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Bizarre practices that existed in the Victorian era

Even though the world has changed immensely, one thing remains the same that some people still do messed up things. During the rule of Queen Victoria, the world seemed as if it was all modern and civilized. No! Here are some weird practices that were followed in the Victorian era

Chimney Sweeps

Children beginning at the of 4 were used as human chimney sweeps for almost 200 years in England. The fireplaces’ chimney was built in a way that they had to be narrow so it was necessary to ensure that they were devoid of any obstruction. A young boy was traditionally purchased from it’s poor family only to be enslaved to perform the task of cleaning the chimney. They were made to crawl between the 18 inch wide chimney These children rarely survived past middle ages. Due to the hard toxins that were exposed to them, an industrial cancer called the ‘Chimney Sweep Cancer’ was soon found among many which was quite painful and fatal.

Death Portraits

Victorians were obsessed with death, as weird as it sounds considering the diseases that were prevalent at the time it somewhat makes sense. Photographs were a new technology at the time so people only considered to get photographed only when they were struck with some tragedy and wanted to immortalize their loved ones. After a family member’s death, people would stage the deceased in photographs along with others. They would place them in life-like positions to be clicked

Unwanted Wives

The condition of women was terrible during the Victorian era. There was no way to leave a spouse during a marital disagreement. As a result selling wives became common to get out of marriages. The husband tied a rope around his wife’s neck like a leash. It’s like selling something unwanted on eBay instead it’s your wife. This practice was prevalent until the Matrimonial Act of 1857.

These are some of the many practices that existed in the Victorian era which would shake your belief in humanity. Stay tuned for more…


  • Saumyaa Bisht

    I love to read about unsettling and dark things/concepts/rituals that people usually like to ignore and I’m extremely fond of literature and movies.

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