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18 posts tagged with sideshow.
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This week, the famed singer and performer Julia Pastrana was laid to rest near her birthplace in Sinaloa, Mexico.
Julia Pastrana died in 1860. Her husband had embalmed her body and exhibited it in a touring display for many years afterward, together with the remains of their infant son. [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena on Feb 16, 2013 - 15 comments

Death of the Last Sideshow Fat Man

Weighing 607 pounds, Bruce Snowdon was a sideshow fat man from 1977 to 2003, billed as "Harold Huge". His death on Nov. 9, 2009, at the age of 63 marks the end of a long tradition dating back centuries. [more inside]
posted by gman on Apr 16, 2010 - 40 comments

Asylum Sideshow featuring Captain Pooty

Asylum Sideshow presents several of the most bizarre performers they could find:
The Cow Song
Miss Nude Sword Swallower
Meathead Morgue
Rappin' KT
Gumby Girl
and Captain Pooty... [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Mar 12, 2010 - 11 comments

But they're not even from Siam!

Amanda Palmer (discussed previously) has been dropping hints about a new project called Evelyn Evelyn. After Spin let the two-headed cat out of the bag last week, she fessed up to the back story - a woe-filled tale of childlike conjoined twins with a history of abuse at the hands of a circus and the child porn industry. [more inside]
posted by missrachael on Feb 18, 2010 - 63 comments

Tattooing Since 1928 by a Teacher of the Art

Stoney Knows How is a half-hour film by Alan Govenar and Bruce “Pacho” Lane that portrays Leonard "Stoney" St. Clair, tattoo artist and former sideshow performer. Affected with rheumatoid arthritis when he was four, and with stunted growth, Stoney left Appalachia at fifteen to join the circus as a sword swallower and learned to tattoo soon after. The film is about as safe for work as a 1970s tattoo parlor, which is to say, not very.
posted by hydrophonic on Dec 5, 2009 - 12 comments

The Human Marvels: Presenting Peculiar People

J. Tithonus Pednaud herein presents for your edification and enlightenment a curious collection of human marvels. You may call them oddities, freaks or monstrosities—whatever you will—but I call them incredible, persevering, resourceful and marvelous human beings. I chronicle their inspirational stories of triumph over nature, fate and the judgment of man. [Previously seen here. See also.]
posted by parudox on Jan 3, 2009 - 9 comments

The Greatest Sideshow Video Ever Made.

The Greatest Sideshow Video Ever Made. "The Greatest Sideshow Video Ever Made was shot at the Moore theater in Seattle in 1992. The oddball cousin of Seattle's grunge music scene, the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow mixed vintage sideshow acts with novel stunts never before seen. Previously available only on VHS tape or DVD, this mind-blowing collection of feats of human daring is now available online in six parts for your viewing pleasure: 1 2 3 4 5 6 As an added bonus, watch as Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam participates." [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by stet on Jul 13, 2008 - 21 comments

Freaks

Tod Browning's 1932 cinematic masterpiece Freaks tells the story of a close-knit group of circus sideshow workers who are wronged and take revenge. The film's use of real-life freaks so disturbed audiences that some ran screaming from theaters, distributors refused to handle the film, and it was banned in Britain for over 30 years. [more inside]
posted by flug on Jul 8, 2008 - 22 comments

Anatomical Photography

James Mundie is an artist and photographer whose work often includes sideshow themes. He recently returned from Europe having been allowed to photograph a number of anatomy museum exhibits. He has also contributed to a Flickr group entitled “Bottled Babies”, which , in a previous era, were known as “Pickled Punks”. (Probably NSFW)
posted by Tube on May 5, 2008 - 5 comments

and other Curiosities, Antiquities and Gadgetry too numerous to mention!

Virtual Tour of Steve's Weird House. "Stephen resides in a Victorian home that is a cluttered combination of museum, library and art gallery, decorated with that old-world Addam's Family charm. Not only is every inch of every wall covered with art, but all the ceilings are also decorated." (Via.)
posted by Astro Zombie on Dec 23, 2007 - 23 comments

Filler

Sword swallowing uncertainties The sword passes within millimetres of the heart, aorta, and other vitals but, surprisingly, few deaths related to sword swallowing have been described. A Canadian sword swallower did die, but that was after swallowing an umbrella.
posted by hank on Nov 4, 2005 - 21 comments

Sideshow Freaks

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! Step right up and see the Sideshow. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we have something here for everyone. See the freaks of nature, the mutants, the human oddities, the sword swallowers, the dime museum, a special exhibit of sideshow banners from the past, and yes, we even have, live before your very eyes, direct from the 21st century, special acts from the Coney Island Sideshow. And for a small extra charge, a special section of premier performers including exhibitions of pugilism, as well as an exhibit of posters from Tod Browning's movie, Freaks. The circus starts in a little over an hour and a half, so you have plenty of time to see these astounding wonders of the world.
posted by mischief on Oct 26, 2005 - 22 comments

step right up

LA-DEEEES AND GENTLEMEN! STEP RIGHT UP! THE SHOW IS ABOUT TO BEGIN! The Strange and Unusual, the Freaks of Nature, the Shocking and the Bizarre! YOU won't BELiEVE your EYES!
posted by crunchland on Oct 26, 2005 - 7 comments

all you got to do is find a parking lot

Area residents speak of hearing their cries late in the night, a hellish screeching and squealing. Some even have seen them personally, appearing from nowhere in the dark hours... then scattering... Police came through, but now they're gone / In other words, the sideshow's on. A peek into the infamous Oakland sideshow. (Quicktime videos 1,2,3)
posted by eddydamascene on Mar 15, 2003 - 25 comments

So you want to join the circus.

So you want to join the circus. Well, it helps to have a speciality. Learn how to swallow swords, twist balloon animals, crack a bullwhip, ride a unicycle, spin plates, breathe fire, go to circus school, throw knives, or get started by street performing. You may make it to the big time, but beware of the consequences, and careers gone awry.
posted by Stan Chin on Oct 6, 2002 - 10 comments

Have you ever dreamed of running away with the circus?

Have you ever dreamed of running away with the circus? Did anyone ever call you a freak? Well, now’s your chance to become one! Coney Island USA is proud to announce its latest program- SIDESHOW SCHOOL! Tuition: $600.
posted by gummi on May 6, 2002 - 11 comments

The Hottentot Venus is going home. An African woman named Saarjite Baartman, apparently EXTREMELY overendowed in the buttock/labia department (second floor, next to men's shoes, watch the doors), she did the freakshow thing in Europe for five years in the early 19th c., was edited down at death to her relevant bits and pickled for posterity. Ever been to an actual state-fair freakshow? I saw the alligator lady in the late 70s somewhere in Kentucky. A morally complicated experience.
posted by luser on Feb 21, 2002 - 19 comments

The Human Blockhead is dead.

The Human Blockhead is dead. (NYTimes obit.) Melvin Burkhart, 94, was living in Gibsonton, Florida, a retirement town for sideshow attractions.
posted by pracowity on Nov 18, 2001 - 2 comments

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