circus sideshow

snow-sisters-freaks-pinheads

Pip and Flip Snow – The Pinheads of Freaks

  Best known for their heartwarming roles in the 1932 film Freaks, where they stared in scenes alongside fellow famous pinhead Schlitzie, the Snow sisters were well-known staples of the World Circus Sideshow at Coney. Usually promoted professionally as Pip and Flip, Jenny Lee Snow and Elvira Snow were billed as Pip and Zip in…

Sword-swallowing

Sword Swallowing – The Most Dangerous Sideshow Stunt

Sword swallowing is arguably the most dangerous and misunderstood of all sideshow stunts. It is dangerous due to the physical proximity of cold steel to the internal organs of the performer and misunderstood as, more than all the sideshow arts, sword swallowing is commonly perceived to be the result of trickery. Sword swallowing is very…

tom jack albino escape artist

Five Freak Show Freaks Who Should be Famous

There are a handful of freaks and human oddities who captured the imaginations of all who bore witness to their visage. This upper echelon of famous freaks consists of household names like The Elephant Man, The Two Headed Boy of Bengal, Edward Mordrake, The Lobster Boy, Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy and a few others. These…

JOHN HOLTUM - The Cannonball Man

JOHN HOLTUM – The Cannonball Man

At one point in history every circus, carnival, and vaudeville hall had a strongman on hand to astound spectators. The image of a mustachioed man clad in leopard print while hoisting a bending barbell high aloft is still synonymous with circuses. The spectacles these men provided ranged from the highly impressive the the borderline mundane but in a golden age populated with hundreds of contemporaries an individual simply had to go the extra mile to ensure fame and fortune.

John Holtum elected to stand apart by becoming a human target. Holtum caught cannon balls fired directly at his him from point-blank range.