FREAKS- A WHOLE PAGE DEDICATED TO FREAKS, WEIRDOS AND ODDBALLS.
AFRICAN WIDE LIPPED WOMEN
these freaks are known around the world. the reason they look like this is because they put clay plates in their lips. originally done to make them unattractive to slave owners, it is now a sign of beauty. to do this, they first knock out four of their teeth, make an incision and start with a plate about the size of a quarter and keep adding bigger ones.
JOJO THE DOG FACED BOY
jojo the dog faced boy was actually a british nobleman, but on stage he was forced to act like an animal. he suffered from hypertrycosis, also called werewolf syndrome. it causes hair to cover the victims body and sometimes causes teeth to become pointed fangs, just like jojos. there are a few modern people with this disease, two in a mexican circus and one in a japanese rock band. the mexican victims are called the wolf brothers and the japanese one is known as king kong.
THE AMAZING HALF BOY
johnny eck was born in baltimore on august 27, 1911. he was a victim of sachral agenisis, which causes the victims lower body to be deformed or missing. he had a twin brother, so it is jokingly said to be the first case of prenatal cannibalism. he learned to walk on his hands and was able to lead a normal life outside the circus. when not in the circus, he ran an orchestra with his twin brother, robert. he also stared in the movie "freaks" along with grady stilles and prince randian. his career started when he was thirteen, with robert as his manager. he was known as "the king of freaks". he soon retired and got a house in baltimore. after a robbery, he became a recluse. the robbery took away his faith in people and gave him his famous catchphrase, "if i want to see freaks, i'll just look out the window". he died on january 5, 1991 at age 80.
LIONEL THE LION FACED MAN
lionel the lion faced man suffered from the same disease as jojo the dog faced boy. the only difference is on stage, lionel acted like a gentleman instead of an animal like jojo
THE MULE FACED WOMAN
grace mcdaniels was called the mule faced woman. she eventually was married and had a son. her son had a normal face, but was an alchoholic embezzler.
these bizzare things were called "pickled punks". they were basically stillborn babies in jars. these freakshow attractions are very popular at the annual tennessee valley fair.
grady stiles, also called lobster boy, suffered from ectrodactylly. ectrodactylly causes fingers and toes to fuse into claws. grady was a popular sideshow attraction and stared in a film called "freaks". sadly, he was murdered in 1992.
THE TWO HEADED MEXICAN
pasqual pinon worked on a railroad until he was discovered by a sideshow promoter, who was fascinated at the gigantic tumor on pasquals head. he decided to hire him and add him to his show. the face on his "second head" was actually a silver plate that was molded into a realistic face and surgically inserted under his skin to turn his tumor into a convincing second head. on stage he would sometimes show the connective tissue holding the tumor to his head and told his audience that it was the neck of his second head. when asked why it couldn't move and always had the same expression, he said that it could move until he suffered a stroke at age twenty. his career only lasted two years, after that he began to go insane because the silver plate was crushing his brain. to save his life, his manager paid a doctor to remove the plate and the tumor. after his tumor was removed, he went back to work on the railroad. there have been several actual cases of two headed people, but almost all of them die after birth or early in life. the most famous is the two headed boy of india, who had a second head growing from his skull. ironically, the two headed boys early death wasn't from his second head, he died of a snake bite. recently, scientists found the flaw in pasquals "second head". if it really was a second head, it would be upside-down because of an incomplete craniopagus twin.
alligator man was one of the most disturbing freaks of all time. he was born with ichthyosis, which keeps his skin from creating lipids to lubricate his skin, which caused his skin to resemble alligator skin. his skin wasn't his only similarity to reptiles, he shed his skin every spring and fall like a snake or lizard, and his upper eyelids couldn't move, so he blinked with lower eyelids like a lizard. also, his heart and lungs were four inches lower than normal peoples. doctors examined his internal organs and found that they weren't effected by ichthyosis. his real name was emmit bejano. he eventually married and eloped with fellow circus performer percilla lauther, also known as "percilla the monkey girl" because she was born with a thick coat of hair and a beard. emmit and percilla were known as the world's weirdest married couple.
edward mordake's birth and life have been lost for years. it was said he was the heir to a nobleman in england. according to the sideshow, he was born with a second face on the back of his head, but it may have been surgically done like pasqual pinnon's second head. he said that his second face could move its eyes and mouth. he called it his "evil twin" because, according to him, it laughed when he cried about having two faces and it kept him up at night with its evil wispering. he eventually commited suicide, but several ways have been said. some say he poisoned himself, while others say he shot himself right between the eyes of his second face.
