Sideshow

This was the name of a small tent installed besides the "big top" of wandering circuses. Near of that tent an announcer on top a tiny podium doing scandalous shouts for inviting people to come in to see freaks and artists capable to do incredible things dangerous or disgusting with their bodies.

Sideshow with The Human Caterpillar, Schlitzie, Lobster Boy and Koo Koo
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

"The Human Caterpillar" Biography

(1871-1934) - Prince Randian was born in British Guiana with no legs or arms; apparently his parents were Hindu slaves. He got married very young with a woman remembered by the name of Princess Sarah. He was taken to the United States in 1889 to work in sideshows where, before the amazement of the audience, he was capable of writing, painting, and even lighting a cigarette with his mouth. He had five children and was a great start of the freak-show for 45 years. He was remembered worldwide for his appearance in the movie "Freaks" (1932)
by Tod Browning.

Schlitzie Biography

(1901- 1971) - His place of birth is not well-known (it could have been Yucatan, Mexico or Santa Fe, New Mexico), but since 1920 he worked as a sideshow attraction. He suffered from microcephaly and had the mental age of a 3 year-old. However, he enjoyed singing and dancing in front of the public. For some unknown reason he was dressed with girl"s clothes in his performances. In 1932 he participated in the movie "Freaks" by Tod Browning and when his manager died in 1965, the manager"s daughter confined him to a mental institution, where he suffered from a terrible depression, afterwards he was taken out of that place by a Sword Swallower that recognized him and Schlitzie worked in the show business
again until he died.

"Lobster Boy" Biography

The "Stiles" family has worked as a sideshow attraction since the beginning of the XIX century; at least 6 generations have suffered from Ectrodactyly, and their hands look like lobster claws. Sadly, the most popular member of this family was Grady Franklin Stiles Jr. (1937-1992) for his alcohol addiction and his extremely violent temper. He used to beat his wives and kids constantly and killed his daughter"s fiancé. Due to his disability he was not imprisoned, but
his life was ended by a hit man hired by
his wife and step son.

"Koo Koo" Biography

(1880-1960) - Minnie Woolsey was born in Georgia and her looks were very strange. She was short, with a small, bold head, and narrow face and nose with a short jaw; she also suffered from slight mental retardation, had no teeth and was almost blind. A businessman from the freak-show took her out of a mental institution to present her as a Native American Indigene, afterwards she was presented as the "bird girl" and she is remembered this way for his appearance in the movie "Freaks" (1932) by Tod Browning. Later on she continued her career
as the "Blind Woman from Mars".

 
 
Freakshow Book