sideshow performers


Bill Durks suffered from a genetic disorder known as frontonasal dysplasia that made him appear to have two faces. Durks was not allowed to attend school as a child due to his appearance, and he was ostracized by the public and his family until he attended a sideshow fair. The showmen at the fair invited Durks to join them, and when he did he became “The Man With Three Eyes”. (His third, middle, eye did not actually exist, it was painted on for theatrical effect. In actuality he was blind in one eye, so he would be a one-eyed man.)

Due to his lack of an education, Bill Durks was illiterate and this lead to people taking advantage of him. Durks was well-liked though, and many other performers looked out for him and helped him. Eventually Bill Durks found love, when he was introduced to Mildred the Alligator-Skinned woman, another sideshow performer. Despite their appearances, the couple was very happy, and they stayed married until Mildred’s death in 1968. Bill Durks died in 1975.


Little is known about Schiltzie’s life prior to joining the circus, but he became a popular attraction in carnival sideshows in the 20’s and 30’s. Born with a condition called microcephaly (pejoratively known as “pinhead”) , he had an unusually small brain and small skull, and suffered from moderate to severe mental retardation, but he had an exuberant and sociable personality, and loved to sing, dance and be the center of attention, which made him a popular attraction. He even made appearances in a few movies. As was common amongst sideshows at the time, responsibility for his care passed from one carnival to another as shows traded attractions with each other, but by most accounts, Schiltzie was well cared for and treated throughout his performing years. 

Journey back to the edge of darkness at any time at but don’t stay too long by yourself - sometimes this place gets creepy

When I die don’t do all this somber shit. Hold my wake at a bar with a mechanical bull. Hire a bunch of sideshow performers to breathe fire and juggle knives over my corpse. Bring that girl or guy you kinda like but haven’t had the nerve to ask out, then make out like teenagers in the bathroom. Stuff my pockets full of match heads and smoke over the pine box I’m in. Lay glitter bomb traps for unsuspecting mourners. Carve “Pounded That Puss” into my headstone with a knife. Fill a kiddie pool with money and light it on fire in front of the mayor’s office. Just please, when I die, don’t be fucking meloncholy.

American Horror Story Characters Based On Real People

Season 1: Elizabeth Short aka The Black Dahlia - Mena Suvari guest-starred on the very first season of American Horror Story as Elizabeth Short, the woman who would become infamously known as The Black Dahlia. Though parts of her story were fabricated for the show, The Black Dahlia murder is very much real. Short was a 22-year-old aspiring actress who was brutally murdered in 1947. Her body was chopped in half, and her killer carved up the sides of her mouth, giving her what’s known as a “Glasgow smile.” Her murderer was never identified. 

Season 1: The Nurse Murders and the Richard Speck Case - One of the story lines from the first season revolves around a couple of nurses who are killed in the Murder House. Though the nurses on the show (played by guest stars Rosa Salazar and Celia Finkelstein) aren’t based on individuals, Ryan Murphy has said their murders are inspired by the Richard Speck massacre in 1966. Speck, a seaman from Texas, broke into a Chicago dorm filled with nurses and viciously tortured, raped, and killed eight of them in one night. The sequence in the show is light compared to what actually happened. 

Asylum: Kit and Alma Walker and Barney and Betty Hill - Remember Asylum’s Kit and Alma Walker? According to producers, they were inspired by a couple named Barney and Betty Hill, some of the first people to ever claim to have been abducted by aliens in 1961. Their experience was widely publicized and became a bestselling book called The Interrupted Journey and a 1975 TV movie The UFO Incident. Just like Kit and Alma, Barney and Betty were a mixed-race couple, an integral part of the story line on Asylum. 

Asylum: Anne Frank - Franka Potente starred on several episodes of Asylum as a mental patient who insists that she is Anne Frank, the 15-year-old girl who famously documented her horrific experience during the Holocaust before her death. It’s not conclusive whether or not Charlotte truly is Frank, but she does make a pretty compelling case. The American Horror Story character remains one of the most tragic and puzzling parts of the series to this day. 