THE TWO FACED MAN
sam alaxander was born perfectly normal, but a gasoline explosion changed all of that. he saved his eyes by blocking the flames with his arm, but the lower half of his face was horribly disfigured. the wounds on his face soon festered and became infected, so doctors had to remove the lower part of his face and his lips, practically to the bone. he was left with a permanent and disturbing skeleton-like grimace. he was put in a halfway house after he healed. to appear normal, a mask was made of his former face, but it wasn't very convincing. he soon found an ad looking for sideshow performers. he went to the sideshow and removed his mask. the manager was so horrified with his appearance that he hired him on the spot. his act was so successful, that he became the number one best performer in his show.
THE AMAZING QUARTER MAN
dick hillburn was born in bladenborough, north carolina on january 15, 1918. he was born with one arm and no legs. despite having an incomplete body, he was surprisingly optomistic. he got around on a skateboard, and he developed above average physical strength in his one arm. his best quality was his artistic skill. he painted signs, banners, and even tattoos. he was a business genius and showed himself off to make money. his showbiz career lasted until the day he died.
THE ELEPHANT SKINNED MAN
ralph krooner was born in montpillier, vermont in 1888. he was born with skin like elephant skin. according to an old belief, whatever a women experiences during pregnancy can effect the baby. he said his mother was frightened by a stampede of elephants at the circus. his skin deformity was not icthyosis, which is what most other strange skinned people had. the person with the closest deformity to his is dede koswara, the tree-man. his deformity was most likely HPV.
SEALO THE SEAL BOY
stanley berent was born to a polish catholic family in pitsburgh on november 24, 1899. he was born with a condition called phocomelia, which literally means "seal arms", he was born without arms, but had hands growing from his shoulders. his act consisted of ordinary tasks like sawing a board, shaving, and signing autographs. in addition to his deformed arms, he had trouble getting on and off the stage, so he would spend hours onstage selling pitch cards. his partner onstage was a chimp. his career almost ended when a group of politically correct reformers tried to shut down the show for putting freaks on display. he faught against them and had the law overturned. he died in 1980 in a catholic hospital.
THE THREE LEGGED MAN
george lippert was born in bavaria around 1842. he had a normal family, except for him. he had two right legs and two hearts. the foot on his extra leg was deformed and had only three toes. george lippert, like francessco lentini, jean libbera, and myrtle corbin, had a parasitic twin. he used his extra leg for walking until he was sixteen, but it wasn't built to be used for walking. eventually, the muscles in his extra leg atrophied and it was nothing but a lifeless mass of skin and bone. he clamed that the reason why he didn't use his extra leg was because he broke it in a train accident, making it useless. both of his hearts worked. he started his sideshow career at age 33. he was paid a large amount, but spent almost every cent of it. when he retired to salem, he had only 25 cents left. he complained that fancessco lentini, the human tripod, had stolen his act because lentini was also born with three legs, he also had an extra foot growing from the ankle of his extra leg and, unlike lippert, his extra leg worked. he died in 1904 from a cold that became tuberculosis. his right heart stopped and he died two weeks later. ironically, his left heart was working perfectly. doctors say he could have lived for several more years if he didn't have tuberculosis.
