The most famous circus freaks



Today we go to the circus to look at trained animals, clowns and dexterous athletes. But in fact earlier this institution was completely different. Here also surprised the audience, that’s only for this used quite different techniques. In particular, the owners of such institutions with might and main exploited human shortcomings, demonstrating various freaks. People went to see the Siamese twins, too thin and too full.

As a result, at one time a bearded lady could become not a pariah, but a celebrity. And the most famous circus freaks managed to make even a career and grow rich beyond the arena. Today such people cause sympathy, they are trying to treat them. Unfortunately, this was not always the case. And for freaks, the circus was often the only way to survive in a cruel world. About the most famous unusual people, who, unfortunately, were exposed to public fun and will be discussed. Millie and Cristina McCoy.

Siamese twins are not so rare. People are born, fused with bodies. They have common internal organs. Today, physicians conduct operations to separate unfortunate people, who are doomed to a minimum of discomfort, and maximum – to suffering. Sisters McCoy went to Barnum’s circus and toured like “Two-headed Nightingale.” And their story began on July 11, 1851, when unusual children appeared in the family of slaves in North Carolina. For the mother it was the eighth birth and nothing unusual was noted. Even before his first birthday, his sister sisters for six thousand dollars were sold to showman James Smith. He acquired the rest of the family by combining it. Parents were allowed to give Siamese twins education in various fields, including teaching singing and dancing. Smith fulfilled his promise. The sisters learned to sing beautifully and performed in the circus of Barnum. The career of the “Two-Headed Nightingale” lasted more than 30 years, during which time the sisters had accumulated a small amount of capital. Only the fire destroyed most of their property. Sister McCoy lived in poverty, dying of tuberculosis at the age of 61.


The most famous circus freaks

Francesco Lentini.

Strictly speaking, the man was also one of a pair of Siamese twins. But only his “brother”, tied to the common spine, consisted only of the genitals and legs. Francesco had 12 normal siblings, so that the appearance of such a child became a shock for the family. They say that the midwife who took delivery gave up the baby under the bed and ran out of the room in horror. Examined the same boy doctors said that the operation is too risky. I must say that Francesco’s parents tried to help him cope with the disability, seeing how he was teased. And when the boy got into children’s institutions, he realized that there are those who are even worse than him. Francesco decided for himself that one should not take offense at life. And when he grew up, he became a stand-up comic, telling that he always gets two pairs of shoes, not forgetting his one-legged friend. Lentini chose a circus career and for over 40 years toured with various troupes, including Barnum and Coney Island. Lentini was so respected that they called him “King”. Charming man, who had a great sense of humor, even married and got children. Percily Lautner.

This woman was born in Puerto Rico in 1911. Persilla suffered from hypertrichosis, known more as “werewolf syndrome”. This led to the fact that Lautner received an abnormal amount of hair and two rows of teeth. But in a family with five children it was the only pathology. Mother consulted with doctors, but they could not offer any effective treatment. After the death of her father Percila, she fell into a circus, where the evil organizers gave her the nickname “Monkey Girl”. The girl learned to sing and dance, she was educated. And during one of the tours she met Emmitt Bedjano, who suffered from ichthyosis. This disorder made his skin tight and scaly. Bejano also acted under the name of the “Crocodile Man.”In 1938, the couple married, remaining together until Emmitt’s death in 1995. The toasted spouses went down in history as the strangest husband and wife in the world. Persilla even got into Jerry Springer’s show, which she interviewed. At that time, in 1997, the woman was already shaved clean, getting rid of her vegetation. And Perilla died in 2001, at the age of 89 years.

The most famous circus freaks

James Morris.

A man was born in New York in 1859 with a strange syndrome of Ehlers-Danlos. It manifests itself in the extreme elasticity of the skin. With this disease, the synthesis of the protein that underlies the connective tissue is disrupted. As a result, not only does the skin become superelastic, so also the joints are super-mobile. James Morris for his abilities was nicknamed “Rubber Man”. The most popular trick is pulling the skin of the neck over your eyes. At first such a feature was used by James exclusively for the entertainment of friends, while still serving in the army, he earned himself fame. Turning to work in the circus of Barnum in 1885, Morris became a star there and earned up to $ 300 per week. With the troupe, Frick traveled all over North America and Europe. That’s only Morris addicted to alcohol and gambling and was forced to open his own hair salon in New York to meet his financial needs. It is worth noting that the disease, which entailed such amazing abilities, was painful. In those places that Morris constantly stretched, scars and scars formed.

The most famous circus freaks

Violetta.

Because of the Tetra-Amelia syndrome, Violet was born without arms and legs. But, despite this physical defect, the girl became quite bright. She herself combed her hair, stitched together things and could even without help thread the thread into the needle. In addition to the physical deficiencies of other harmful disorders, Violetta was not. It was said that she had a perfect body. The doctors who examined the girl called her torso perfect, without any scars. But her feelings worked better than the average person. In the circus, the girl was represented as “Hands-free Beauty” and “Armless Venus”. The girl was surprised that she could draw caricatures with the help of her lips and teeth. She rolled on a mat and restored her balance. And at the end of the show, the nurse, who was also an assistant, carried Violetta around the arena, allowing viewers to touch the actress, if they so desired, and to realize her reality. Some daring young people even tried to kiss Violetta. In that case, she fought back with a chin with such force that it could even cause tears in the offender.

