Once promoted as "freaks" at dime museums and circus sideshows they all showed up in a collection of more than a hundred late 19th-century photographs. We were curious: Who were the people who posed for these photos, and were their oddities staged, or were they real? Bogdan said that if there was only one thing true about every person who appeared in a sideshow, it's that they were packaged and puffed up to sell to the gawkers. Many did. But there was always a story to go with it. This was show business.
Top 10 Circus Freaks From History That Will Shock You
Who Were the Circus "Freaks"? | Antiques Roadshow | PBS
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Best known for their heartwarming roles in the film Freaks, where they starred in scenes alongside fellow famous pinhead Schlitzie, the Snow sisters were well-known staples of the World Circus Sideshow at Coney. The times and tribulations of The Elephant Man, Joseph Carey Merrick, have long been the subject of books, films and theatre. The true tale of Edward Mordake Mordrake has been lost to history. His unusual case occurred early in medical history and is referenced only in tales handed down. The tale of his life has become so muddled through the passage of time that no solid date of birth or death is evident to modern researchers.
A freak show is an exhibition of biological rarities, referred to in popular culture as "freaks of nature". Typical features would be physically unusual humans , such as those uncommonly large or small, those with intersex variations , those with extraordinary diseases and conditions, and others with performances expected to be shocking to viewers. Heavily tattooed or pierced people have sometimes been seen in freak shows, more common in modern times as a side show act as have attention-getting physical performers such as fire-eating and sword-swallowing acts. Deformities began to be treated as objects of interest and entertainment, and the crowds flocked to see them exhibited.