Coven: Madame Delphine LaLaurie - A handful of main characters from Coven were based on real people, but none as chilling as Madame Delphine LaLaurie. Portrayed by Kathy Bates on the show, LaLarie was a prominent New Orleans socialite in the 1800s. She was discovered to have tortured and killed many of her slaves in her “Chamber of Horrors,” and her house is still said to be haunted. 

Coven: Papa Legba - Whether Papa Legba is “real” or not is up for interpretation, but the Coven character, played by guest star Lance Reddick, is based on a popular legend. In voodoo culture, he is the intermediary between the living and the dead. Papa Legba is both a good and bad figure, controlling who communicates between the worlds, and in American Horror Story’s case, sentencing some to live in their own personal hells. 

Coven: Marie Laveau - Angela Bassett came aboard Coven as Marie Laveau, the ancient voodoo queen of New Orleans. In reality, Laveau was a revered woman in the city between the 1820s and 1860s. She practiced black magic, and just as she is on the show, she was a hairdresser on the side. She was known for being a nurse and a healer, and people still visit her grave to see if she’ll grant them wishes. 

Coven: The Axeman of New Orleans - Danny Huston’s Coven character, The Axeman, was a real person - though we still don’t know his identity. Between 1818 and 1819, a series of murders were committed around the New Orleans area. The killer used axes or straight razors owned by the residents of the houses he broke into, and, as seen on the show, he even threatened to kill anyone not playing jazz music on one particular night. 

Freak Show: Pepper and Schlitze Surtees - One of the many Freak Show characters to have been inspired by a real person, Pepper (and her husband, Salty) was inspired by Schlitze Surtees. Known as Schlitzie the Pinhead, he was an early 1990s sideshow performer with microcephaly, a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes an unusually small brain and skull. He had the cognisance of a 3-year-old and could only speak in single-syllable words. He is mostly known now because of his part in the 1932 film Freaks. 

Freak Show: Edward Mordrake - Wes Bentley appears int he two-part Halloween episode of Freak Show as Edward Mordrake, a man with an evil face on the back of his head. Mordrake was a real person who lived in the 1800s. According to books, he had an unusual deformity: a small face on the back of his head. Mordrake committed suicide at 23, and unlike on the show, he probably doesn’t go around to freak shows on Halloween, killing its performers. 

Freak Show: Jimmy Darling and Grady Franklin Stiles, Jr - Though many performers with ectrodactyly, aka Lobster Claw Syndrome, were prevalent throughout freak-show history, Grady Franklin Stiles, Jr. is clearly a large influence for Jimmy Darling. Born in Pittsburgh in 1937, Stiles was part of a whole family of people who had the condition. He was forced to become a sideshow act at a young age and became an abusive alcoholic - which seems to be the direction Jimmy is headed. He murdered his daughter’s fiancé in 1978, and then Grady himself was gunned down by a neighbor in 1993. 

Freak Show: Twisty the Clown and John Wayne Gacy - There have been a lot of clown killers throughout history, but none as infamous as John Wayne Gacy. At heart, Twisty the Clown is just an extremely confused and misguided murderer, but Gacy was cold-blooded. His stage name was Pogo the Clown, and between 1972 and 1978, he raped and killed at least 33 young men. He died by lethal injection in 1994, leaving behind a series of haunting self portraits. 

Freak Show: Dot and Bette Tattler and Violet and Daisy Hilton - Though conjoined twins Dot and Bette are quite unique, they’re probably based on a pair of sisters by the name of Violet and Daisy Hilton. Born in England in 1908, the twins were fused at the pelvis. They came to San Francisco in 1915, and by the ‘20s, they were successfully performing in vaudeville shows alongside Charlie Chaplin. Following success on stage, their professional lives took a downturn, and they eventually ended up working at a grocery store. Their lives are the subject of a documentary called Bound by Flesh: The Story of Violet and Daisy Hilton. 

