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These Ornate Coffin Screws Were Staples Of Pre-Victorian Death Culture

OCTOBER 29, 2015  —  By Mike Cahill  
Mike Cahill

Mike Cahill

Mike is ViralNova's resident Editor of the Weird. If it makes you say "OMG! That's terrible!!!" then Mike probably wrote it. Despite the subject of his articles Mike is surprisingly well adjusted. When he's not writing, he's making music, performing, and producing podcasts.

We all know that people had a far different relationship with death in Victorian times than we do today. However, this Victorian appreciation for death was really an outgrowth of a greater death-acceptance movement that took hold in the late 1700s.

Eighteenth-century Romantics referred to the movement as the "Beautification of Death." Something that made its way into Victorian death culture after that movement ended was the use of decorative coffin screws.

They looked a little something like this.

While these screws served a practical purpose, the use of them became a ritual for Victorian-era families.

According to some, relatives of the deceased sealed their relatives' coffin lids, not the undertaker.

They used this time to say their final goodbyes.

Today, coffin screws have fallen out of fashion, but you can still find them (and other Victorian death accessories) for sale online.

(source: Cult Of Weird)

I find it amazing that Victorian people successfully turned death into something so ritualistic and beautiful. Maybe we should bring these back.