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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…

zazel human cannonball

ZAZEL – Presenting The First Human Cannonball

On April 2nd, 1877 English-born Rosa Richter debuted a spectacular finale to her aerial act at the newly constructed Royal London Aquarium. The 16-year-old ‘Zazel’ descended into the depths of a cylindrical tube of cold metal and, with a great explosion, was propelled some 70 feet into the air and over the heads of amazed…

general tom thumb midget king

General Tom Thumb – The Most Famous Midget

Born to a hardhearted carpenter in Bridgeport, Connecticut on January 4, 1838, little Charles Sherwood Stratton would go on to be the most famous midget in history. When he was discovered at the age of four by P. T. Barnum little Charles stood a mere 25 inches in height and weighed 15 pounds. His father,…

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.