Schlitzie "the Pinhead." Pinheads were usually people born with microcephalus, a condition characterized by an abnormally small head. Pinheads were often exhibited as aliens or the last members of an ancient race (usually Aztecs).
Meet Violetta (Aloisia Wagner) whom was a sideshow performer in the early 1900’s. Having a talent for singing, using her rather odd appearance, she gained work in various sideshow acts flaunting both her voice and her looks.
Frieda Pushnik was born on 10 February 1923 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Although healthy, Frieda was born without arms or legs — caused, Frieda said, by a botched appendectomy performed on her mother. Despite her lack of limbs Frieda taught herself to perform many useful tasks, some of which would become part of her act. Pushnik spent six years with Ripley, but in 1943 Frieda joined the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus Sideshow, becoming a member of their 'Congress of Freaks'.
Alice Bounder, the Bear Woman. Her mother, with whom she is shown, was born in Calcutta, India. They were exhibited together as Mama Bear and the Bear Cub. She began her sideshow career at Dreamland in 1880.
John Williams, in his own words: "I am known as...the Human Alligator or Crocodile Boy. I was born [in] 1884, in the condition you see me now...The doctors find by X-Ray examination that my heart, liver, & lungs are located nearly 4 inches lower in my body than the ordinary person; you can see my heart beating way down in the pit of my stomach. My skin all over my body is heavily scaled like that of an alligator. I generally shed my entire skin every 3 months."
the curious case of a real-life Benjamin Button, with a twist. A Brazilian woman, who has neither aged, nor is getting any younger. Born on May 7, 1981, Maria Audete do Nascimento still has the body of a baby.
Rare Cabinet Card of Victorian Siamese Twins / Circus and Sideshow Freaks
Millie and Christine McCoy (1851-1912) were conjoined twins born into slavery. They and their mother were sold to a showman, Joseph Smith. Smith and his wife educated the girls; they eventually could speak five languages, dance, play music, and sing. They were known as 'The Two Headed Nightingale'. In the 1880s they retired and purchased a small farm. Millie died of tuberculosis at age 61, with Christine following hours later. They remain one of the oldest-lived set of conjoined twins.