Friday, September 16, 2011

Nicolas Cage is a Vampire!

That's the latest rumor, albeit a tongue-n-cheek one, that the owner of this photograph has started with this Ebay auction.

He says the following:

Original c.1870 carte de visite showing a man who looks exactly like Nick Cage. Personally, I believe it's him and that he is some sort of walking undead / vampire, et cetera, who quickens / reinvents himself once every 75 years or so. 150 years from now, he might be a politician, the leader of a cult, or a talk show host.

This is not a trick photo of any kind and has not been manipulated in Photoshop or any other graphics program. It's an original photo of a man who lived in Bristol, TN sometime around the Civil War.

I've had a lot of questions asking where I purchased this. As followers of my website know, I collect antique memorial photography - images of dead people - from the 1800s. This photo was found in the very back of album that contained an unusual number of Civil War era death portraits (which is why I purchased it). All of the other people in the album, living and dead, were identified by name - this man was not.

Photographer is Professor G.B. Smith. A contact of mine forwarded this interesting article (link) about the photographer, Smith. Turns out he was a confederate Civil War prisoner of war photographer.

Guaranteed to be an original 1860s-70s photograph and not a modern reproduction, copy or photo manipulation.

4" x 2.5".

He's asking one million dollars for the photograph, but you'll be happy to know that he'll accept the best offer he can get. He so far has declined 106 offers!

No, he probably won't even get a thousand for it, but you'd be surprised what some of his old photos sell for. He specializes in, get this, post mortem photographs before 1950. It seems that people used to dress up the dead in strange ways before first photographing them and then burrying them. Here's one that sold for $1,275.00 on Ebay:

Many of the 1,500 or so photos in his collection are from the 19th century and feature young children. People think we're living in strange days now, but believe me, humans have always been strange. Here are a few examples:


  1. He IS a vampire! Uncanny!

    People always took death photos, even in my grandmother's small town when I was a kid (no, it's not THAT ancient either) I remember them taking photos of my great grandmother in her casket and I think my grandfather too.

  2. It's odd, but for years and years I remembered being at the funeral of my paternal grandfather when I was a very little boy. I was in front of his casket, and my dad was standing behind me with his hands on my shoulders. Grandpa's casket was white and he was wearing a dark suit. He had a mustache and looked to be around 60 years old.

    I mentioned my memory of having been at the funeral to my parents one day, and they told me I couldn't have been there because he died a couple of years before I was born. They showed me a photograph they had of grandpa in his casket though and said that I must have remembered seeing the photo and somehow got it mixed-up with having been there in reality. The photo does look exactly as I remembered being there, but the memory is so real and so vivid that it's always been a puzzle to me how I could not have been there.

  3. I know what you mean! I described the house and street, which was an odd configuration, that my grandmother (Dad's) lived on, and it was in Denmark, where I have never been. My dad said that was exactly what it looked like. There could not have been any coincidence due to the strange layout of the street. Maybe I saw a photo? Maybe not? They didn't really keep much of anything when they came over here. Strange things happen. You've seen some strange things in your past too.

  4. I've often wondered if there might be something to this notion of memories being passed down genetically. I mean, I think there may be people who simply have a gift of being able to see the world in odd ways, but I think some of us may be experiencing genetic memories as well. Who knows--