The Terrifying Stereoscopic Postcards used to “Educate” Children at the beginning of the 20th century2 min read
What child doesn’t dread the unseen monsters potentially lurking under the bed, or stalking around the shadows outside the window?
These stereoscopic postcards knew the peak of success during the first half of the 20th century, but they were used until the 70s and 80s. At the beginning of the 1900s the postcards were not limited to portraying monuments and landscapes, but also strange and particular things. Some of these postcards were used to teach notions to children but also to behave well.
For example, this story is titled “The Goblins Will Get You If You Do Not Watch Out” and it’s definitely disturbing: a series of monsters appear above and below the bed, making the child protagonist prey of the worst fears possible, until the macabre ending, the disappearance of the young girl herself.
If today it seems completely absurd, in those days the pedagogy had not yet been developed, and the result you wanted to get with your children was, often, only that they had a good behaviour. And the belief of boogeyman was quite widespread also in photographs.
In the first images the child is put to bed, and her face hides a naughty air.
After a series of cautions, the mother leaves her daughter alone, who sees a strange character appear behind the window….
…which of course does not exempt from ending up even under the bed.
Fortunately, the child is still asleep, unaware of what awaits her.
Below, the moment when she is awakened by the boogey man….
…that torments her from behind the bed:
The monster forces her to say prayers.
A fight with other monsters follows:
And finally, the child is taken away.
The mother does not seem so surprised by the discovery, perhaps she suspected that, due to the girl’s misconduct, sooner or later the boogey man would come to get her…