What is it about "old timey photos" that we find so unnerving? Is it the subconscious understanding that the people captured in these snapshots are from a time gone by and are thus quite expired now? Do the blurry, sometimes overexposed faces create an uncanny valley effect? Is it the fact that, in many cases, the subjects do not smile - a phenomenon that has a simple explanation, but is no less uncomfortable, especially in the colorless, washed-out landscape of these creepy old photos? Do the light distortions and fuzzy backgrounds too closely resemble ghosts and other paranormal entities?
Whatever the root cause, this collection of creepy vintage pictures, culled from the Flickr archive curated by simpleinsomnia, will have you teeming with discomfort. While the "creep factor" surrounding some of these images is obvious - clowns, dolls, and masks come preloaded with their own phobias - overall, you won't quite know why these pictures upset you as much as they do.