Tuesday, October 30, 2018

How the Juniors Came Together

So this is a pretty horrifying picture! I found this macabre gem posted on the Facebook page, The Victorian Book of the Dead, with the following description: 1905 medical students dressed as ghosts, with a cadaver. As I've remarked before, there is a genre of disrespectful photographs of medical students playing pranks with cadavers.

That's all well and good, but if you know me, you know that when I find something that interests me, I NEED to find out all I can about it!  Thanks to a quick Google reverse image search, I found enough to appease me!  This isn't just a medical school class...it is the WHOLE Junior Class of Otterbein University, a small liberal arts college in Westerville, Ohio!

The photo is from the 1905 edition of Sibyl, the school's yearbook. And, this wasn't the only photo included from this particular event!  The three pictures below show the Juniors, dressed as ghosts, having some sort of party? ritual? with the anatomy class skeleton, a fellow they apparently call Pluto.  Images from the event are accompanied by a poem, The Wigwam by the Styx, penned by Henrietta Du Pre, the class president. College kids are known for doing some strange things, and having some cider with an anatomy skeleton while wrapped up in ghostly sheets seems pretty tame by today's standards...even though as most of you will know...anatomy skeletons from the time period were actual REAL HUMAN SKELETONS. This sort of brings to mind my blog post on WVU's female secret society, the Rejetos Jichancas, although those students never showed their faces on film!  Anyway, to read the poem for yourself, you can click on the individual pictures to enlarge, or you can go to the PDF version of the 1905 Sybil.  The entry starts on page 39.  Stay spooky, ya'll...just maybe not THIS spooky!


  1. Interesting photos, probaably some sort of secret society meetings in progress.