeless woman and child wearing a hat.

Ghostly mother and baby.

Startled woman on Christmas night.

Screaming woman tied to a tree.

Baby with hidden father (or maybe mother).

Two girls pose with a creepy Santa.

Creepy little boy holds his cat in front of a mirror, 1910.

Woman poses with a creepy doll.

Creepy family singing in the parlor.

Sad little girl holds hands with her scratched-out sister, Lincoln, Illinois.

Large group of cross-dressing party-goers.

Woman lying in bed with smallpox.

Creepy girl with long hair.

Blurry-faced girl with her doll and stuffed bear

Man stands next to another person wearing a creepy mask.

Little girl reading a book in a burned-out forest.

Little girl examining a large doll on Christmas.

Little girl pushing a stroller in a foggy forest.

Creepy woman crawling off the couch.

Doll stands by itself on a chair in the sunlight, 1934.

Santa Claus visiting a woman, 1958.

(Photo credit: Pinterest / Flickr).