These Vintage Photos From Circus Sideshows Are the Stuff Nightmares Are Made Of


It wasn’t so long ago that disabled and different people were put on display in what were called “sideshows” (or “freakshows”) as an added attraction when the circus came to town. While some participants were happy and made a good living, many others experienced something closer to indentured servitude. These bizarre photos below serve as profound documentation of an era that’s, thankfully, behind us. Note: Some of these photos may be slightly NSFW.

  1. 1 This was Martin Joe Laurello, who was known as "The Human Owl" for his ability to rotate his head around almost 180 degrees.

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