THE CRAWFISH BOY
hugh bailey was born in louisiana around 1936. he had a condition called osteogenisis imperfecta, or OI, also called brittle bone disease. it causes bone to be weak, fragile, or sometimes twisted. his arms were twisted and his feet were even twisted backwards. he was thought to have dwarfism because of his size. instead of walking, he moved by crawling like a crab or a lobster. a few of his stage names were "pretzel boy" and "crawfish boy". it is unknown if he is still alive.
roy bard was born around 1885. he was born normal, but soon developed a condition called fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, or FOP, after he fell off a bicycle. FOP causes sufferers to become ossified, they're muscles become bone and they're bones fuse together until they are unable to move. he was eventually completely ossified, but could still move his lips, which he used to sign autographs. he was with Ripleys Believe it or Not, then with the wortham shows during the 1930s. roy was one of the few ossified people who decided to make the best of his deformity.
zebra people were a famous sideshow act. their skin was half black and half white. people with half black half white skin are called piebald. the piebald skin mutation is fairly common in some snakes, but is very rare in humans. there have even been cases of people with black and white skin on different halves of their bodies, and one person had black and white skin in a checker board pattern. the most extreme case of a piebald mutation, a baby was born half-black, half-white, half-boy, and half-girl, it was born with black skin on the left side of its body and both male and female reproductive organs. of course, being half-boy and half girl had nothing to do with its piebald skin. most people think piebald skin is a form of albinism, but it is actually a seperate mutation. piebald skin can occur in every skin color and tone. another disease that can cause piebald skin is called vitligo. it only affects black people and causes their pigment cells to disappear, turning their skin white over time.
THE HUMAN OWL
martin joseph laurello was born in nurembueg, germany. he could dislocate his cervical vertibrae and turn his head completely backwards. his real name was martin emmerling. he performed for dreamland circus, ringling brothers, and ripleys believe it or not. he first appeared in america in 1921, and his last recorded performance was in 1945. he was rumored to be a nazi sympathizer. he retired early and died some time during the 1950s.
THE KUNG FU WEREWOLF
tai djin was born in china in 1849. like jojo the dog faced boy and lionel the lion faced man, he had hypertricosis. his family was very superstitious. when they saw his mutation, they thought it was the work of demons and left him in the forest to die. he was found by a xiaolin monk and was trained in kung fu. he was actually the first person, normal or abnormal to master all seven styles of xiaolin.he soon became known as su kong tai djin, which means " grand master tai djin". he even mastered chi ma, also called the death touch. he died in 1928 after a long career of demonstrating his kung fu skill and teaching other kung fu students.
the legless girl was one of the best known of all freaks. she was also featured in the mutter museum. her name and life are unknown. like several other performers, she often performed completely naked. several legless people came before and after her.
THE ANATOMICAL WONDER
edward anato hayes was a weak and frail child. his chest and abdomin were extremely underformed. he eventually developed an easy exercise routine, which relyed on manipulating various parts of his body in unusual ways. one of his exercises was deep breathing, one lung at a time. he soon learned that he could displace his organs and abdominal muscles and could touch his backbone with his stomach. there is a living man who can displace his abdomin like anato hayes, a body modification expert nicknamed "fakir musafar". normally, the title of anotomical wonder belongs to someone who amazes crowds by piercing their bodies with sharp objects or driving nails into their noses, but anato hayes was able to earn that title with physical talent. his date of birth and death are unknown.
RUBBER FACED MAN
THE HUMAN TORSO
prince randian was one of the most famous freaks in all of brooklyn, new york. a few of his stage names were the caterpillar man, the armless and legless man, the human torso, and the human worm. other than him being born without limbs, very little is known about his life, even his real name was unknown. a few of his so-called "tricks" were rolling a cigarette, writing with a pencil, painting a wooden box, and shaving. all of his tricks were done using his lips. he claimed that the wooden box that he kept his cigarettes and other assorted things in was built and painted by him. he stared in a film called "freaks" along with gradey stiles the lobster boy. in the film, he was shown rolling a cigarette. he spoke english, german, and french. he had a wife named "princess sarah", four sons, and a daughter. he died in 1934 at age 63. after his death, several limbless people were added to the sideshow trade, some completely missing arms and legs, unlike randian, who stil had shoulders and hips.
