Morbid Souvenirs


Happy Halloween! 🎃

Veinity Fair is finally back! 👻 I missed you guys and I hope you’re ready for some more Victorian trivia and peculiar comics! 🖤

Let’s start just where we left off, with topics chosen by a few lucky winners of previous contests and auctions. Today’s comic was inspired by the winner of a local charity auction who took on the role of our early Victorian investigator. 🕵️‍♂️

The famous Scotland Yard was formed in 1829, but the Metropolitan Police was far from organized in its infancy. In the beginning, the MP was merely keeping watch on the streets and investigation procedures were just being formed, relying primarily on the so-called “story model” rather than the meticulous practices we’re used to today. Because of that, even crime scenes were often left unattended, with curious crowds peeking in and collecting ‘souvenirs’, as in the below example:

The Examiner 11.12.1831


“The landlord upon whose premises a murder is committed, is nowadays a made man. The place becomes a show—the neighbourhood as the scene of a fair, The barn in which Maria Martin was murdered by Corder, was sold in toothpicks: the hedge through which the body of Mr. Weare was dragged, was purchased by the inch. Bishop’s house bids fait to go off in tobacco-stoppers and snuffboxes; and the well will be drained—if one lady has not already finished it at a draught —at the rate of a guinea a quart. (…)”

Garrotting Panic

Crime, Everyday Life

Garrotting panics and hysterias appeared in a few major cities in the mid-19th century. A few creative merchants quickly saw profitable opportunities in the public’s fear…

Here’s a great article on one of such garroting panics: Today I Found Out.

Shopping for Arsenic

Everyday Life, Medicine

There were no regulations on buying and selling arsenic until 1851, and even then it could be relatively easy purchased by anyone who didn’t cause any suspicion. 

You can read more on arsenic and other poisons in The Secret Poisoner: The Victorian Age of Poisoning.

The Bell

Funerals, Medicine

Safety coffins designs were mostly created during the 18th and 19th centuries, when the fear of being buried alive was quite common, due to numerous epidemics and popular fiction.

This week’s comic was inspired by the first episode of Lore, “They Made a Tonic.”



Bloodletting used to be one of the most popular medical practices, as it was supposed to bring the balance between the four humors inside the human body and thus treat all ailments, from rashes to tuberculosis. Check out this SciShow video to see what role leeches played in the whole process.