Is the man in this picture dead or alive? It’s not a silly question. In the early days of photography, dead bodies would be photographed for posterity. Often this would be the only picture ever taken of the person. Sometimes the bodies were posed as if they were alive.
There’s something just unspeakably creepy about this fireman. At first glance, he looks like a normal, awkwardly-posed guy from the 19th century. But upon closer inspection, you notice a few tell-tale signs: a rigid pose and fingers, a stand not quite completely hidden behind his feet, which is holding him up by some unseen armature on his back, liberal amounts of rouge applied to too-white cheeks, and those blank, blank eyes.
This picture is available on eBay. See more possibly post-mortem posed portraits at mental_floss. http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/32946