Top ten weird entertainment in Victorian England

How did the English entertain themselves before the invention of radio, television and smartphones? If you think that all what they did was reading and communication, then you are wrong. The fantasy of those who lived in Victorian England was not limited by that. Introducing the top 10 strange entertainment of that time.

10. Hunting for fern. In the XIX century, gardening or herb collection was considered trendy in England. Exotic plants were grown in greenhouses, gardens were filled with flowers. By 1855, the Victorian society was overcome by the endemic interest in collecting and cultivating fern. Hunting for fern was considered exciting and dangerous, and was in fashion until the beginning of the XX century.

9. The Shadow Theater. In 1887, Henri Riviere created the Theater d'Ombres in the famous district of Paris - Montmartre. People loved such shows. The theater of shadows is a usual play using a cloth, a flashlight and objects of different shapes.

8. Fortune-telling. Fortune-telling on tea leaves, reading the palm and a good old crystal ball - all these was used by Victorians to look into the future. Mostly the young maidens entertained themselves this way, who wanted to learn something about future husbands so much. Also, dice, apples, nuts, mirrors, candles and wax, playing cards, seeds, coins, fruit cakes, warts and dead people were used for fortune-telling.

7. Taxidermy. Taxidermy is a very specific activity, but people liked it. Of course, most liked to deal not so much with the creation of stuffed animals, but as with collection of them.

6. Pornography. Pornography appeared almost at the same time when camera. In the XIX century, literature and photographs of erotic content could be bought only clandestinely. Books on this topic were over-saturated with the description of a variety of orgies, scenes from BDSM, taking place in some pretty decent places - for example, in a girls' school.

5. Cabinet of Curiosities. Many rich people of that time collected strange objects: such as animal and human bones, heads in cans, antique weapons and much more. As a result, exhibitions of such unusual and strange things were created, which people liked very much.

4. Hypnosis sessions. In those days, people were very fond of mysticism and often arranged hypnosis sessions. Hypnotists who performed on the streets, basically compelled the subjects that they did not feel pain and pierced the forearms with the surgical needles to the delight of the audience. Passersby were readily volunteered to participate in such performances to entertain friends.

3. Mourning. In the Victorian times, the British, with pleasure mourned the dead and held funeral ceremonies. At the same time, the tradition of photographing with the dead was widespread. For such events, special clothes, jewelries and even cookies were produced.

2. "Unwrapping" the mummy. In those days, there was a lot of excavation in Egypt, so there were themed entertainments in Britain - "unwrapping" mummies. Usually, citizens attended lectures and exhibitions, where self-proclaimed experts conducted analysis of mummies purchased at auctions. Travelers who came from Egypt, also sometimes brought mummies with them, but did not give them to the auction, and "unwrapped" in the family circle, so to say.

1. Spiritual seances. Love for the mystic reflected in the spiritualistic sessions, during which the English tried to contact their deceased relatives. Mediums were mostly women. It was believed that they are more sensitive, and therefore they better suited for communication with the other world. But as soon as mystical services became generously paid, the number of fraudsters increased.

Read other news here

top weird entertainment Victorian_England
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
44591 views in october
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

A village famous for its new year tradition of men prancing around with flaming barrels of tar on their heads has added another unusual string to its bow, by becoming home to a museum of science fiction props - which has opened in the cellar of the curator's house. Adventures in Science Fiction is the latest historical depository to join the 2,500 museums already in the UK. And with so many to choose from, there must be a museum to please pretty much every...
An “influential" black firefighter from London who experienced racial abuse at work today calls for others  to “step up and champion equality” as he retires after nearly 30 years.  Michael Nicholas MBE, who this week retired from London Fire Brigade, campaigned for equal rights in the workforce after experiencing “widespread” racism during his career. Hailing Mr Nicholas as the “UK’s most influential black firefighter” in a statement following his retireme...
Would you trust a taxi with no driver? Taxi firm Addison Lee is betting its customers will be ready to, in London at least, in just three years' time. It has joined forces with self-driving software specialist Oxbotica, and says the tie-up means it will offer self-driving taxis in the capital by 2021. The move will pit it against rival ride-hailing app Uber, which is also planning to roll out driverless cars on its network in the future, pending regulatory...
A senior US military commander has called on the UK to take back Islamic State fighters who have been "caught on the battlefield" in Syria. Maj Gen Patrick Roberson, commander of US special ops, also called on the government to repatriate two Londoners who have been called the "IS Beatles". The UK says El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey have been stripped of their British citizenship. The government is negotiating for them to face trial in the US. Speak...
A woman has died in a suspected gas explosion in north-west London. Her body was found in a first-floor flat destroyed in the blast in Fulbeck Way, Harrow, just before 01:00 BST Sunday. Another woman, a man and a baby were rescued from a second-floor flat, with the woman and child taken to hospital. About 70 firefighters tackled the flames and 40 neighbours were evacuated from their homes. The Met is investigating. The victim, believed to be in her 80s, ha...
About 13 million adults in the UK live in areas where at least half of the local banks and building societies have closed, analysis by the BBC reveals. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show nearly 6,000 local branches have shut since 2010, a fall of a third. The consumer group Which? called the number of closures "alarming". Trade association UK Finance said closing a branch was a last resort when usage falls. Banks and building societ...
A ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars should be brought forward by eight years to 2032, MPs have said. The government's current plans to ensure all new cars are "effectively zero emission" by 2040 were "vague and unambitious", a report by Parliament's business select committee said. It also criticised cuts to subsidies and the lack of charging points. The government said it aimed to make the UK "the best place in the world" to own an electric vehicl...
London area home sales fell 15.9 per cent in September from August because of a shortage of homes to sell, and that shortage of inventory helped push up prices by 20 per cent from a year ago, the head of the London St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR) said. In September, LSTAR reported 776 homes changed hands in London and St. Thomas, compared to a near-record August, when 923 homes were sold. By the numbers Homes sold in September: 776 (a drop of 6....
Radical preacher Anjem Choudary, jailed for inviting support for the Islamic State group, has been released. The cleric was sentenced in 2016 to five-and-a-half years in prison. He led an extremist network linked to violent jihadists, including one of the killers of soldier Lee Rigby in 2013. Choudary, 51, has now served half of his sentence and will complete the rest under strict supervision. Police are preparing up to 25 measures to control him, the BBC...