These shows were not only creepy, but also heavily exploited vulnerable people.
Despite the negatives of sideshows, most of these performers are just too cool and freaky not to look at. Here are 20 of the most famous and freaky sideshow performers of all time. Some of them will look odd and some others may literally haunt your dreams...
18.) Alice E. Doherty. Her stage name was, "The Minnesota Woolly Baby."
Contemporary disability studies explain the appeal of freak shows as a way of indulging in cultural and social violations, such paying to leer at a morbidly obese person, and reinforcing social norms by showcasing the abnormal [source: Craton]. At the same time, a number of freak show stars wielded their disabilities to earn a healthy income and garner publicity and fame, which some scholars interpret as success stories for the time [source: Thomson].
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