THE HUMAN WINDOW PANE
ivvanow orloff was one of the most unusual freaks. he was perfectly normal until he turned fourteen. he noticed that he could no longer move and was always in excrutiating pain. by early adulthood, he was nothing more than a living skeleton. for years people thought he was an ossified man, someone whose bones fuse together and whose muscles become bone when damaged or bruised, eventually being paralyzed or "turned to stone", but actually it was the opposite, his bones became more rubbery and twisted uncontrollably. he was called "the transparent man" and "the human window pane" because his skin had become so thin that if you held a light to his skin, you could see his blood running through his veins and if you put a bright flashlight on his back, you could see it on his chest. to embellish his title, his promoters said that you could read a newspaper through his skin. his tendency to pass himself off as a medical oddity allowed him to travel all over the world. in most of his pitch cards he was smoking an opium pipe because early on in his life, he started smoking a pipe and decided to make it his trademark. orloff died in 1904.
THE DOUBLE BODIED MAN
jean libbera was called the double bodied man because he had an almost perfectly formed parasitic twin growing from his diaphragm. his parasitic twin was named jacques. he was born in rome and had twelve siblings. one of his siblings also had a parasitic twin, but didnt survive. there have been several famous freaks with parasitic twins. a few of them are lalloo, piramal and sami, betty williams, francisco lentinni the human tripod, manar majed the two headed girl, and most recently, lakshmi tatma, a.k.a "the girl with eight limbs". freaks with parasitic twins are in some ways an extreme form of siamese twins, only a lot more rare. the difference between parasitic and siamese twins is basically how many twins survive. with siamese twins, both twins survive. with parasitic twins, only one twin survives and absorbs the other twin.
bill durks was one of the most unusual of all freaks. he was called "the man with three eyes and two noses" and "the two-faced man". he actually didnt have three eyes, he really only had one eye, his other eye was damaged when he was born. his only real abnormality was one of the worst cases of a cleft palate ever seen. he painted his third eye between both halves of his nose to look more disturbing. he had a fairly lengthy sideshow career. as a kid his parents were ashamed of his looks and hid him from people, but the sideshow put him on display for people to see. he soon married another sideshow performer named "mildred the alligator girl" and they became one of the worlds weirdest married couples.
joseph merrick was one of the worlds most famous freaks. he got the name "elephant man" from his skin, which was grey and lumpy like elephant skin. he suffered from a variety of medical problems. two of them were proteus, which caused his head, side, and right hand to grow and become disfigured, and scoliosis, which causes an irregular curve in his spine and resulted in a hunched spine. for years, people thought he had elephantiasis, but was later diagnosed with proteus. because of his fame in the circus, a documentary was made about his life and became one of the most popular films of its time.
dede koswara was perfectly normal for most of his life, but soon developed large warts that grew to resemble tree bark, branches, and roots. because of the growths on his hands, he is unable to work and lost custody of his two kids. he lives with his brother-in-law and is cared for by his entire family. he makes money by performing in a traveling sideshow. a few years ago, he was diagnosed with hpv and discovered his immune system was almost non-existant. he has had multiple surgeries to remove the warts and growths from his hands, feet, and face.
ella harper was called the camel woman because her knees bent backwards. she suffered from a defect so rare it doesnt have a name. she could walk normally, but prefered to walk on her hands and feet. she hoped that she could get a career outside the circus. her circus career lasted four years until she decided to go back to school.
oofty goofty was called the wild man of borneo. his real name, background, and death are unknown. on stage, he would cover himself in tar and hair and act like an animal. he got his name from how he would yell "oofty goofty" before he was fed raw meat on stage. his career only lasted a week. after a week, the tar filled his pores and couldn't be removed. after he was treated with tar solvent, he got in a bar fight in a pub in san francisco. he was thrown through a window and discovered that he didn't feel any pain. he then made a career of allowing people to hit him with either a baseball bat, a golf club, or a pool cue for 50 cents. his career as a human tackle dummy ended when famous boxer john l. sullivan hit him with a bat and broke two of his vertebrae. he walked with a limp for the rest of his life and died a few years later.
more freaks will be added soon. if you have any pictures of famous freaks, send them to this website.