Elephant Woman! Rubber Girl! Human Blockhead! These 'freaks" have been traveling the country and appearing at side shows for well over a century. COVID guidelines permitting, you can still grab a glimpse at Coney Island's Sideshows by the Seashore, the last permanently housed not for profit venue in America where you can experience the thrill of a traditional ten-in-one circus sideshow.

Today the exhibition of “extraordinary bodies” with consenting adult performers that are highly paid and not necessarily suffering are still illegal in several states.

Get our free mobile app

With the New York State Fair coming up this summer I started thinking back on the times I would go to devour the fair food, ride the rides and then we would hear, "They're here! They're Real! They're alive!", I had to see what was behind the curtain of the side show. Take a look back at some of the believable and unbelievable attractions of the past.

Freak Shows and Side Shows

The Freak Show, which became the side show, has been traveling around the nation since the 1830's. Today many of these traveling performances have been banned and made illegal in several states. Coney Island in New York has the last permanently housed not for profit venue in the USA where you can experience the thrill of a traditional ten-in-one circus sideshow.

Storytown U.S.A. - Lake George, New York

Take a look back at Storytown U.S.A. in Lake George.