Freaks, Geeks and Human Oddities!

Some may call them freaks and human oddities - but they are truly human marvels!

A congress of most unusual mortals

see them triumph over fate, nature and the judgement of man
general tom thumb midget king

General Tom Thumb – The Most Famous Midget

Born to a hardhearted carpenter in Bridgeport, Connecticut on January 4, 1838, little Charles Sherwood Stratton would go on to be the most famous midget in history. When he was discovered at the age of four by P. T. Barnum little Charles stood a mere 25 inches in height and weighed 15 pounds. His father,…

tom jack albino escape artist

Five Freak Show Freaks Who Should be Famous

There are a handful of freaks and human oddities who captured the imaginations of all who bore witness to their visage. This upper echelon of famous freaks consists of household names like The Elephant Man, The Two Headed Boy of Bengal, Edward Mordrake, The Lobster Boy, Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy and a few others. These…

freakshow banner

The Origins of the Freak Show – Part One

People who are visually different have always been subject to attention. In different eras these individuals were labelled as monsters, freaks and human oddities. It is human nature to speculate and obsess about those born ‘different’ and it is also in our nature to feel disquieted by their appearance. Freaks have always been studied, documented…



Some call him the ‘The Last Great Circus Stongman’ but perhaps a more accurate title would simply be ‘The Greatest Strongman”. Yosselle L. Greenstein was born three months premature on July 15, 1893 in Suvalk Poland into the poorest family in town. Weighing less than 4 pounds, “Joseph” Greenstein was fortunate to even survive his…


JOHN COFFEY – The Living Skeleton Dude

As far as human curiosities go, The Living Skeleton was always a classic attraction. Living Skeletons, sometimes referred to as ‘shadows’ in the exhibition business, were generally adult men afflicted with some sort of consumption disease and their emaciated presence was practically a standard in every circus, exhibition or sideshow for over 100 years. That…


ALICE DOHERTY – The Minnesota Woolly Girl

The ‘Minnesota Woolly Girl’ – Alice Elizabeth Doherty – holds the unique distinction of being the only recorded American to be born with hypertrichosis lanuginosa. A condition exceedingly rare and unusual. Born with a mane of fine and silky blonde hair; she was an American Werewolf. Alice was born on March 14,1887 in Minneapolis to…

SAMUEL PARKS - Hopp, The Fearless Frog Boy

SAMUEL PARKS – Hopp, The Fearless Frog Boy

The man who came to be known as Hopp the Frog Boy, Samuel ‘Sam’ Parks, lived a life both cursed and charmed . Sam was born on October 20, 1874 in Boston and his first public appearance was at the age of 19 and for the benefit of medical students at the 1893 Chicago World’s…

GEORGE AUGER - The Mighty Cardiff Giant

GEORGE AUGER – The Mighty Cardiff Giant

Captain William George Auger was Born in Cardiff, Wales on December 27, 1882 to parents of average size. By fourteen, George already stood over 6 feet in height. As an adult, Auger was often billed at standing over 8 feet in height, however his true stature was much more honest at around seven and a half. As a young man, George Auger served as a police officer in Cardiff and was likely the tallest officer in the history of the company.


SIDONIA DE BARCSY – The Bearded Lady Baroness

Unlike many of her bearded-lady contemporaries – the Baroness Sidonia de Barcsy was a genuine member of a royal family. Sidonia was born whisker free on May 1, 1866 in Hungary. She remained sans mane until shortly after she gave birth to her son at the age of 19. Her son, Nicu, was a dwarf and was destined to stand less than three feet in height. The Baroness, meanwhile, began to sprout facial hair and in a few short months Sidonia possessed a full beard measuring nearly 9 inches in length.

JOHN HOLTUM - The Cannonball Man

JOHN HOLTUM – The Cannonball Man

At one point in history every circus, carnival, and vaudeville hall had a strongman on hand to astound spectators. The image of a mustachioed man clad in leopard print while hoisting a bending barbell high aloft is still synonymous with circuses. The spectacles these men provided ranged from the highly impressive the the borderline mundane but in a golden age populated with hundreds of contemporaries an individual simply had to go the extra mile to ensure fame and fortune.

John Holtum elected to stand apart by becoming a human target. Holtum caught cannon balls fired directly at his him from point-blank range.