Feral children

Children who have apparently been nurtured in the wild by animals. Also, children that by some twist of fate and/or circumstance were raised in a non-human, inhuman or sub-human environment, and because of it did not learn how to communicate and/or behave in a human manner. There have been, since the 1600s, about 40 cases … Read more

Giants and midgets

Giant/Giantess Acromegaly is a disease affecting the pituatary gland that causes the person to grow abnormally large. The giant Robert Wadlow, who worked with Ringling Brothers Circus, asked to be buried in a concrete coffin to avoid ending up in some “freak” museum after his death! Giants populate the Bible and Greek literature; Gulliver’s Travels … Read more


An hermaphrodite is a specimen that possess the features of both sex. True hermaphroditism in humans differs from pseudo hermaphroditism in which the person has both X and Y chromosomes (not to be confused with the normal XY chromosome of males), having both testicular and ovarian tissue, and having ambiguous-looking external genitalia. Humans with typical … Read more

Faked freaks

These are the freaks that have been modified, artefacts of demons or mermaids and circus artists who use some trick to persuade the audience that they are freak. Devil Baby Aka freak baby, pickled punk A gaffed freak, usually constructed to appear mummified or otherwise preserved, often displayed in a bocal or a tiny coffin. … Read more

Of a monstrous child

This story shall go by itself; for I will leave it to physicians to discourse of. Two days ago I saw a child that two men and a nurse, who said they were the father, the uncle, and the aunt of it, carried about to get money by showing it, by reason it was so … Read more

Satirical monsters

In the 16th century, the Protestant reformers Luther and Melanchton substantially increased the presence of monsters in popular culture with the publication of a pamphlet depicting monstrous creatures as prophecies of the imminent ruin of the Roman Church. The monk-calf which appeared in one of their pamphlet published in 1523 is interpreted by protestant preachers … Read more

The Sideshow Lexicon

AB (Amusement Business) – The magazine of the trade. In the old days, before its name change, it was The Billboard. Many, if not the majority, of traveling showmen would have Billboard as their address; that is, they could be contacted while on the road care of the forwarding services offered to the showmen by … Read more

Barnum Stories

The white whales or the monstrous couple At his beginning, Barnum traveled extensively across the country and even the world to search for curiosities. One day heĀ  traveled up the St. Lawrence to buy two white whales, sent them 700 miles back to his museum in New York by train, and put them in a … Read more