The picture is from 1900, and it is girls who worked in a linen mill in Belfast.
They are in their work uniforms, and it’s fun to see that they look like girls we could know today. We can tell which one is the fun, mischievous one, and which one looks like she would be a true-blue friend.
But wait, what’s that on the shoulder of the girl who looks like our favorite auntie? Argh! It’s a severed hand!
Or is it? Let’s take a closer look. It sure does look like a disembodied hand, the fingers curling in a creepy embrace.
Could it be an early version of photo editing? Could it be that one of the girls moved in the time it took to get the film exposure? Or could there be a ghost of a dead person haunting these young women?
We will never know, but the question might make it a little harder to fall asleep tonight.
It’s not hard to imagine that bad things happened in a Belfast linen mill at the turn of the century, even that there could have been a fatal workplace accident. Could the spirit of a fellow worker have stayed with her girlfriends even after death? If it means anything, the girls don’t look haunted at all, they look playful and even happy.
Fun fact: according to a commenter on the Daily Mail coverage of this photo, the girls are barefoot because the floors of the mills were wet, and being barefoot helped keep them from slipping, and saved their shoes from being ruined. Prioritizing footwear?
We knew we had something in common with these girls.
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