20 Photos of Deformed Freak Show Performers That Will Keep You Away From The Circus

It was in mid-16th Century England when people with rare deformities started to be treated as funny objects of entertainment for the upper class to enjoy. Freak Shows were set up to exploit these people and became overwhelmingly successful commercial enterprises.These freak shows were usually held in fairgrounds, famous taverns, and special traveling exhibits.

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By the end of the 19th Century, freak shows declines because people starts to respect human dignity and rights, then freak shows were considered as vulgar and cruel. Deformities were now being scientifically explained as diseases or genetic mutations and not mysterious anomalies. They were now more seen as objects of sympathy rather than freaks to be feared and exhibited. However, small freak shows still can be found in some places even today.

So from the four-legged girl to the elephant man, these are the 15 most shocking old freak acts back to that era.

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