The 12 Strangest Sideshow Performers Throughout History (No. 1 Isn’t Even Human)



In the modern day, circuses are often a collection of acrobats, performers and special effects that make for a pretty amazing show. However, back in the day, the circus had a much different look and was a much different place. It largely consisted of freak-show performers that would draw crowds due to their unique bodies or talents. While these people were talented, they were usually mistreated and the circus was not a very good place for them to be.

Today, we will be looking at 12 of the strangest sideshow performers throughout history. Number 1 literally isn’t even human.

#12 Alice E. Doherty


Seeing a woman with a small amount of facial hair isn’t that big a deal, but you’ve never seen anything like this. Alice E. Doherty was born with an outstanding amount of facial hair which garnered her the nickname of the Minnesota Woolly Girl. She is the only recorded American to be born with hypertrichosis lanuginosa.

#11 Mirin Dajo


While most people don’t even do well with a single needle for a vaccine or other shot, this man wouldn’t even bat an eye at this. Mirin Dajo was known as the human pincushion and could stick pins and other sharp objects through large portions of his skin. The next entry inspired characters on FX’s “American Horror Story.”

#10 Pip and Flip


These two were billed as “pinheads,” starred in the 1932 film “Freaks” and inspired characters in the popular FX show, “American Horror Story.” These sisters were born with a disease called microcephaly, which results in the head and brain not fully growing, while the face still grows at a normal rate.

#9 Myrtle Corbin


These days, if a baby is born with an extra limb, it might end up being a pretty quick plastic surgery fix (assuming it’s not attached to anything super important). But back then, an extra arm or leg earned you a spot in freak shows. Corbin was born with four legs, and was actually able to move her two middle legs, but they were not strong enough to walk on.