The most famous circus freaks

Isaac W. Sprague.

Issak grew up as a normal child, but by the time he was twelve, he was rapidly losing weight. Later, through constant malnutrition, he tried to preserve the unusual shape of the body. Upon reaching the age of majority Isaac began to work in the circus of Barnum, portraying a human skeleton. And after the fire of the American Museum of Barnum, Sprague managed to end his life as a living exhibit. He married and even got three children. But because of financial problems, Sprague again joined Barnum. Isaac was often seen with a flask of milk on his neck, which he periodically sipped to remain conscious. The skeleton-man died in 1887 in total poverty, to which he was led by a passion for gambling. His body Isaac Sprague bequeathed to science, so that scientists found out the reasons for his thinness. With the growth of 168 centimeters this unique man weighed only about 18 kilograms.

The most famous circus freaks

Commodore Nutt.

George Washington Morrison Nutt was born in 1848 as a dwarf. At the age of 13, he already toured rural New England with a circus, and in 1862 began to act as an attraction in the American Museum of Barnum. Showman claimed that he paid Natta’s parents $ 30,000, promising to use the boy for 3-5 years, giving him a good education in return. Barnum immediately saw the showman in a smart and cheerful baby, who had already been formed.Natta was given a weekly salary of $ 12 with a subsequent increase. Barnum dissolved rumors that he got an extremely talented dwarf than attracted the interest of competitors. Nutt received the stage name Commodore. Specially for him was carefully sewn a strong wardrobe of sea uniforms. Even for his walks around the city a special wagon was built, allowing to see the upper part of the dwarf’s body. His trips to New York became part of an advertising campaign. In the XIX century dwarfs romanticized, they were perceived as children. This is what Barnum played – Natta’s debut in his museum became a sensation. The General Commodore was even accepted by President Lincoln himself. And in 1862 Barnum hired another dwarf, Lavinia Warren. Nutt immediately fell in love with her, even if she was a little older. But another dwarf made a rival for the woman’s heart, General Boy-with-finger. The love triangle led even to physical clarification of the relationship of fans. And when Warren chose the General, Nutt was very angry. He even promised never to marry. Soon the dwarf quarreled with Barnum and organized his own variety show, and then began to work in the saloon. In 1881, Nutt died of complications of Bright’s disease, and not finding himself outside the show business.

The most famous circus freaks

Lazarus and John Baptista Colloredo.

These famous freaks lived back in the 17th century. The Colloredo brothers became one of the earliest described examples of Siamese twins who lived 150 years before a famous pair of Chang and Eng. Twins Colloredo were born in Genoa in 1617. John was not so much a man as an underdeveloped process. He grew from his chest with his head down and face from his older brother. His eyes were closed, and his mouth was constantly open. It was believed that he could speak. Nevertheless, he was able to expressively sigh, cough, move and eat. Most likely the brothers had different digestive system. Lazarus loved him, constantly wiping his saliva. He himself was very mobile, touring throughout Europe. The brothers of Colloredo enjoyed success everywhere, even monarchs accepted them. At fairs, fricas were noticed by the courtiers of Louis XIV, who invited twins to Paris and made them musketeers. It is said that Colloredo frightened the enemies, only by plowing his cloak. Surprisingly, John could even save his brother’s life. Once Lazarus killed a man who teased him. But the court decided that he could not execute one brother, as this would entail the death of another, innocent. The brothers lived for about 50 years, and Lazarus even managed to get married and have children.

The most famous circus freaks

Venus Hottentot.

The real name of this woman was Saarty Bartmann. She was the representative of the African tribe, which was brought to Europe for public inspection. The woman was captured by the Boers during the engagement. At 16, Saarty remained an orphan and widow – the Europeans interrupted her relatives. Then the woman became a servant of a rich farmer in Cape Town. In 1810, a twenty-year-old African was transported to London, promising her wealth. In fact, Saarty was shown in the nude, showing a physique unusual for Europeans – bulging buttocks and pronounced genitals. So was laid the evil practice of creating human zoos, entertaining the crowd in the XIX century. After four years in London, Venus Gottentott was sold to the French, who again paraded in Paris a colorful woman in a loincloth alone. And in 1815 the public lost interest in the African, she began to drink and engage in prostitution. This way of life quickly ruined Saarty, she died of smallpox. The woman’s brains and lips were carved and exposed for viewing until 1974. And the remains of the unhappy wife were returned to South Africa in 2002, thanks to the petition of Nelson Mandela.

The most famous circus freaks

Lady with the face of a pig.

Rumors about the existence of such people appeared in England in the XVII century and were very popular.In the winter of 1814-1815 in London it was said that there was a certain young girl from a noble family who had a pig’s face. In different newspapers wrote that there are witnesses to those who saw with their own eyes an unusual person. In connection with the popularity of myths, some circuses hastened to announce that they have women with such a face. In fact, all such facts turned out to be hoaxes. The worst and most revealing case occurred in the 1850s at the fair. The show organizers of the woman with the pig’s face actually demonstrated a drunken, shaved bear dressed in a woman’s dress.



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