Sideshow Retirement Communities & Other Towns With 'Freak' Populations

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Anonymous

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#1
I've just finished reading a 'penny dreadful' about Grady Stiles the deformed "Lobster Boy" a freak show exhibit who was murdered in his trailer about ten years ago.
Apparently the town in which he settled was Gibsonton, Florida, a place where many of the 'Carny' exhibits used to settle and, when their careers were over, would retire to.
Anyone know if there was a certain place in Britain that the human oddity fraternity used to gather when the freak show was in it's heyday in this country many moons ago?
 
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Anonymous

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#2
...I work in Acton and first of all anyone of me or my colleagues would return from a sandwich run / milk mission / fag break or similar and say things like ' well I was in the shop just a minute ago and in walked a man with a deformed lump growing on the top of his head/ tramp stinking of piss & beer/ woman talking to herself while doing obsessive silly walk etc. etc.'

... now though we return from aforementioned missions to say things like 'well guess what I didn't see a a man with a deformed lump growing on the top of his head/ tramp stinking of piss & beer/ woman talking to herself while doing obsessive silly walk etc. etc.'

We now refer to it as 'Actonitis'


I'm telling you it's all here... if you need a fix of weirdness just sit in Acton Park for 10 minutes and watch it all stumble incoherantly/ hobble/ walk obesssively (two forward, one backwhile wiggling bottom)/crawl/ or shuffle by !!!
 

JamesWhitehead

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#3
No wonder Freak-shows died out. I can't really see folks
parting with ready cash to see a man with a lump on his
head, a man who reeks of piss and a woman with a silly
walk.

Mind you, after boy bands and the Spice Girls, I guess the next
big thing may be waiting to happen. . .

Right, we start auditioning in Acton. Maybe we could interest
Channel Five in a docu-soap of the process. "Flopstars?"

Care in the Community? They clearly just need the dignity of Work!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#4
I know this is going to sound like a UL, but I gather there was, about a decade ago, a government investigation into the possibility that contamination from a certain nuclear power plant in the north of England was causing birth defects in the local populace, and that the investigation was abandoned quietly when the genetic problems were found to stem from the genetic closeness of many of the parents, to put it politely.
Please tell me I'm wrong.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#5
Well, there is a city in the USA that has about 50 inhabitants. I can't remember the name of it and they wouldn't tell the exact location of it. But every person in that city is related to the others in some way.

I guess that Lovecraft got his inspiration for Shadow over Innsmouth by visiting a place like that.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#6
Oh, and in the city where I used to live there was a center for mentally handicapped. One of the guys from there had a bump that looks kind of like the picture of the week. And another had hands like the Penguin in the Batman movie.
 

mikelegs

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#7
not in the UK, but...

There's a 'midget' town not too far from where I grew up. Off in an obscure location they have their own little community with custom houses and everything. I think it's pretty awesome that they can get away from the dumbfounded stares of society - a shame they have to though. But the malformed have always been and always will be, so I'm not *really* going to be impressed until I trip over the Smurf village some time I'm about in the deep dark woods.
 

madmath

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#8
Freak Town USA

Here in the New World, specifically New Jersey, there are stories of a town of albinos, though no one remembers the exact location.

There is a known village of small scale houses, just right for "Little People", though no one lives there now.

Also, we have the "Jackson Whites", a mountain community that has spawned many stories of inbreeding and other strange behaviours. They are lower income, keep to themselves, and some of their neighbors don't get along with them, but they aren't as bad as the stories say. They claim to be descended from a Native American tribe, but historians have determined they're of mixed European- and African-American descent. Apparently they are from a community of freed and escaped slaves combined with runaway Hessians from the American Revolution! Plus other people from the area, though no aboriginal Americans.
 
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Anonymous

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#10
On another subject concerning "freak towns" closer to the original subject has anyone read "Others" by James Herbert and does anyone know to what he was referring when he said at the end that it was based on a true set of events at a London childrens hospital?
 

EnolaGaia

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#11

GerdaWordyer

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#12
A Facebook friend of ours in Pennsylvania attended many events of a group of performers (sword-swallowers, fire-eaters, spike-sitter-on-ers, very tattooed ladies--who sometimes also performed burlesque), called the Sideshow Gathering until a few years ago. It seems to have fizzeled out after 2013, and he mourns the loss of their shows. Have these stunts/skills lost their appeal, or does no-one want to rouse themselves to go attend tent shows?
 
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