Hotel: Mr. March and H.H. Holmes - H.H. Holmes is often referred to as America’s first serial killer. He was profiled in the bestseller The Devil in the White City, which tells of Holmes’s technique of hiding his victims in the walls of the building he was constructing. While Mr. March isn’t a direct portrayal, he’s certainly inspired by the killer. 

Hotel: Aileen Wuornos - Series veteran Lily Rabe guest starred as Aileen Wuornos, the serial killer who was portrayed by Charlize Theron in the 2003 drama Monster. Wuornos killed seven men while working as a prostitute between 1989 and 1990. She was convicted and later executed by lethal injection in 2002. 

Hotel: Richard Ramirez - Also known as the Night Stalker, Ramirez (played by Anthony Ruivivar) went on a two-year rampage in California in the ‘80s. He killed at least 13 people and tortured many more. 

Hotel: Jeffrey Dahmer - Seth Gabel played the notorious Jeffrey Dahmer for the “Devil’s Night” episode of Hotel. Dahmer is one of the most well-known serial killers in American history, having murdered at least 17 boys and men. He was also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, as he raped, dismembered, and eventually ate his victims. 

Hotel: John Wayne Gacy - While Gacy inspired Twisty the Clown, John Carroll Lynch returned to American Horror Story to play the real deal on Hotel. 

The X-Files

This list was submitted by Hilary Brown!

The X-Files is a science fiction show that ran on Fox from 1993-2002. It chronicles the investigations of FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully who explore unexplained cases of paranormal and extraterrestrial activity. Mulder is a fervent believer in the paranormal, and is obsessed with finding his sister who had vanished when Mulder was a teenager. Convinced his sister was abducted by aliens and that there is a massive government conspiracy to hide the existence of said aliens, Mulder will stop at nothing to blow the lid off of the government coverup and bring back his sister. Scully is assigned to Mulder as his partner, originally to report back to their superiors about Mulder’s activities, and to debunk his work. She is level-headed and skeptical, and believes that many of these “paranormal” phenomena have scientific explanations.

Overall, X-Files episodes can be divided into two categories: mythology episodes, which are part of the overall arc about aliens and government conspiracies, and “monsters-of-the-week” episodes which are stand-alone episodes. In theory, one could only watch the mythology episodes and still get a killer story, but there are some really great stand-alone episodes that shouldn’t be missed. For categorization purposes, I’ve broken each season down into which episodes to skip, which episodes are part of the mythology, and which episodes are particularly notable. It bears worth mentioning that The X-Files ran 9 season, which was about 2 more than it needed to. Show creator Chris Carter believed the show’s 7th season would be the last, and most fans and critics agree that it could have stopped there. Seasons 2-6 are arguably the strongest.

Episodes skipped: 40 out of 202.

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Miniature City of Massive Proportions Pt. 1

As requested by Anonymous and aided with an imagine from @imaginexhobbit

(Part 2, Part 3)

Fili x Human!DragonTamer!Reader

Warnings: Food mention. Alcohol mention. Clown mention. Circus. Burn mention.

Word count: 4,475

Notes: Considering how HARD I got into this one, I went and decided to take it in volumes. Here’s part one!

“Come one! Come all!” you shout from the bally into the milling crowd waiting for entry into the Miniature City of Massive Proportions. “Come and see with your own eyes marvelous spectacles and beguiling sights! Illusions and acrobats and delights galore! Enchanting views from ceiling to floor! Games, riddles, jesters, Elves that fly! Tamed beasts of any and all sizes –“

“Oh, my!” exclaims a woman close to you, inadvertently finishing your rhyme and you chuckle.

“That’s right, ma'am,” you say and those immediately surrounding you break into laughter, too. “All you need do is pay the small entry fee and these fascinations are yours to see! Please oblige this humble performer and form an orderly queue and we will more than gladly cater to you! Have no worries, refreshments are just inside to slake your curious appetite! We will take great care of you, guaranteed, or may I turn into ash as my Darlings do breathe!”

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anonymous asked:

You honestly sound like a fictional character. The kind that people would say is unrealistic because they're too bizarre and cool

I think everybody is unrealistically bizarre and cool. Hell, I think the fact that we’re alive at all is unrealistically bizarre and cool. And I think that you can take any person on the planet and make them sound weird when you break it down into jobs and hobbies and collections and interests and all of their best stories.

