The freak show is a the symbol of a bygone era, where disability and deformity were treated with a sense of mystery and fear.

According to some of P.T. Barnum’s critics, he merely exploited people with horrible disabilities for his own profit.

I say he was doing everyone a favor. Think about it – what the hell was ‘Lobster Boy’ going to do for a living, but for the circus? And besides – it’s show business, baby – you get to party and be a celebrity, all for just laying there looking stupid. I do that for free everyday…

These unique people drew in huge audiences, with crowds desperate to see what strange ailments affected the performers. A lot of these people turned a life altering disability into a wonderful gift and some cash to boot. Ignore my dumb jokes under the pics.

Hat tip Universal Free Press:

Here are some of the most famous circus freaks in history for your exploitive pleasure.

1. Ella Harper
One of the highest-earning freak show performers in history, Ella suffered from a back deformity which made her a massive attraction.

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.. You didn’t know if she was coming or going half the time.

2. Alice E. Doherty

Known as ‘The Werewolf Girl’, it’s easy to see how she got her nickname.

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.. No truth to the rumor she dated Tom Cruise for a while.. get it? Beard? Oh shut up..

 

3. Robert Huddleston

Nicknamed ‘The Pony Boy’, Robert couldn’t stand upright due to back deformity. Thankfully for him though he managed to turn his life-altering disability into a lucrative career.

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.. He rented himself on Mondays as a coffee table… real conversation starter. Just don’t spill any.

4. Sealo ‘The Seal Boy’

Sealo suffered from a deformation called phocomelia. He got famous performing normal tasks with his stunted arms. much to the crowd’s amusement. He was also known for having an amazing personality.

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.. He also invented “The Medium Five”… see, not the ‘high five’.     ..moving on.

5. Mignon ‘The Penguin Girl’

Like Sealo, Mignon suffered from phocomelia. She married twice, once to a regular person, then to Hoppy ‘The Frog Boy’.

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Hoppy had a reputation as a “chubby penguin-chaser”..

6. Twin brothers Robert and John Eck

These brothers performed as a magician duo, showing a very realistic sawing in half trick. While Robert was a normal man, John was missing the lower half of his torso, making it look like John was sawed in two. Very clever.

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.. They inspired many hit records, including Nivana’s; “Half the Man I Used to Be”.. and the “Hands Across America” movement.

7. Chiquita

Very famous and very cute, Chiquita was labelled ‘The Living Doll’ due to her dwarfism.

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… sadly, she one day met “Chucky” and that was the end. She was survived by her evil twin Barbie and several Cabbage Patches.

8. Sam Alexander

An actor by trade, Sam lost half his face in a gasoline explosion. Thankfully though he managed to turn his deformity into a moneymaker. He named himself ‘The Man With Two Faces’ and would wear a lifelike mask made by a brilliant prosthetics master. He then removed the mask to show his horribly disfigured face.

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.. I told him not to smoke while he was filling up – but does anyone listen to me?

9. Myrtle Corbin

Complete with four legs and two vaginas, Myrtle was able to control her extra legs, making her a freak show sensation.

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.. She was fairly popular at fraternities during Rush Week as well.

10. Priscilla Lauther

Known as ‘The Monkey Girl’, Priscilla was an amazing woman who fell in love with one of her freak show colleagues. Priscilla and the Alligator Skinned Man remained happily married for almost 60 years.

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How ’bout that 70’s … um. beard?

11. Maxine Mina

A woman with two sets of limbs from the Phillipines, she could control them at will. Widely known as the ‘Four-Legged Girl’, she would perform naked to make sure the audience could see the true nature of her deformity.

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.. And you think your wife has a big shoe closet?

See the rest at http://universalfreepress.com/photos-14-of-the-worlds-most-vintage-freak-show-performers/