The American Sideshow

Zip the Pinhead
Zip the Pinhead (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Side-show style freaks have been popular for hundreds of years. Although their conditions have vastly improved over the last several decades, they had begun to fall to the wayside until shows like American Horror Story brought a new light to these old favorites. It has brought a resurgence of people to love side-show freaks, and now you can get into the heads of some.

“When you’re known as “Percilla the Monkey Girl” or “Julia the Baboon Lady,” your life is anything but ordinary. But the sideshow life could be empowering for women who were born different — and those who demanded to be different. So says Ilise “The Lady Aye” Carter and Marc “Backwash” Hartzman, two featured speakers at the Morbid Anatomy Museum, who join us on the HuffPost Weird News Podcast.


Hartzman, the author of  “American Sideshow,” documents the lives of midway stars past and present. Carter, a writer, sword swallower and burlesque performer, explores the fringe side of show business through a feminist lens.Part of the allure for these women in these show was taking control of the word “Freak,” turning it from an insult into a badge of honor — the right to be be different.”

To hear the interview, click here.