I have a friend who hosts a public access program about vintage horror films, and organizes these huge zombie walks in the city, and also she’s the mall Santa photographer.

I have a friend who recently released a country album, and also she’s a faerie who designs wrestling gear.

I have a friend who went to school to be a mortician and then joined the military, and a friend who dropped out of MIT to be a sideshow performer, and a friend who lives in the woods and makes soap, and a friend who teaches Shakespeare at a university and plays the trumpet in a ska band, and a friend with a ghost hunting show on YouTube who’s a summer camp counselor.

Weird is all about who you’re around, is what I’m saying.

For example, I’m fascinated by people who choose to be dentists. No, really. I think about them a lot.

Because what an odd thing it must be, to be the sort of person who goes to school for teeth.

And stamp collectors! People collect stamps! What the fuck, man.

And sometimes there are even people who do both! Like, living beings with thoughts in their heads and beating hearts who just dig around in strangers’ mouths all day and then go home and look at their mail stickers and have a great time with it.

And isn’t it weird how almost every male history teacher is also a huge jock? Or how there’s a 90% chance that if someone likes Star Trek and Renaissance festivals, they also probably like hardcore BDSM? Or how there are people who reach a point where so many people like them that they can make money posting videos of themselves eating Pop Tarts on the internet? What the fuckkk.

This… This answer got away from me.


Thank you?

theappleppielifestyle  asked:

prompt: steve gets turned back into skinny!steve for a day. tony reacts.

“A day?” Tony says, and Steve must be hearing things, because he thinks Tony sounds almost…dismayed.

“A day,” Strange confirms. “Perhaps they are very organized.” He pauses. “Or perhaps they did not really know what they were doing.” He peers at Steve some more. “Hmm.”

He disappears in a swirl of sparkling colors.

“That guy,” Clint says, shaking his head.

“Uh huh,” Tony replies, but his eyes are focused on Steve. Steve who’s five-foot-three again. Steve who’s shoulders are hunching under the attention.

He scowls at the ground. “Tony, will you stop starin’, I’m not some sideshow performer.”

Tony makes an affronted noise. “You think I’m staring because—oh thanks a lot.

“Bruce,” Clint calls over Steve’s head, “you wanna—that thing. Yeah?”

“Oh, right the thing, yes.”

“I also would like to do the thing,” Thor yells, following after them as they make a rapid retreat.

Natasha looks at them both. “Stark, I’ll kill you if you fuck this up. Steve—stop being an idiot.” Then she’s gone, too.

Steve and Tony stare at each other for a long moment, Steve crossing his arms over his bony chest. It’s strange how foreign the body he grew up in feels now.

“Steve,” Tony says.

Steve stares hard at the floor.

“Steve,” Tony repeats.

Sighing in irritation, Steve lets his head come up, “Yeah, what, Tony—mmfh.”

Tony’s mouth comes down on his, both hands cupping under Steve’s jaw. Tony pulls him close easily with one arm around his waist, pressing their bodies flush together. He kisses and kisses and kisses until Steve’s head is swimming and he’s hanging on to Tony’s shoulders for dear life because his knees have given out on him. Tony holds him up easily.

“I’m not looking forward to seeing you sick,” Tony says, in a low, rough rasp that makes Steve shiver. “But I am so looking forward to getting to know the Before model of Steve Rogers.”

Steve is startled to see Tony’s eyes have gone dark the way they do when Steve really gets him going. “You’re actually still attracted to me.”

Tony gives him a dirty look. Then he reaches around and hooks his hands around Steve’s thighs, lifting him off the ground. Steve gasps.

Incredibly,” Tony replies.

Steve smiles, a warm, happy fluttering growing in his chest. He hooks his ankles in Tony’s lower back. “Twenty-four hours, huh? Guess we better get started.”

