Betty Lou Williams (1932-1955), the youngest of 12 children, was born with a parasitic twin and had 4 legs and 3 arms. She entered the sideshows at age 2 and made enough money to send all 11 of her siblings to college. The pretty and curvaceous Betty Lou had no shortage of admirers and became engaged at age 23. Unfortunately, he stole her money and ran away. She died shortly after of an asthma attack, though friends claim it was of a broken heart.
Cyclopia (also cyclocephaly or synophthalmia) is a rare form of holoprosencephaly and is a congenital disorder (birth defect) characterized by the failure of the embryonic prosencephalon to properly divide the orbits of the eye into two cavities. Its incidence is 1 in 16,000 in born animals, and 1 in 250 in embryos, one in 2,500 that end in miscarriage.
Alice E. Doherty was born in 1887 with a rare genetic mutation called “hypertrichosis”, or “werewolf syndrome”, which causes excessive body hair. She was billed as “The Minnesota Woolly Baby”. At birth, she was covered all over in two-inch long, silky blonde hair. She began exhibiting as a sideshow “freak” at the age of two, and remained in the business until 1915.
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