The weirdest side-show acts ever

I’ve just been reading about carnival sideshows. They seem quite cruel to us these days, but maybe we haven’t changed as much as we think. Any magician will tell you, people are definitely still drawn to the weird and wonderful things in life. Here are some classic sideshow acts – would you have paid to see these?

1. Grace Hester Gilbert (pictured above) was born in Ohio in 1876, covered in a silky layer of red hair. By the age of 18 she was working full time as a bearded lady for the Ringling Bros. Circus. She had the best beard out of all the bearded ladies!

2. Gabrielle Fuller was a Swiss woman whose body ended smoothly, just below the waist. She joined the circus at the Paris Exposition in 1900, performing as a “half lady”. She travelled with the famous Ringling Brothers Circus and was married three times.

3. George Lippert was born in Germany in 1844, with two working hearts and three legs! He claimed the extra leg was fully functional until it became injured, but no one knows if that was true.

There’s more about these performers and many others, on this site.

 

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