Tony grins.

plz forgive me for any wild mischaracterization of stephen strange who i only know things about via tumblr

“I’m a clown and a sideshow performer. I lay and jump on nails, and I slam my face into a fiery pit. I’m the only person in the world who slams his face into burning coals three times a night, three nights a week. I also eat the coals. The list of things that I do is really long.”
“Your face looks fine.”
“You see this on my forehead?”
“That was the day I decided to wear face paint. I didn’t know it would make the coals stick to my face.”
“When did you start doing all this?”
“I became a clown when I was a kid. Some years later, I saw a show on Discovery Channel about fully tattooed people and what they do with themselves. I decided that this would be my life. That was me. It’s what I had to be.”
“What did you like about it?“
“It just felt comfortable. When I’m on stage, nothing can hurt me.”
“Do you make enough money doing it?”
“I also work at a bar as a security guard.”
“I know you have a lot of tattoos, but you’re not physically imposing.”
“You don’t have to be. You just have to know how to talk to drunk people really well and get them to peacefully leave.”

*In New Orleans


Grady Franklin Stiles Jr. was born on June 26th 1937, with a physical deformity called Ectrodactyly. Also referred to as, Lobster Claw Syndrome, Ectrodactyly is the absence or deformity of one or more of the middle digits on the hand or foot, giving a “claw-like” appearance. Due to his deformity, Grady was unable to walk, so he utilized his hands and arms for locomotion, resulting in impressive upper body strength. Grady’s father was a sideshow performer who was also born with Ectrodactyly and he incorporated Grady into his show with a traveling circus. As an adult, Grady was married twice and had four children, two of which had Ectrodactyly. Grady, still doing work with a traveling circus, marketed him and his two children as, “The Lobster Family”. Unfortunately, Grady developed and alcohol problem, which would lead to violence and abuse toward his family members. In 1978, Grady’s 17 year old daughter, Donna, informed him that she was pregnant and that she planned to run away with her boyfriend and get married. Donna was not actually pregnant, but she fabricated this in order to gain support for her marriage. The night before the wedding, Grady requested to have a conversation with his daughter’s fiancé, where he shot the man twice with a shot gun, resulting in his untimely death. Donna later explained that she returned to the horrific scene, her father was sitting on the porch smiling, when he told her, “I told you I would kill him.” Grady was convicted of third degree murder, but he did not serve any prison time. There were no state institutions that were capable of caring for him, so instead, he received 15 years probation. In 1989 he remarried his first wife, Mary, and began a new life, free from alcohol and violence. Grady abstained from alcohol for two weeks, but then relapsed into his old ways, becoming more abusive than ever. Mary and her son from a previous marriage, Harry, decided to pay sideshow performer, Chris Wyant, to kill Grady for $1500. On November 29th 1992, Grady was shot and killed.


It’s a good thing Annabelle is crazy about cats, or she may not have been so optimistic about her lab accident. She doesn’t like to talk about the accident itself much, but she always says “It could have been worse, I could have been turned into a dog!”. Annabelle has been let go from the lab for obvious reasons (mostly her clumsiness), but it doesn’t stop her from working. She occasionally does children parties but her main job at the moment is traveling with a world famous group of sideshow performers.


At conception, Frank Lentini was one of a set of conjoined twins, but as they developed in the womb, the other twin died and his body was “assimilated” into Frank’s. Thus, when he was born in Sicily in 1881, Frank Lentini was born with three legs, two sets of genitals, and one rudimentary foot growing from the knew of his third leg. His parents refused to acknowledge him and was eventually given to a home for disabled children to be raised. At the home, met children who were deaf, blind and mute, and he learned to do amazing things despite his deformity: walking, ice skating, jump roping. At the age of 8, he moved to the United States and joined the  Ringling Brothers Circus as “The Great Lentini.” His career spanned over 30 years and he was so well respected amongst his peers that he was often referred to simply as “The King.” As an adult, Lentini’s legs grew to three different lengths, causing him to remark that even though he had three legs, he still didn’t have a pair.


Journey back to the edge of darkness at any time at but don’t stay too long by yourself - sometimes this place gets creepy