There are a handful of human marvels who seem to transcend time, culture and societal norms. These truly unique few become forever recognizable and iconic to the general public. Joseph Merrick, The Elephant Man will be forever famous due to his unforgettable visage. Likewise, Jo-Jo the Dog Faced Boy will forever be famous for his shaggy face and Zip the Pinhead will always remembered. However, one strange character who managed to obtain this ‘celebrity of strange’ wasn’t really that strange at all. Or, at least, not when compared to other more ‘impressive’ marvels.
The Great Regurgitator, who was also billed as The Egyptian Enigma, was born Hadji Ali in Egypt in 1892. In the 1920’s Hadji Ali came to be something of an American vaudeville sensation for his unusual ability to swallow unique items, regurgitate them in an order specific to audience requests and for his ‘human water spout’ routine.
In life Elmer McCurdy wasn’t anything special. Elmer wasn’t really unique or extraordinary. It was only following his demise that Elmer amounted to much of anything, when his corpse became famous and the stuff of urban legends.
Rondo Hatton was born in Hagerstown, Maryland on April 22, 1894 to Missouri-born teachers. Young Rondo spent much of his youth travelling the East Coast of the United States with his parents his father passed away and his mother finally settled in Tampa. As a teenager Rondo was not only regarded as an intelligent young…
Esther Parnell was born in Kenly, North Carolina on March 5th, 1926. She was one of six children and while her sister and three of her brothers were born with perfectly average skin, Esther and her brother William were afflicted with ichthyosis. There are several forms of ichthyosis, a rare skin condition that derives its…